How to ensure campaign effectiveness when you cannot identify devices
As privacy concerns grow among consumers, and governments and private companies take measures to protect consumers personal information, the advertising ecosystem is rapidly changing. Some things remain: users continue to spend more and more time on their mobile devices and connected TVs, and advertisers will continue to reach out to those users. But the tools advertisers have at their disposal to ensure their ads are relevant to the users and to measure their campaigns success, do need to adapt to an ecosystem where advertising placements cannot be linked to a specific device or user seeing an ad. In particular, a mobile ecosystem without IDFAs.
Granular reports will be limited as the ability to identify users is reduced and the opt-in rates are unknown.
As of May 4th, 2021, 96% of iOS inventory compatible with our campaigns is currently coming from iOS 14+. The graphs below show the % of bid requests compatible with current campaigns which come in with mediasmart’s SKAdNetwork ID.
Currently, more than 90% of the in-app iOS smartphone inventory we are receiving comes with an Operating System version higher than iOS14. As depicted in the chart below, users update the Operating system on their devices in a matter of days, and 3% of the in-app iOS smartphone inventory we are receiving comes with an Operating System version higher than iOS14.5.
We continue to allow our clients to control the level of precision they require for all location signals, and for campaigns where there’s a struggle for reach, they can choose to specifically target users whose GPS location is known but not precisely shared because users have not opted in. (Precision within 500m)
We will soon announce an Audience Mapping feature to target inventory without user identifiers. We have also established new partnerships with companies such as LiveRamp and Zeotap, so that the alternative user IDs they provide can be used as part of Audiences. Our clients can start relying on these alternative IDs to build their audiences, and the same IDs shall be available in the incoming inventory.
Contextual targeting is another great way for advertisers to serve an ad that is relevant without knowing who the user is nor anything about their past history, but based on where the ad is placed. And we are heavily investing in taking contextual advertising to the next level in mediasmart, both through a partnership to be announced soon, and through proprietary developments.
Our approach to measuring incrementality in app marketing and drive-to-store campaigns as campaigns run is statistical in nature, and relies on the comparison between results in a group of users exposed to the campaign and results in a control group that is equally compatible with the campaign settings but is not exposed. The methodology to calculate incremental metrics holds… You may simply need more volume of impressions on iOS than before to reach the same level of confidence on those incremental KPIs.
Our ability to measure performance of campaigns using pixels on web was never based on identifying users, but rather linking a conversion to the click that originated it. AppClips do support the same type of attribution whereby a conversion (the install of an AppClip, for example) can be linked to the click that originated it.
mediasmart was one of the first DSPs to support SKAdNetwork by Apple to track performance in campaigns that advertise iOS apps (either for retargeting or user acquisition) and a growing percentage of our inventory is ready to track with it.
Our team has worked on a series of communications that can be interesting for you:
- iOS14.5 - What’s Changed Three Months Later and How Your Proximity Campaigns are Affected (August 2021)
- How to make your ads relevant and measure success without identifying users? (March 2021)
Do I need my own SKAdNetwork ID? (Feb 2021)
Advantages of using SKAdNetwork (Feb 2021)
Frequently Asked questions about iOS14 (updated Feb 2021)
- Getting ready for iOS 14! (Sept. 2020)