Mobile Marketers Prepare for a Privacy-First Future

With 2021 Finally here, mobile marketers are finding it hard to definitively label their prospects for this year with optimism or pessimism – Farfetched Studios thinks maybe a little of both.

On one side, mobile ad spending continues to climb and app usage is expanding, creating a promising future. All at a time when consumer purchasing trends are being greatly affected by the current pandemic and mobile devices are playing an even larger role in driving business across many industries. Mobile is very quickly becoming the most efficient way to reach and engage with customers.

But yet, on the other side, doubt is setting in as stricter consumer privacy protection laws and changes to major advertising platforms are beginning to take effect. This includes the elimination of IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) from new Apple iOS 14, where iPhone users will be given the option to opt-in to data sharing via a new App Tracking Transparency network. Participation rates across the board are expected to dramatically reduce. Farfetched Studios believes protecting the privacy of users data is ultimately the right decision for both consumers and marketers to reestablish trust and confidence in the system. Which should lead to an overall increase in engagement in the long-term. But still, the idea of a reduced amount or quality of data from major platforms like Apple, Google and Facebook, threatens marketing models that advertisers have developed and grown through the years to improve their campaign’s performance.

There are proactive steps that all advertisers can take to prepare for the upcoming changes right now to ensure their continued success in mobile advertising. Measurement takes the top spot of that list. Any measurement driven models must be malleable and adaptable to the ever changing mobile ecosystem that is placing increased priority on user privacy over data for advertisers. Luckily for marketers, some of the most exciting tools and innovations have come from these developments that allow brands to identify and communicate more effectively with their target customers in within privacy compliance.

Shifting Towards Aggregated Data
The industry is adapting itself from direct user-level data distribution to “prediction” models that pull from aggregated sets of privacy-safe anonymous data. Incrementality is the scientific model proven to give an integrated approach to measurement. Traditional models of attribution “matches” an impression or click to a specific conversion, where incrementality uses test and control groups to separate their target variables. This allows the marketer to make valid assumptions for a wider range of cases, but the challenge is that the process itself is complex and prone to “interpretation.” The insufficient data and intermixing of data sets from different ad platforms will likely skew results.

AppFlyers’ new Incrementality solution attempts to address these main issues and give marketers the ability to analyze, measure and optimize the lift from remarketing campaigns. Brands can decipher between organic and remarketing engagements, shift budgets to higher performing channels and optimize their audiences through controlled experiments of incrementality. The mobile game developer, Kabam, wanted to know the measurement of incremental lift of in-app purchases from its remarketing campaign. Utilizing AppFlyer’s Incrementality solution, they were able to launch experiments on multiple channels to confirm their remarketing campaigns have an increased revenue by almost 20%.

Educating the Consumer is Essential
New measurement tools are pivotal for the upcoming changes for mobile advertisers, but they alone are not enough to be successful. In order to educate consumers on the benefits of data sharing a broader strategy will be needed from Apple’s new framework, or one of the other systems that may emerge in response to California’s Consumer Privacy Act. The state recently passed Proposition 24 extension which limits the use of sensitive personal information such as race, ethnicity, health information or geolocation.

Every mobile advertiser has vested interest in all these educational efforts and below are three keys to a successful approach.

1. Improve Data Literacy – Marketers can understand the difference between personalized and anonymous data but most consumers can not. By being fully transparent to advertisers and end-users about what data of theirs is being shared and for what purposes will help Mobile app developers build confidence in the new system.

2. Clear Communication on Value Exchange – Make your customers conscious of how their data sharing benefits all mobile participants, including themselves, by making the entire mobile system safer and more efficient when delivering relevant advertising.

3. Put the User Experience First – Data-driven insights often funnel back into marketing models to increase user experience. App developers can leverage tools like deep linking to seamlessly connect email to social and referral programs or their website.

Adapting to this new landscape is not going to be easy, but here at Farfetched Studios LLC we view mobile measurement as a complex puzzle waiting to be solved with these new data challenges. By working with mobile players on customer needs and offering transparency in their data practices, these tools will help measure attribution successfully to benefit the future of the industry.