Beginning in 2017 with the launch of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), Apple has forced the issue of digital privacy onto the advertising ecosystem. With the launch of iOS14, and the deprecation of default-on IDFAs, this drive continues. These changes are having a large impact on the digital advertising industry, prompting reactions from the largest players including Google to Facebook.
Each platform is now operating with its own set of rules. Safari blocks third party cookies while Chrome doesn’t (yet). iOS prompts users to enable cross property tracking while Android doesn’t (yet anyways). A company like Facebook could technically build completely different systems that leverage the benefits of each platform but logistically that would be next to impossible to maintain. Given this, what broad changes do we anticipate:
Modelling is more important than ever: Modelling has always been needed for harder to track channels like Linear TV, Radio and Billboards. The techniques are increasingly important to digital channels moving forward.
Attribution windows shrink: The days of 28 day click + view attribution are gone. This is a good thing as the idea that anyone remembers something from 28 days ago was always a myth.
Deterministic view through is dying: With the death of 3rd party cookies, deterministically connecting a viewed impression on CNN to a conversion on your website via cookies is impossible. Sharing other identifiers (Unified ID 2.0 is seemingly getting some traction) may be able to fill in some of the gaps here but the scale available here is unknown.
1) I don’t run app install campaigns (i.e. e-commerce advertisers)
Outside of Facebook (more on Facebook below), not that much is changing for you. Some smart steps to take:
Standardize your attribution windows across all platforms to (at most) 7 day click, 1 day view.
Analyze what % of your conversions today are happening on iOS14. This is good information to have to gauge the impact of any App->Web reporting delays
Double down on capturing 1st party data (i.e. emails). It’s likely that it’s going to be harder than ever for app-install advertisers to make custom audiences based on IDFAs. This could lead to less demand in the short term for a lot of potentially high value customers.
2) I do run app install campaigns
Change is coming. To start you’re going to start leveraging Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) Framework (aka: the prompt).
As Rockerbox doesn’t have its own SDK, we continue to be reliant on in-app events through your MMP providers. The good news is that most MMP providers have already updated to Apple’s SKAdNetwork API framework which will result in some changes for how you (and Rockerbox) operate. Examples include:
Delayed reporting: As a privacy measure, Apple is purposely delaying app-install attribution by ~24-48 hours. This means that conversion events will be reported based on the time that they are reported to by the SKAdNetwork API.
More modelling: As Apple is only provided aggregated reports, platforms will be using modelling to determine the performance at the ad set and ad levels.
3) I advertise on Facebook / Instagram
Lots of changes are coming. Facebook has some good webinars on the changes here but high level, some of the biggest changes coming include:
You’re now essentially limited to 8 conversion events tracked per domain which will need to be prioritized (i.e. Purchase being most important, add-to-cart next etc..)
There are changes to default attribution windows, moving from 7 day click + 1 day view to 7 day click. Also the following attribution windows are being deprecated:
Web conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of the associated ad impressions.
This is actually a great change and in line with most other platforms
While the above are all known, there are still many unknowns. For example:
What % of customers will opt into tracking
What will the impact of these changes be on custom audiences
What will be the overall performance impact of these changes.
As is always the case with digital advertising, change is coming. The best advertisers are the ones that will move the quickest to capitalize on emerging arbitrage opportunities that these changes present.
One thing that is certain is that measurement will only continue to get more difficult, making it more important than ever to work with partners that can provide you with the best (albeit, never perfect) view of your marketing performance.
Updated 12 months ago