Points of view: 8 key insights to prepare for a post-Apple privacy changes world

February 11, 2021

Tags: DSPs, Industry Perspectives, Marketers, Publishers, 2021

When it comes to the programmatic ecosystem, change is a constant, and the impending IDFA changes tied to Apple’s iOS 14 update are no exception. MoPub has been fielding inquiries around what these changes mean for the industry and for our partners. We spoke with our internal teams and our partners across all areas of the business to get their thoughts on what’s to come, and wanted to share their insights with you. 

One positive outcome expected from Apple’s upcoming privacy changes is that all ad buyers will be measured using the same set of attribution rules. As a result, channels will be more comparable than ever, versus measurement favoring those that give themselves the most generous measurement windows. This should allow buyers to more clearly determine which channels are most effective for them.

Some partners in the industry are still not prepared for the performance measurement changes. In the short term it’s imperative that buyers understand their supply, and supply paths they’re taking. Accurate measurement in iOS14.5 and beyond will require support throughout the supply chain — so keep an eye on which paths are equipped, and be prepared to shift your budgets to where you can measure your spend properly.

— David Gregson, Sr. Product Manager, MoPub

The ad tech industry is constantly evolving, and — make no mistake about it — the upcoming Apple change is going to have a major impact on the ecosystem. That said, ad tech companies will adapt and so will advertisers. CrossInstall’s machine learning algorithms will evolve, leveraging different signals to inform prediction models. Meanwhile, creative innovation will go into hyperdrive as advertisers figure out a way to make their messages resonate across a broader audience. There will be opportunity in the chaos and the companies that can capitalize on the moment will be in a great position 6 to 12 months after the change.

— Bobby McFarland, Director, CrossInstall

Apple’s drive to strengthen consumer privacy on iOS will lead to nothing less than a transformational shift across the entire mobile advertising industry. Everyone is impacted and will need to adapt. Look beyond the next 12 months, and there’s no doubt that the landscape will look different than it does today; however, by staying true to the values the industry is founded upon — testing & optimization, continuous learning, and knowledge sharing — we will come out stronger and better for it.

— Dennis Mink, VP Marketing at Liftoff, Inc.

It’s very rare to see an entire industry having to reinvent itself, but the world is changing, and dramatic privacy changes will be a consistent theme in the years to come. We’re now seeing one major announcement after another from major players, as the entire industry shifts to the new ATT/SKAN paradigm. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. While the need for accurate and reliable measurement hasn’t changed at all, the underlying technology has, and leaders must ensure their company can still maintain visibility and understanding of their marketing performance even after IDFA is deprecated. Doing that in time will lead to a significant competitive advantage.

If your company doesn’t have a solid plan for IDFA, you must start now, and consider: 1) How do you collect all the new and important data points from ad partners and MMPs 2) What conversion models are you going to use with SKAN 3) How are you going to report on ROI the day after?

When all of this is done right, marketers can do their job and excel, and that’s why we’ve been working extremely hard to educate the market, and collaborate with advertisers and partners.

— Gadi Eliashiv, CEO & Co-founder @ Singular

Industry players will rush to build models to measure campaign performance and predict LTV that combine multiple signals - SKAdNetwork, rolling incrementality tests, deterministic, and probabilistic data. As models get more complex and channels increase adoption of machine learning for optimization, marketers will be focused on the integrity of these models and signals as primary levers to drive performance, alongside creative.

— Cole Carnes, Growth Manager at Kabam

There’s no doubt Apple’s privacy changes will create a substantial industry shift, but publishers who are committed to creating great games will find success. Since the audiences will continue to grow and stay engaged, advertisers will want to be a part of these premium outlets, where they have access to quality content, brand safe environments, and target customers.

— Steph Lee, Sr. Manager, Partner Success at Activision Blizzard

From a practitioner’s point of view, we’re focused on identity resolution — end to end, from understanding people and targeting through to measurement — to the extent that we can. At the end of the day, people are more than just data points, but the opportunity to use ID-level data in privacy compliant ways is still an exciting prospect for our clients. Using qualifiers to build audience segments and look-alike matches, to build better creative assets and branded experiences – these use cases are coming to life today and better data will continue to make those qualifiers and branded experiences better.

— Kelly Kokonas, EVP Global Data Technology & Analytics at Starcom

The mobile app space is still an important opportunity for advertisers. Even for those who haven’t yet made the jump into mobile, it’s worth recognizing that upcoming web browser updates to the third-party cookie will introduce similar personalization changes for the desktop advertising world, which will ultimately even the playing field for mobile. In addition to first-party data, we’re interested in testing alternative data signals outside of identity that can serve as performance differentiators.

— Peter Rice, Assoc. Director Strategic Campaign Operations at Kepler

MoPub will continue to work with our partners to share our insights and best practices for the app ecosystem as the privacy climate continues to evolve. Check our latest blog post for more intel. If you have any questions, please contact your MoPub account team or visit our Support Center

About the author: Sara Penchina, Global Content Marketing Manager

Sara has 5+ years of B2B marketing and communications experience for companies in the advertising, marketing, tech, and media industries. At MoPub, she's currently focused on developing and executing content marketing strategy and activities supporting MoPub's market education, brand awareness, and lead generation initiatives. She lives in Brooklyn and is a certified yoga instructor. When she's not at work, you can find her at a barre or yoga class, practicing boxing (her latest fitness obsession), or planning her next trip. 

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