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iOS14 Impacts on the App Ecosystem

Riikka Söderlund Apr 21 2021 4 PM | 4 min read

With the iOS14 roll-out, the segment most imminently impacted is the app publishing industry. We asked our partners how they, and their customers, are preparing for the changes and what kind of strategies advertisers can consider going forward.

Readiness to face the upcoming changes still varies quite a lot case by case. While the industry has been hard at work trying to ensure advertisers are well equipped to run effective campaigns also in a post-IDFA world, there are still some challenges to overcome. The biggest difficulty is the fact that real-life testing can only happen after the actual changes.

And while some technical changes are quite straightforward, it is not as easy to plan a strategy for an unknown reality.

Strategic Decisions with Major Business Impact Require Cooperation

“There’s not a one-size fits all approach when it comes to iOS 14, as different advertisers will be impacted in different ways. For example, if retargeting is key to your marketing strategy it’s likely that you’ll need to optimize differently now and consider additional strategies too.

There are a lot of changes to navigate, which is why we’d recommend working closely with all partners to help guide through these changes” Daniel Junowicz, RVP EMEA & Strategic Projects from AppsFlyer says.

The setup choices that advertisers are already making, have a role and potentially major impact on future user acquisition strategies.

“Advertisers need to start thinking about alternatives to collect relevant signals. They should focus on channels to build direct relationships with their customers to understand their needs to create personalized experiences and fuel retention strategies''. Thomas Ranke, Head of Partnerships, Spectrm

Understanding which areas of your business are currently using IDFA is a key starting point, but also navigating the changing setup across the organization as well as your partner network is crucial to mitigate disruption and avoid unintended consequences.

To Prompt, or Not to Prompt

One significant strategic choice for app owners has been whether or not to implement the ATT prompt. For some, it is at the core of their strategy to optimize the prompt so that as many users as possible will opt in - allowing tracking and maintaining a lot of the current setup intact. 

Others have chosen not to prompt at all for various reasons - added complexity is just one of them. We have heard from advertisers that optimizing user experience, rather than tracing, is at the core of their strategy.

Adjust, a mobile measurement leader has been actively guiding their customers to optimize the ATT experience.

One of the impacts Adjust has seen so far is clients’ re-evaluation of strategies, with a clearer focus on UX/UI design aimed at securing user opt-in consent. They anticipate this to be a core focus for many publishers as they will continue to find ways to create more value for users and to secure opt-in. Adjust says this is the most effective long-term strategy for publishers.

“Apple’s move is part of a wider, welcome shift that’s putting consumer privacy front and center. As an industry we need to drive adoption of the mindset that mobile marketing can still be highly effective even when user-level data is not available or permitted without proper user consent.  Ultimately, we must subscribe to the belief that great user privacy and great user experience can in fact co-exist – it’s just up to us as to evolve and adapt”, says Junowicz from AppsFlyer.

Mitigating the iOS14 Changes

Like advertisers, also solution providers have chosen slightly different strategies to approach the ecosystem shift. Different approaches bring  different products, functionalities, and advice to help mitigate the disruption from multiple different angles.

“The most challenging part seems to be the mindset shift from more or less relying and externalizing personalization to the platforms to now internalizing this process by building first party data strategies. There will be a stronger focus on LTV with re-marketing and retention strategies”, says Ranke from Spectrm.

Without the insights that deterministic attribution provides, we believe there will be a renewed interest in modeling user behaviors. Adjust’s Conversion Modeling solution uses the behavior of consented users to project the performance of non-consented users, giving marketers the sort of aggregated data they were accustomed to. For campaign optimization, and decision making on the broader level, we believe that this approach will enable workflows to change the least.

“While SKAdNetwork has a number of benefits - it’s deterministic, and inherently privacy-first - it’s clear that going forward, advertisers need more than SKAdNetwork to be able to measure KPI’s such as LTV and ROI, and accurately assess the performance of their marketing efforts and AppsFlyer is developing solutions for that constantly”, Junowicz says.

Read More About iOS14 from our Partners: Adjust, Appsflyer, and Spectrm.

If you have any questions about the iOS 14 update, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Our team is happy to help you preparing for the change!

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Riikka Söderlund

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