With Apple’s planned IDFA update running daily, the digital marketing industry is preparing for the worst, with forward-looking instructions to be displayed in all iOS apps, and many users are expected to turn off data tracking altogether, limiting targeting options audience.
Removing in-app tracking data will affect things like re-targeting based on purchasing activity and attributing conversions based on ad exposure. This has forced many media buyers to change their approach to preparation and could reduce the overall effectiveness and response rate of digital ad campaigns.
Of course, the impacts will be related to the actual download – the more users choose to stop apps from tracking their activities, the less data will be available, and at this stage we have no idea how many people will actually click “Ask app not to track”.
The expectation is, as noted, that many people will indeed choose to give up, especially given the broader focus on data tracking issues, including this week’s reported data breaches on Facebook and LinkedIn.
But now we have an indication of the actual income rates we can expect, with Apps Flyer conducting a survey of over 300 apps and responding to new instructions.
For the past three weeks, Apps Flyer has been monitoring user responses to over 13.2 million exposures to new IDFA queries, like the one above. Based on this, the data show that 41% of people actually chose to allow monitoring, which is much more than industry predictions.
As you can see, application rates vary by application category, but the overall average saw that almost half of the people chose to enable tracking.
This is, as noted, far greater than many industry analysts had predicted, and could mean that ad targeting won’t have as bad an impact as predicted. That would be good news for the digital marketing sector as a whole – although it’s worth noting that this is a limited study and may not fully indicate the overall effects, once the query is fully launched.
Apple’s IDFA change was highly controversial, with Facebook launching a public campaign to oppose the change, claiming it would negatively impact SMEs by increasing the cost of their digital ads. Apple is also competing with a group of Chinese companies that have teamed up to launch an alternative data tracking tool for their applications, which will basically bypass IDFA, and is likely to violate Apple’s terms. This could put Apple in a difficult position in the wider introduction of the new response – but so far the company has remained committed to the new process, which, again, is expected to launch more widely soon.
Hopefully, based on this data, it won’t see the complete removal of user data from the ad targeting tool, because while Apple’s instinct makes sense, giving users more control over their personal information won’t prevent users from seeing ads within the app and online. This will only mean that these ads are less targeted, which is likely to be a worse user experience.
In addition, Apps Flyer provides some recommendations for brands looking to negate the effects of the change, including creating their own alert queries to better explain how user data is used (note ‘ATT’ refers to Apple’s new name. ‘Query for AppTrackingTransparency).
We strongly encourage marketers to use the “pre-ATT prompt”, basically establishing an Apple ATT dialog behind their own parent query. finally show users the value of inclusion. “
This is the approach that Facebook is now using, with further information on why users should be allowed to track data in its apps.
It’s really probably more important for larger apps like Facebook to update their approaches, as that’s where most valuable response data will come from, but for app developers, it’s worth noting this tip and considering how you could negate a potential response.
The change will continue to be significant, and will continue to cause disruptions in data monitoring processes. But it may not be as bad as expected.
The numbers here definitely give some reason for hope in this area.
You can read the full Apps Flyer report here.