“Data-driven thinking‘ is written by members of the media community and offers fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column was written by Katie Madding, Chief Product Officer at To adjust.
Apple orchestrated the biggest shift in the mobile marketing landscape in years with the release of iOS 14.5 last year. The industry was shocked to learn that targeting, measurement and tracking apps must seek explicit user consent.
Now, at this year’s WWDC, Apple has announced some updates to SKAdNetwork, its privacy-compliant mobile measurement framework. The goal is to help marketers better understand user behavior while respecting their privacy. But that is easier said than done.
For marketers, embracing, understanding and developing a robust strategy for SKAdNetwork for user engagement and measurement on iOS is critical. From there, the key will be maximizing the value of first-party data and designing long-term collection and measurement strategies – based on user consent for targeted advertising.
Embrace SKAdNetwork and understand it
Given the current state of our privacy-centric advertising ecosystem, it’s time marketers reduced their reliance on gray area tactics and embraced SKAdNetwork. It is that future of measurement on iOS. Forward-thinking marketers will master it and not constantly try to sidestep it.
Next comes understanding SKAdNetwork and maximizing its value. At WWDC, Apple introduced functions This increases visibility of campaign performance while maintaining user privacy.
For example, hierarchical source IDs provide additional campaign insights based on the sample size and privacy standards a campaign has met. Hierarchical conversion values provide more insights for smaller campaigns. In the meantime, the “multiple conversions” score helps marketers understand how campaigns are performing over time.
Proactive marketers will not only learn about these features and use them to increase intelligence within the bounds of Apple’s policies, but also employ predictive technologies that allow them to maximize the value of less data.
Measurement becomes more predictive and less deterministic. However, predicting user response is impossible without some amount of deterministic data, meaning marketers have no choice but to rely on the SKAdNetwork when it comes to unsubscribed users.
Maximize the value of first-party data
By now, marketers know they need to focus on that First Party Data. But what does that mean in practice, especially on mobile?
First, marketers need to figure out what kind of first-party data they need. That means take Inventory of behaviors that developers want to encourage in the app and what actions high-value users are likely to take.
Even if user identity is anonymized, marketers can then segment their audience into high and low value users. Once marketers figure out what kind of data matters and how to segment their audience without personal data, they can develop models based on predictive analytics that allow them to orchestrate effective marketing strategies.
For example, forward-looking KPIs, particularly projected lifetime value, will enable marketers to anticipate growth opportunities within aggregated collections of SKAdNetwork and consented user data. SKAdNetwork’s latest changes will allow marketers to assess the effectiveness of their predictions of which tactics will work for which users.
Importantly, mobile marketers can do all of this – Measure effectiveness, predict performance, and calibrate marketing strategy based on performance—all without compromising individual user privacy. And once predictive models are built and reach a workable level of accuracy, they should become more effective over time as the observed data increases.
Focus long-term strategy on approval
A Focus on approval will be the foundation of any sustainable data-driven marketing strategy going forward. The most successful marketers will be able to explain the value they can offer users in exchange for this information win the trust of users and get it.
Regardless of whether mobile marketers are granted permission to track users across apps, they should explain how the data they collect will be used and obtain permission to use it for advertising or share it with third parties. This is how marketers use data to build long-term relationships, not just drive one-off transactions.
Savvy mobile marketers will not run away from SKAdNetwork or privacy changes. Instead, they will embrace them and build powerful forecasting engines to grow insight-based businesses, even at a time when those insights are no longer readily available.