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Digging Deeper Into SKAdNetwork's Conversion Value

Team InMobi
Team InMobi
3 min read
Posted on May 17, 2021
Digging Deeper Into SKAdNetwork's Conversion Value

Previously, mobile measurement partners (MMPs) used deterministic attribution that allowed for 100% exact matching of an app install to an advertising campaign at the user level, in the presence of a device identifier, an IDFA (Apple’s identifier for Advertisers). In the absence of an IDFA, MMPs rely on probabilistic attribution to assign campaigns to users or behavior-based attributes, which is not 100% accurate.  

Post iOS 14.5, advertisers running app install campaigns have anonymous user-level app data, SKAdNetwork postbacks, some data enrichment and conversion values. As such, it is very important to understand the relevance of conversion values today. 

What is a Conversion Value? 

Conversion values are a way to derive post-install data against a SKAdNetwork campaign by maintaining user privacy under Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) restrictions, where MMPs can assist advertisers in setting up the SKAdNetwork framework for attribution.  

Use Case of Conversion Values 

Lifetime value (LTV) at a user level is an essential way to get insights about in-app events that the user has completed and app retention rate. Post iOS 14.5, conversion value in the SKAdNetwork framework will play a key role as a proxy to LTV. It will be anonymously reported against a campaign ID with some limitations of its own.  

Limitations of SKAN Conversion Value 

  • It should be sent by the app to Apple once the app developer has collected enough information about an app install to predict the LTV within a 24-hour time limit set by  SKAdNetwork.  
  • Conversion value can only be sent once to Apple. 

6-Bit Value Associated With Conversion Value 

Conversion value is made up of a 6-bit value that is a series of 0’s and 1’s. These help describe the state of the conversion value. Whether these bits are turned off (0) or on (1) can help describe a state, or how something exists.  

There could be various combinations of the conversion value like - 001000. A 6-bit value has 2^6 (=2*2*2*2*2*2) different combinations, or 64 ways it can be represented (as each of the bits can be 0 or 1 at any time). 

These values could be used by advertisers in multiple ways to determine different states within the app. For Example, each achieved level in a game could be mapped as the following: 

  1. 000000 = level 0 
  2. 000001 = level 1 
  3. 000010 = level 2 

There is a 24-hour timer for when the conversion value needs to be updated. If not, Apple will report the last conversion value sent by the app. Hence, we want users to reach the highest level in the user journey within 24 hours post install.  

How SKAdNetwork’s Timer Mechanism Works 

Advertisers can set these states at their own level or with the help of an MMP to notify Apple for the following things: 

  • Every time an app install occurs. 

  • Every time a user completes one of the conversion value “states” within the app. 

This can be put to use by advertisers in multiple ways as per the client’s KPIs. InMobi DSP is committed to making the use of conversion values simple for advertisers. Reach out to us for more details.  

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