Apple announced that it will delay the opt-in IDFA for its iOS 14 until early 2021. By doing so, Apple believes that mobile advertisers and marketers will get more time to prepare for a privacy led ad ecosystem. Even so, Apple’s IDFA changes sparked conversations around its impact on mobile advertisers and publishers due to the pandemic. There is an apocalyptic fear among critics that once Apple axes IDFA, in-game and app revenues will collapse.
According to eMarketerOpens a new window , ad spending will decline by 4.9% across the globe, which is a significant drop from last year’s 6.3% growth. While the mobile ad industry scrambles to replace traditional ad tactics, we asked six experts how advertisers can prepare for what is next and strike a balance between user privacy and tracking. In this exclusive conversation with Toolbox Marketing, our experts share actionable ways for mobile marketers, app developers, and advertisers to reach high-value customers and measure campaign outcomes in a cookie-less world.
Here are the top six tips to improve ad spends and increase average order value without IDFA:
1. Improve the Value of Your Digital Spends by Targeting Known Customers
â€œThe path forward is coalescing around effective identity solutions. The deprecation of cookies or mobile IDs only reflect dominant players pursuing their own interests. For the marketer, the most impactful action is to demand of their digital partners cooperation and facilitation around identity tools that work, at scale, and in the regulatory environment. These solutions do exist or are within reach, and when effectively deployed, marketers will have the control to reach high-value customers (or low-value customers if that’s what they want) in the most efficient and economic means possible.
We don’t agree that there has been a material dip as much as a reprogramming. Budgets shifted in time and many creatives had to be reworked. Some marketers had to pull back, whereas others leaned in heavily. We have evidence that digital has been a beneficiary, due to the agility, flexibility, and fast execution that is possible. Marketers should enhance the value of their digital spend by using data enrichment, and targeting personas based on the profiles of known customers.Â
2. Shift Focus to Contextual App Targeting Parameters in an IDFA-Less Environment
â€œWhile some brands reduced spend during the pandemic, others moved to take advantage of the decline in inventory prices caused by the decline in competition. User acquisition campaigns by mobile gaming companies were driven by record levels of user engagement as people remained home. Some brands adapted with digital direct-to-consumer sales channels, shifting marketing strategy and budget to drive user engagement. Other trends included Amazon pushing Prime Day from July to October and the expectation for an especially long holiday sales season as it shifts to become entirely online.
â€œWithout identifiers like cookies or the IDFA, advertisers will need to change campaign setups and resort to alternative signals that will help them evaluate the advertising opportunity, and not the user.
To maximize privacy-friendly targeting results in an IDFA-less environment, we developed standardized support for contextual app targeting parameters, such as device battery level, number of impressions/app sessions and more. This solution is already being used by DSPs for buying Limit Ad Tracking traffic, driving positive ROAS on IDFA-less inventory.
3. Move Away From Anonymous Channels to Known First-Party Data Providers
â€œThe impact of Apple’s move has significantly changed how attribution of ad spend is operated in mobile advertising, especially for the two biggest platforms for mobile user acquisition: Google and Facebook. It will be increasingly difficult to monetize apps based on cross-channel targeting if users don’t opt-in to tracking. They will become anonymous to app publishers along with marketers who rely on this data.
The situation will be like in-web tracking: if the ID is not available, advertisers will need to look for solutions based on stronger identifiers. App publishers will need to provide incentives for users to register and create strong IDs, such as emails and mobile numbers. Ultimately, advertisers’ investments will shift away from anonymous channels to those that can provide known first-party data.
4. Work Together in a Decentralized Manner To Remove the Need for Sharing Personal Data
â€œMarketers will become more reliant on their own customer data as we move into the post-cookie world. But it will be through data collaboration that brands will be empowered to unlock the true value of their first-party data and deliver personalized and tailored advertising campaigns.
The key to successful data collaboration will be for brands and media owners (or brand and retailers) to work together in a decentralized manner that removes the need for any personal data to be shared between parties. This enables data-centric companies to work together to power both the delivery and measurement of marketing campaigns while prioritizing the privacy of consumers.
5. Invest in Machine Learning To Get Customized Journeys in Real-Time
â€œReaching high-value customers and measuring campaigns in the new cookie-less landscape requires marketers to rethink how they use testing frameworks to gauge marketing value. And it is not just about which measures are used but also ensuring they are applied correctly. To gain a fuller view of the individual, many advertisers are looking to connect first- and third-party data. By having a strong identity foundation, marketers can better understand customers on a granular level, making it easier to anticipate future signals.
Here machine learning plays an important role in eliminating waste and marries key learnings with the creative process. With the correct analytics in place customized journeys for a segment can be created. By recalibrating messaging in real-time and at scale, customers can get the experience they expect.
6. Target Campaigns to the Channel That Makes the Most Sense in the Current Climate
â€œBrands need to get a head start on 2021. Between June and September 2020, as lockdown restrictions were eased, digital advertising spend saw an unexpected surge, and went from 0 to 100 very quickly, as brands resumed their marketing budgets. Therefore, we would recommend brands try to get ahead of changing circumstances, even if it might be tempting to simply pause marketing spend all together. This will allow them to take advantage of lower media costs and stay ahead of their competition when spend increases again.â€
Consumers don’t simply stop engaging with brands because there is a pandemic, they just change their way of thinking. This means keeping brand awareness up during the pandemic is a good foundation to success. Additionally, brands need to target campaigns to the channel that makes the most sense in the current climate, for example digital instead of in-store, to maximize considerations and conversions.Â
To get a better visibility of the user, mobile advertisers need to put together first and third-party data. Marketing mix modeling, geo-marketing testing, and brand tracking studies are some of the ways in which marketers can rethink how they use testing frameworks.
â€œMarketing mix modeling gives a good overview of each channel’s contribution to sales provided you have a lot of data points and run it over a long period of time,â€ said Heng. â€œGeo-marketing testing can ascertain the impact marketing activities have on given KPIs and to estimate the conversion probability within groups. Whereas brand tracking studies are another way to measure how channels and creatives affect KPIs, for example purchase intent.â€