Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


Over the last few years, the aggregation and measurement of customer data have significantly transformed. iOS & Android tech titans have enforced and initiated privacy-centric updates and policies. This has created a massive challenge for mobile app marketers. At once, data is mostly limited and aggregated, and marketers’ futures look complicated. Capturing granular data has become challenging, as is the ability to measure, attribute, and optimize marketing activities. To adapt to the new privacy paradigm, marketers should focus on retaining measurability through privacy-preserving innovation and enhancement of existing measurement methodologies.

Challenges in a privacy-first world

The major challenges that marketers will face in the brave new world are numerous –

  • User-level ad serving and targeting have become less precise and are impacting the overall campaign optimization
  • Brands are not able to target high-value users, which may decrease the impact of campaigns
  • In short-term, targeting and personalization are limited, while, in the long-term, overall campaign optimization is taking a hit

How do marketers weather this brave new privacy-centric world?

  1. Anticipate and adapt your measurement strategy: The changes in the mobile ecosystem are not static, and we are still learning how the future of measurement will look. A few measurement methodologies will be affected more than others. The App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework limits the capabilities of marketers to target customers anymore efficiently. Navigating this landscape requires marketers to hone their existing measurement methodologies. Marketers need to start working with aggregated data and rely on alternative methods like SKAN and aggregated attribution. Measuring value has come to the fore as opposed to measuring traffic. While LTV or ROAS-driven optimizations are vital to measuring the value of your campaigns, it is only with the addition of incrementality that you get the ultimate seal of approval on campaign effectiveness. Controlled experiments to measure incrementality help marketers determine which conversions (how much of a revenue lift) resulted from a specific campaign and which would have happened organically on their own.
  2. Build trust with end customers: Marketers are formulating first-party data strategies through direct interactions with customers on apps, emails, and loyalty programs. Investing in brand advertising through both digital and offline channels will maximize reach. Building trust is part of sharing the brand value customers will receive through their journey in exchange for the data. The more brand awareness is created, the more customers will instil their trust and opt-in for data-sharing.
  3. Create a wheel of Experimentation, Evaluation, & Iteration: Customers move across multiple devices and channels every day. Getting visibility into your paid, owned, offline, and in-app data across mobile, web, and CTV is important to know the actual value of every campaign. Take a stern look into marketing strategies and KPIs for better business decision-making. Leverage priming techniques by testing and iterating your value proposition messaging for customers’ ATT consent. Periodically examine your measurement data to gather insights to optimize business decisions and achieve greater impact.

Apple’s updates kick-started a privacy revolution, and all industry players are already following suit. Marketers will have to realize that several pieces of the attribution puzzle have to come together to provide a complete measurement picture with high accuracy.

The three pieces of the puzzle that will help marketers unlock opportunities with iOS are:

  • Innovation in SKAdNetwork: AppsFlyer’s proprietary capabilities – packaged within SK360 – can help marketers with comprehensive data to get insights with high accuracy
  • Privacy-centric attribution: An attribution solution that can provide additional dimensions to the aggregated data from SKAdNetwork
  • Web-to-app solutions: With targeting capabilities limited by Apple’s iOS updates, marketers will need to focus on web-to-app and other owned media avenues as an integral part of their UA strategy. AppsFlyer’s deep-linking solutions enable marketers to create frictionless experiences for users to drive acquisition and retention.

Written by

Aditya Maheshwari, Director of Customer Success, AppsFlyer INSEA/ANZ

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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