by Sanjay Trisala
Apple’s update on iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency (ATT) worked wonders when it hit the market. This privacy-first move significantly impacted the digital advertising ecosystem targeted at iOS devices, by prioritizing users’ data over micro-marketing measurements. With a current user adoption rate of 66% in India, consumers are increasingly adopting privacy, thereby affecting the efficacy, targeting, personalization, reporting and more of marketers and their marketing advertising campaigns. As privacy concerns and platform regulations continue to dominate marketers, out-of-the-box thinking, agility, and redefining performance marketing campaigns will be the keys to providing the ideal personalized experience for customers.
The future is private to consumers
From providing rich information and data to customers by tracking individual devices to allowing brands to analyze user behavior, unique device IDs served a vital purpose in creating powerful marketing strategies. Apple’s pivot to privacy effectively eliminates the end of identifier for advertisers (IDFA) and strengthens the flow of this user data, giving consumers more control over their data. according to a report by Flurry Analytics, only 13% of global iOS users have allowed apps to track them. This signals a shift in the mindset of most consumers towards privacy. There are some implications for users:
Complete transparency on data practices: With constant innovation to maintain user privacy, Apple lets users share their data as they wish, in a way that is secure, easy to understand and within their control. Each app is required to display a ‘nutrition label’ detailing the types of data collected and shared so that users can make informed use decisions.
Opt-in to track across web and apps: With iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5, apps must ask permission before tracking consumers’ activity on other companies’ apps and websites. Now, end users have the option to allow app developers to access their data and activity, so that apps and websites can be tracked.
The future is complicated for advertisers
Apple’s ATT rollout, on the other hand, had a significant impact on advertisers. A complex future lies ahead for brands and advertisers due to the enormous limitations and challenges in mobile measurement and targeted advertising.
IDFA became obsolete: IDFA was initially activated by default on Apple devices and provided user-level data to app publishers. It has been discontinued, and will require explicit user permission for apps to access IDFA. IDFA Prompt (ATT) results in massive opt-out rates, making IDFA effectively unavailable to advertisers. The user ‘opt-in’ rate for tracking on iOS in India is 45%, a legitimate concern for marketers.
SKAdNetwork is limited to: SKAD is an approach that falls within the bounds of individual privacy and makes it impossible to predict the behavior of any individual user, while still allowing behavior to be combined across various digital properties. This Apple solution for deterministic attribution is limited, complex, and makes it difficult to measure LTV, retention, and usage patterns.
Monetization is a challenge: Targeted ads are an important element of marketing strategy by a good portion of businesses including small, medium and large. targeting data less, Ads will cost less. Thus, this update puts a massive strain on not only advertisers but also on the ad-based app economy. The Internet’s largest app businesses have been significantly affected by this update and, subtly, prompts them to shift their budgets from advertising to brand campaigns as well.,
User experiences are broken down: The move will make it challenging for advertisers to meaningfully link user behavior across apps and mobile websites to the iOS ecosystem. Remarketing and deferred deep linking are heavily impacted by persistent loss of identifiers, disrupting user flow and weakening the user experience.
How can digital marketers adapt?
With more consumer control over privacy, this update presents an opportunity for marketers to stay ahead of the curve. Recognizing that these updates are here to stay and that their adoption will be critical to success in a privacy-focused future.
Creating Confidence in Consumers: As Apple pays attention to its privacy policies and features, businesses can stand to reassure consumers that their policies are not intrusive. Brands that display honesty and candor towards their customers have an opportunity to increase customer loyalty.
test message: Apply priming techniques, such as testing and developing your value proposition message, before submitting an ATT consent form. Outlining how you will use user data and in return providing greater value to the consumer will build trust and increase the likelihood that customers will share their data.
Investing in brand campaigns to increase awareness: Customers are more likely to share their data with a well-known and trusted brand. Advertise your brand on digital platforms or offline with meaningful messaging to build your brand presence. Brands that strive to uphold the general message and stand out across channels are expected to be rewarded appropriately.
As Apple’s ATT framework marks the beginning of a privacy-focused era of in-app marketing, businesses that are agile at acknowledging customer concerns, improving their privacy technologies, and enhancing their marketing measurement toolkit , they will be the final winner.
The author is General Manager of AppsFlyer INSEA/ANZ. Views expressed are personal.