The tech giant released its ATT (App Tracking Transparency) framework back in April 26, alongside the iOS 14.5 update. In effect, it cut off advertisers from data related to user behaviour across apps and mobile sites, which many are saying will not only drastically hit King Kong advertising reviews for iOS, but reshape the whole digital ad industry.
The update made it so that users now need to provide explicit permission for apps to track them, which many expect to have low opt-in rates, given known customer behaviour regarding ads.
A look at what ATT changes
Apple’s changes are a challenge for most advertisers due to the reliance of the industry on targeted advertising. ATT makes it harder to link user behaviour across apps and sites, which are commonly used to measure how ads do.
ATT is expected to make ads perform substantially less, expect for any ads that are from Apple’s own ad system, alongside reducing ad tracking precision across the system.
In effect, these roll back innovations that only came to be thanks to digitization, like precise measurement via user-level attribution, as well as ad experiments.
Apple is offering SKAdNetwork (SKAN) services, a measurement solution that provides performance data at the campaign level. However, there are a limited number of slots per adviser, as well as a random time delay on observation, which means that data isn’t entirely real time.
SKAN qualifies as differential privacy, where marketing measurements still allow for the linking of user behaviour across different sites and platforms, but avoids divulging data on specific users’ behaviour. It’s expected to grow in popularity moving forward.
In the meantime, privacy-safe traditional measurement solutions like marketing mix models are expected to rule the roost until new technologies can be developed.