With Apple’s App Tracking Transparency updates expected to roll out to iOS 14 devices soon, app publishers will now need to get users’ permissions before tracking their data across other apps or websites. We expect that the proportion of users opting in to user tracking will be low, and consequently, advertisers have a much smaller pool of addressable users on Apple devices.
In light of this update, here are five things publishers can do to prepare for IDFA deprecation.
- Upgrade to SKAdNetwork compatible SDKs. Also work with your partner SSPs to make sure that your “info.plist” files are up-to-date with the full list of advertiser or DSP SKAN IDs, is in the right format, and working correctly end-to-end.
- Run A/B Tests to improve opt-Ins. Publishers should experiment with messaging, design, and even timing of the permission pop-up so that they can maximize opt-in rates. Publishers are likely to see higher opt-in rates when users see the pop-up AFTER they are convinced about the value they get from the app, and when app developers can clearly communicate how user consent can support their new favorite app.
- Introduce higher yield monetization setups and ad formats. Publishers should implement a header bidding setup if they haven’t already, as header bidding setups are known to provide better fill rates and more competitive CPMs. They should also enable high impact ad formats like Rewarded Video, Playables and Interstitial formats. These ad formats generally score better on viewability, engagement and conversions, and ultimately see higher CPMs, fills and ad spend from advertisers.
- Enable contextual targeting for advertisers. Publishers should work with SSPs to make it easier for advertisers to find users similar to their target profiles. They can do this by passing signals like app metadata (app category and subcategory) and other device signals like hardware version, etc. Publishers and SSPs should also look to upgrading to OM SDK 1.3 which allows publishers to pass the content URL in bid requests. This helps advertisers to read the app content – similar to mobile web and desktop environments – and will significantly improve brand safety and contextual targeting capabilities in the in-app environment.
- Enable client-side audience segmentation. Publishers can segment their users based on their behavioral data (like sports section readers, female shoppers, gaming in-app purchasers) and their historical ad performance (like CTRs, video completion rates) on the device, and pass these to SSPs who can package this information in the form of a deal ID for advertisers to target. This allows mobile app publishers to deliver addressable inventory to advertisers without sending user or device identifiers off the device. Admittedly, this is a longer-term measure but one that holds a lot of promise for app publishers and advertisers alike.