Applift https://applift.com Mobile user acquisition, activation, retention Thu, 17 Sep 2020 14:23:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://applift.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cropped-favicon-512x512-32x32.png Applift https://applift.com 32 32 A Deep Dive into E-Commerce App Retargeting in an Evolving Data Landscape https://applift.com/blog/e-commerce-app-retargeting Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:57:43 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=23309 The post A Deep Dive into E-Commerce App Retargeting in an Evolving Data Landscape appeared first on Applift.

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It should not be surprising that recent reports identify e-commerce apps as the largest users of retargeting campaigns. These shopping and retail apps are the perfect fit for direct response retargeting. Following on from our Ultimate Guide to Marketing and M-Commerce, we wanted to dive deeper into the changing opportunities of e-commerce app retargeting.

After a refresher on the advantages of retargeting, we will provide a few advanced tips for running Facebook-led campaigns as well as more scalable campaigns outside of the “walled gardens”. Finally, with iOS14 due for release in a matter of days, we will examine how Apple’s latest operating system will, for better and worse, affect the practice. 

Why Retarget?

Typically, 21% of users stop using an app after installation. The average mobile user has over 100 apps on their phone – a fact that makes competition fierce for their time, money, and attention. Unlike traditional CPI focused campaigns, retargeting focuses on the (re)engagement of high-value users. And when run well, the practice is highly effective – apps that run retargeting campaigns have a 130% higher rate of paying users.

While the practice of retargeting has multi-platform benefits, its advantages are at their most pronounced on mobile where retargeting ads have been shown to be 13 times more effective than on desktop. The majority (71%) of m-commerce sales are in-app where users are able to browse and convert at much higher rates than on mobile web. Retargeting encourages direct action, which for e-commerce apps translates to increased purchases and revenue.

E-Commerce App Retargeting on Facebook and Google

The tech giants that dominate the advertising world, Facebook and Google, facilitate effective retargeting (or “remarketing”) opportunities (Facebook’s Retargeting Guide / Google’s Remarketing Guide). Facebook has acquired a particularly dominant place in the world of e-commerce. If you opt to retarget using Facebook, take advantage of their self-optimizing “dynamic creative ads” as well as running “sequential engagement campaigns” during video promotions. 

Sequential Video Ads – Source: Buffer

E-Commerce App Retargeting Outside of Facebook and Google

While Facebook and Google can both offer great locations and tools for retargeting, there are plenty of opportunities for marketers to reach users outside this ecosystem. To retarget on scale, it is essential to step outside of the “walled gardens”.

When implemented with expert assistance, the following techniques can supercharge e-commerce app retargeting campaigns leading to the en-masse conversion of high-value customers.

Product Diversification and Continuity

There is a limit to the quantity of a particular product that a person can repeatedly buy. Diversifying the products offered via retargeted ads is a great way to maximize revenue and brand familiarity. This can be done via cross-selling and up-selling (based on product choices) as well as cross-selling (based on customer attributes).

Sometimes, however, the best approach is to continue with what is working. “Level x” is the term given to the threshold by which revenue-per-user can be maximized while advertising the same product. The effectiveness of same-product ads varies from product-to-product but is especially useful during the first 24 hours.

Restrained Ad Frequency (Ad Capping)

Heavy ad frequency is not always something to celebrate. Somewhat counterintuitively when it comes to retargeting, often “less is more”. When would-be buyers see ads too often, it can have a negative impact on their emotions as a product ‘chases’ them across the web. Just as with push notifications, if users see ads too often, they report finding them “annoying”, “intrusive” or worse yet “creepy”. Equally, just as with push notifications, when implemented at an optimal frequency, they can have remarkable results.

Audience Targeting and Segmentation

Just as traditional customers visited shops for many reasons, mobile customers visit ecommerce apps with a variety of intentions. Identifying and appealing to these varied intentions is essential to better engage and re-engage customers. The key to improved audience targeting lies in the alignment of shoppers’ intentions and e-commerce apps’ customised advertising audiences. In other words, effective behavioural segmentation.

Audience size also plays an important role in retargeting campaigns. The bigger the audience size, the better, as it allows for campaigns to scale more effectively and for more granular segmentation capabilities. On the other hand, a smaller audience size doesn’t facilitate scale in performance, nor can advertisers break down their audiences into smaller segments (as the audience size is already quite small to begin with).

Post-Install Conversion Tracking

Post-install conversion tracking is another essential technique with results that speak for themselves. The advantage of post-install conversion tracking is that it grants advertisers the ability to identify the ‘tipping points’ between low- and high-value customers. Once the customers with the highest potential LTV have been identified, advertisers can focus their retargeting campaigns on tailored ads that will push those potential customers over the line. All while only spending their budget on the most valuable customers around.

For more on post-install conversion tracking, read our dedicated blog post

CPA Campaigns

Unlike traditional cost-per-mille or cost-per-install campaigns, the KPIs of retargeting campaigns can and should be more specific. Adopting a cost-per-action (CPA) model grants unprecedented control to measure and optimize a campaign based on the post-install events that matter. For e-commerce apps, this could be first purchase or customer registration – which as we are about to explain, is soon to become an increasingly desirable goal.

For more on cost-per-action campaigns, read our dedicated blog post

Retargeting After the iOS14 Update

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple promoted an array of announcements, products, and updates to great fanfare. For advertisers, the most impactful of these updates was Apple’s new app tracking transparency framework and its implications for IDFA.

IDFA has not been completely killed off, yet. Though most experts agree that Apple is laying the foundations for its elimination. Next year, IDFA will become “opt-in before point of use”. This has significant ramifications for retargeting on iOS.

Advertisers will no longer be able to leverage IDFA to retarget ads to lapsed users. Until now, apps could read IDFAs to discover low-engagement users and send their IDFAs to an ad network so that retargeted ads could be shown to that audience segment. The most common and useful example of this is when customers fail to finalize a purchase; retargeted ads could be used to warn them of their abandoned carts with the hope of re-engaging and converting them. After Apple’s changes come into force, this will no longer be possible for unregistered customers.

Though all is not lost for e-commerce app retargeting on iOS as two saving graces prevent its demise.

Firstly, e-commerce apps usually require registration. iOS14 still allows for tracking based on the contact information provided during the registration process. As long as it is performed within the parameters of Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention, retargeting specific customers will therefore still be possible based upon CRMs. In this sense, e-commerce apps’ registration process gives them a lifeline from the most adverse impacts of Apple’s new rules.

 

Secondly, the agility and adaptability of the industry should not be underestimated. Alongside the new challenges of iOS14, new opportunities arise. Instead of relying on user-level targeting, in-app retargeting can evolve into contextual targeting. When basing retargeting on contextual audiences, app categorization becomes increasingly important. E-commerce apps (and others) should take note of these changes and ensure improved targeting via a high-level of specificity in their AppStore categories.

When evaluating Apple’s new changes, Verve Group’s Chief Product Officer Ionut Ciobotaru concluded that, “Instead of an ‘apocalypse’, it is actually a very important milestone. Privacy, advertising, and consumer choice finally meet to sustain a more efficient ecosystem.”

 

Mobile commerce shows no signs of slowing down. It is set to grow by 68% from 2020 – 2022 as increasing numbers of consumers opt to shop on their phones. While industry practices may be shifting, e-commerce apps remain as lucrative as ever.

Want to learn more about running retargeting campaigns for your e-commerce app? Download our case study below to find out how we helped a leading e-commerce brand achieve 2000%+ ROAS with retargeting campaigns.

The post A Deep Dive into E-Commerce App Retargeting in an Evolving Data Landscape appeared first on Applift.

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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing E-Commerce Apps https://applift.com/blog/marketing-e-commerce-apps Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:07:12 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=23235 The post The Ultimate Guide to Marketing E-Commerce Apps appeared first on Applift.

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M-Commerce (mobile e-commerce) is predicted to scale at a 25.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019-2024. If those predictions are correct, m-commerce would hit $488 billion in four years and account for 44% of all e-commerce. In the US, 42% of sales are already made through smartphones and 59% of adults prefer shopping on mobile. The driving force behind the growth of m-commerce is e-commerce apps – they account for 71% of mobile sales.

Source: Business Insider Intelligence

For retailers of all kinds, there are clearly huge advantages of building an e-commerce app now rather than relying on website sales alone. Below, we share our top tips for organically acquiring users, provide a guide for paid marketing, and explore the importance of UA and retargeting with a performance-based model.

Our Top Tips for a Successful E-Commerce App

1) Optimize the App Store Listing of your E-Commerce App

Amongst increased competition of e-commerce apps on Android and iOS, app store optimization and localization is essential for achieving high-rankings and getting noticed. Any worthwhile attempt at ASO will include analysis of keyword trends, conversion trends, and search volume. Creative elements should be of excellent quality and constantly updated for best results. 

2) Ask for Reviews for your E-Commerce App

As well as receiving positive reviews for your e-commerce app itself, displaying past customers’ reviews for your products builds the trust required to convert first-time customers. The strategic placement of these reviews should not be undervalued; positive reviews can be used to improve the efficacy of paid ads, landing pages, and more. If you do not have many customer reviews yet, ask for them.

3) Deploy Tactical Push-Notifications

We should not need to say this in 2020, but we will anyway: the overzealous usage of push notifications kills apps! Push notifications can still be used effectively without frustrating users to the point of uninstallation. They have a higher rate of opening than nearly any other marketing channel; for e-commerce apps, a limited number of personalized push notifications (such as cart abandonment warnings or wish-list item sales) can result in fantastic sales figures with minimal effort from the retailer.

4) Make the Most of Seasonality

App store pages are easy to alter. Beyond localizing them for different regions, they can be transformed based on seasons, festivals, events and more. Just as traditional shopfronts would be transformed for the Christmas period with sales and decorations, so should app store pages (albeit with digital tinsel). Changes like this help to foster app usage as a habit while increasing engagement and retention rates.

User Acquisition and Retargeting

While techniques such as App Indexing and Social Media Conversions can be great for driving users from web/mobile-web to app, one of the best ways to achieve a full-funnel strategy for an e-commerce app is via performance marketing campaigns. Using a performance-based model such as Cost-per-Action (CPA) goes above and beyond standard impression and install campaigns and ensures that brands only ever pay for results.

These CPA campaigns allow retailers to choose their own KPIs (first order, registration, etc.) so that strategies can be tailored to brand needs. As well as granting greater control over the types of users acquired, CPA is ideal for retargeting campaigns.

Unlike on web, in-app retargeting operates via the following data sources:

  • Mobile device IDs
  • First-party data
  • In-app inventory from ad networks

After selecting the most appropriate data points, it is important that these campaigns are run prudently. That involves accurately identifying the crucial post-install events, ensuring up-to-date audience segmentation, and maintaining the right amount of product diversification, cross-selling and upselling.

Retargeting campaigns are particularly effective for e-commerce apps whose most common challenge is abandoned carts. Through the use of flash sales or ‘abandoned cart warnings’, brands can re-engage high-value users on the brink of conversion. Retargeting encourages direct action, which for m-commerce translates to increased purchases and revenue.

As of Q1 2020, shopping apps had a 50-72% adoption rate and a 25-60% increase in retargeting conversions (depending on region). Studies reveal that retargeting leads to a sizable uplift in the share of paying users (Italy +43%; France +70%; USA +90%). Conversion rates of reengaged shoppers are four times higher in-app than on web.

Additional Paid Marketing Strategies to Supercharge E-Commerce Apps

Traditional pay-per-click models (PPC) with search and display ads allows digital retailers to target users via their browser search results as well as through ad space on other apps. These campaigns allow for the targeting of ideal demographics, locations, times, and operating systems. These mass campaigns can have huge reach that results in crucial installs.

Advertising on other app’s inventory grants numerous opportunities to show-off the best of your product with a direct link to your app store page. The usage of pre-roll videos can lead to 27 times more clicks than standard banner ads.

Source: Promodo

Any app launch should be running an integrated social media campaign that encourages the sharing of the app. Paying for promotion on social media and messenger services is an efficient way to get your app noticed while reaching a vast yet identifier-targeted audience. Just as with push notifications, ads on messenger services should be deployed tactically and not on such a scale that they become off-putting.

Similarly, affiliate and influencer marketing provide further paid opportunities that not only increase brand awareness but brand reputability too. Again, these promotions can be highly tailored to your audience; there are partners and influencers with niche audiences in every sector imaginable. If your shopping app sells gaming gear, find Twitch streamers to recommend your gear to their audience – all while circumventing ad blockers.

 

What does this mean for retailers running e-commerce apps? It means that retargeting is an unmissable opportunity to acquire always sought-after high-LTV users. Get in touch with us today to start promoting your e-commerce app. 

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How to Scale User Acquisition via Programmatic Media Buying https://applift.com/blog/user-acquisition-programmatic Thu, 03 Sep 2020 14:38:48 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=23170 The post How to Scale User Acquisition via Programmatic Media Buying appeared first on Applift.

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Many of our regular readers will have already read our Beginner’s Guide to Programmatic Advertising. This piece expands on that accessible introduction with a renewed focus on programmatic media buying’s potential for user-acquisition. 

 

Switching from an ad network to programmatic is not often a simple process. App teams often lack the knowledge, resources, and data required for a smooth transition. Understanding why apps endeavour to persist in spite of these challenges, it’s important to understand their growth needs and the limitations of the alternatives.

Growing apps have an insatiable appetite for users. In the climate of overly saturated low-impact ads on self-attributing networks (SANs), unsatisfactory reporting from ad networks, and rampant attribution fraud, it is unsurprising that UA-focused marketers seek to satisfy this appetite with additional reliable user-acquisition channels.

This urgent demand for growth is driving a shift towards programmatic as an increasingly important acquisition channel. This is especially true for highly competitive, well-funded and on-demand apps.

Programmatic user acquisition’s advantages all lie in the data it uses. Because programmatic advertisers have complete control over their data, it never needs to be passed onto third-party networks. Furthermore, rather than basing Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) optimization on bulk-bought data, programmatic buying is always based on current bid data. This real-time bid data is not only more accurate and efficient than historical performance data, but it ensures that advertisers only pay for results.

For many marketers, this results-driven approach is the antidote for elevated cost per mille (CPMs) on Facebook and Google. However, while programmatic is generally far less labour-intensive than traditional manual insertion orders, scaling with programmatic remains a demanding process.

How to Scale User Acquisition with Programmatic

Leaving aside retargeting (a process that requires a distinct strategy), scaling programmatic user acquisition requires two essential elements:

A Substantial Amount of Behavioural Data

Programmatic media buying is at its most effective when advertisers appreciate the value of the users they are targeting. For these advertisers, the larger their DAU-bases the better. With a massive behavioural data bank, they not only have greater reach but are able to target more potentially valuable customers via their advertiser IDs.

Real-time behavioural data enables cost-effective programmatic buying because it allows advertisers to target high-value users more cheaply than if they were targeting using broad LTV averages and demographic data. Identifying the users that have historically monetized and then targeting them in apps with low average advertiser LTVs is a highly effective way to achieve low CPMs. This is programmatic’s UA equivalent of “buy low, sell high”.

Effective Bid Logic and Pricing Systems

The second essential facet of programmatic user acquisition scaling is effective bid logic. To effectively price bids, the aforementioned data must be analysed then utilized to produce price targets.

Programmatic media is always purchased via a cost-per-mille (CPM) model. Through a process often described as “learning”, the estimated value of users’ monetization potential is converted into a CPM bid. Performing this process requires the continued observance of conversion rates in order to determine which CPMs lead to CPI bids.

While much of this process is, by its nature, automated, the effort required to stay on top of it should not be underestimated. Running effective bid logic and pricing models involves rigorous data aggregation and conversion to user-level bidders. For this reason, it is highly recommended that advertisers seek the assistance of expert analysts and programmatic specialists.

 

Scaling programmatic media buying as a channel for user acquisition is a high-effort, high-reward strategy. For more on programmatic advertising, don’t forget to check out our beginner’s guide. For assistance in running your own programmatic campaign, get in touch with us below.

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iOS 14 Impact: Prepare for the Hit With Our Assessment Calculator https://applift.com/blog/ios-14-impact-calculator Wed, 02 Sep 2020 13:24:19 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=23143 The post iOS 14 Impact: Prepare for the Hit With Our Assessment Calculator appeared first on Applift.

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Originally published on Verve.com

Apple’s iOS 14 update brings with it much uncertainty within the mobile advertising ecosystem. The shift towards more privacy-centered advertising has been coming for a while now however, and the industry has been gearing up for the impact of a post-IDFA era. As part of Verve Group, we’ve been helping industry players prepare for this new wave with publisher guides, insightful resources and support for our partners. This time we have created an IDFA Impact Assessment Calculator below for publishers and advertisers with their own apps, to insert their KPIs and control values to estimate how much ad revenues will be affected by the iOS 14 update. The calculator considers the percentage of Facebook revenue, the amount of IDFA opt-in rates as well as the number of Apple’s Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) users.

Click here to try iOS 14 impact calculator
iOS 14 Impact Assessment Calculator

How Will iOS 14 Initially Impact Ad Revenues?

From our example estimation, it is expected that app publishers will see iOS 14 ad revenues decrease by 40% within the first month of the launch for users that update to that version. With previous iOS updates, such as iOS 12, 60% of devices updated within the first month and 81% of all devices currently use iOS 13. This means that for the users still on older iOS versions, those ad revenues will mostly be unaffected with the iOS 14 update and may even increase. The impact assessment calculator only takes into account iOS revenues, so Android revenues should remain more or less unaffected by the changes.

Users Who Opt-In to Apple’s IDFA

Verve Group’s recent user journey article detailed how publishers can increase opt-in rates by optimizing the flow to collect user’s IDFA, including making the value exchange clear to the user. We highlighted why both messaging and timing are important factors to consider when delivering the app’s soft consent pop-up as well as the Apple opt-in pop-up. We believe that those who do opt-in for IDFA however will become more valuable and committed users. This is also considered in the Impact Assessment Calculator.

Facebook’s iOS 14 Concerns for Audience Network

Last week Facebook announced that its apps on iOS 14 will not collect IDFA and that its Audience Network could expect to see a drop of 50% in publisher ad revenue. Facebook’s Audience Network (FAN) is a suite of approved websites and mobile apps in which personalized ads are shown. From its initial testing, Facebook saw a major revenue drop when personalization was removed from ad install campaigns and insists that Apple’s update will “hurt many of our developers and publishers at an already difficult time for businesses.”

eCPM Decrease and Limit Ad Tracking Users

Today, Apple’s Limit Ad Tracking already sees over 30% of users in the US with the enabled iOS privacy setting, which allows users to opt-out of IDFA tracking. This is before the iOS 14 update is even released, so a decrease in the average eCPM can be expected as the new update is automatically opted out of IDFA. This is also reflected in the Impact Assessment Calculator.

Looking Ahead: The Industry Will Bounce Back

Although there can be initial revenue fluctuations expected with the iOS 14 update, we believe that the mobile advertising market will stabilize and pick up once again after a few months. The Impact Assessment Calculator which we have created predicts the average loss in iOS ad revenues for the first month only. We believe that eCPM rates will increase in the months following as the industry adapts and new, more privacy-centered solutions are introduced as alternatives to targeting identity only.

TRY IOS 14 IMPACT ASSESSMENT CALCULATOR  

If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming iOS 14 update, contact us below or reach out to your Client Success Manager directly.

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A Guide to Mobile Game Marketing https://applift.com/blog/guide-to-mobile-game-marketing Fri, 28 Aug 2020 10:16:58 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=22872 The post A Guide to Mobile Game Marketing appeared first on Applift.

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Mobile gaming is having an incredible year. Powered by changing demographics, developing markets, and locked-down masses flocking to casual gaming, mobile game revenues are set to reach $100 billion this year – surpassing console and PC. For marketers, mobile game marketing offers unique opportunities that require distinct strategies. Based upon Applift’s years of industry experience, we have collated our top performance marketing tips for mobile games.

Mobile Gaming’s Marketing Opportunities

In addition to its outstanding revenue, further evidence of mobile gaming’s ROI promise can be found in the collaborations and campaigns being launched across the sector.

The publishers behind classic video games are reaching out to mobile game developers to produce mobile versions of their fan favourites. Look no further than the upcoming Castlevania Moonlight Rhapsody or Crash Bandicoot: On the Run produced by the minds behind Candy Crush Saga and Temple Run.

Meanwhile, popular MMO franchises are embarking on bold, creative collaborations to bring new audiences to their mobile iterations, such as popular MMO Black Desert’s colab with Netflix show Cursed.

Why are these evergreens of gaming shifting resources and attention from their traditional platforms? The same reason that marketers looking to promote games and other products are switching to these channels – because they have seen mobile gaming’s huge potential for revenue and the relative ease by which it can be achieved.

 

Mobile provides marketers and developers with access to invaluable audience data, access to exclusive inventory sources, and the ability to scale at low cost-per-install (CPI).

Furthermore, when compared to other platforms, mobile’s streamlined gaming engines facilitate a simple set-up. This allows game developers to free up significant time and resources for creativity – an aspect which is of immense importance for gaming marketing campaigns. This extra budget and energy can then be used to design an unforgettable and hard-hitting creative campaign.

A Guide to Capitalizing on Mobile Gaming’s Performance Marketing Opportunities

These advantages, as well as the huge audiences that mobile games acquire, have not gone unnoticed. While set-up may be easy, distinguishing your marketing campaign from your competition is less so. It requires an efficient, performance-focused and creative marketing strategy.

Step 1) Preliminary Audience Research

For any campaign to be successful, comprehensive audience research must be performed. While traditional games are steadily diversifying their audiences, mobile gaming’s demographics were diverse from the get-go. 

In some regions and game genres, female gamers and older gamers outweigh their Gen X and millennial counterparts. You need to know exactly who your audience is before you launch your campaign. Fortunately, mobile advertising provides troves of data on which to base your research.

Step 2) Get Your Creatives Right

Creatives not only have a huge impact on CTRs (and consequently on CPIs) but also on the retention and engagement of players. It is crucial to test numerous variations (failing vs winning, formats, placements, etc.) to get the best performance possible while receiving indicators for changes that could be made to the game itself.

Creative testing provides valuable insight into the in-game impact of creatives on customer acquisition. Furthermore, creatives should be developed based on the channel that is running the campaign and tailored to the specific target audience. 

Step 3) Social Media

While consoles offer basic browser functionality, it is safe to say that there is not much console-to-social conversion; nor vice-versa. Mobile gaming grants a direct click-of-a-button link to social media platforms that can be used to maximize sharing and user acquisition.

Compiling data profiles based on information from both sources allows marketers to segment and personalize their ads. Social media integration enables a plethora of additional techniques, including AB testing and paid-social promotion that will give campaigns that extra boost.

Step 4) Cost-per-action Campaigns

While the earlier steps were largely focused on volume and awareness, it is at this point that marketers should start concentrating on the acquisition of high LTV users. Rather than overfocusing on the initial stages of the funnel with a cost-per-install (CPI) model, using cost-per-action (CPA) allows marketers to acquire loyal long-term users that will bring more overall value.

Extra Performance Marketing Tips for Mobile Games

  • Use video to make a splash and highlight the best features of your game or product. Take advantage of premium inventory slots so you can show-off to high-value customers.
  • Get creative in your user acquisition by taking advantage of mobile gaming’s interactive platform. Playable ads and in-game ads bring memorable new dimensions to any UA strategy.
  • Reward sharing on social media to encourage users to recommend your games to their communities and increase brand awareness.
  • Look to post-install actions so that you are able to analyze and optimize the strong and weak points in your funnel.
  • Localize your ads to ensure that they make the maximum impact in every country that you advertise in.
  • Be aware of seasonality to get the best ROAS. The Christmas spike means Q4 is traditionally the most expensive period for games marketing. Mobile game marketers need not target this holiday market and can postpone until the cheaper months of early Q1.
  • Be brave because while mobile gaming ads are not as saturated as other mediums, ad fatigue is beginning to creep in – creativity and memorability are needed to break through the noise.
  • Link to your store page rather than your landing page to increase your quality score. Increasing app store page conversion will also decrease cost-per-install (CPI) because more users who click ads will install the app.
  • Optimize CTR and use it as a comparative benchmark for campaign performance and an indicator of high-quality traffic.

 

Mobile game marketing provides unique advantages to promote games and other products. For expert assistance in launching these campaigns while the market is booming, get in touch with Applift. 

The post A Guide to Mobile Game Marketing appeared first on Applift.

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iOS 14 Resources to Help You Navigate the Changes https://applift.com/blog/ios-14-resources Thu, 27 Aug 2020 15:53:45 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=23083 Originally published on Verve.com Be Prepared With These iOS 14 Resources  With the dusk of the IDFA arriving with iOS 14, the industry has recently been flooded with an avalanche of new tools, terminology and technical alternatives. From SKAdNetwork, to Continue Reading

The post iOS 14 Resources to Help You Navigate the Changes appeared first on Applift.

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Originally published on Verve.com

Be Prepared With These iOS 14 Resources 

With the dusk of the IDFA arriving with iOS 14, the industry has recently been flooded with an avalanche of new tools, terminology and technical alternatives. From SKAdNetwork, to contextual or behavioral targeting, to new identifiers and coalitions, you can easily miss the forest for all the trees.

While Verve Group is working on its own solution to ensure continuous measurability and viewability (stay tuned to find out more), we have gathered a set of iOS 14 resources which should bring more light into the post-IDFA darkness.

We have gathered a set of iOS 14 resources to help advertisers and publishers navigate themselves in the post-IDFA world.

How is Mobile Advertising Affected?

In the programmatic environment, advertisers, publishers and exchanges are faced with challenges to ensure that ad viewability, tracking and targeting options remain up and running, even if a user does not opt-in for IDFA tracking. There are several steps that advertisers and publishers can take to ensure that they are ready once iOS 14 is launched.

Verve Group iOS 14 Resources for Advertisers

Advertisers should be aware of the alternatives to IDFA, as well as Apple’s own SKAdNetwork solution. Verve Group has already published a few pieces to point you in the right direction:

If you are wondering which parameters can and will be included in a bid request, check out MoPub’s iOS 14 Support Proposal.

Verve Group iOS 14 Resources for Publishers and App Developers

Publishers and app developers will have to ensure that authorized ad networks are listed in the info-plist file. What else is there to keep in mind? Take a look at our checklist in this Publisher Guide: Preparing your App for iOS 14 for an overview of all the steps publishers should take before iOS 14 is released.

How can app developers maximize opt-in rates for IDFA usage? Verve Group’s Guide to Improve Opt-In Rates in iOS 14 takes you on an interactive user journey of what opt-in flows could look like in the future.

User Acquisition

As users will have to consciously give consent to be tracked via IDFA, user acquisition measurability can be heavily affected by no opt-in. In case IDFA tracking is not activated, Apple has launched SKAdNetwork, a framework which will allow the advertiser to track installs and post-install events, with a few restrictions in terms of real-time data and campaign granularity. Find more about the impact of iOS 14 on user acquisition and measurability through SKAdNetwork here:

Guides on How to Prepare for iOS 14

Many of the industry players have created guides to prepare for the upcoming iOS 14 updates. While the industry agrees on some suggestions, others are highly disputable, such as shifting budgets to Android from iOS. It is reasonable to compare these and decide what is best for your needs. We created a list of the guides below:

Coalitions and Working Groups

While Apple chooses to build another wall in the AdTech environment, other large players have come together to work on alternatives.

The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, consisting of the 4A’s, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau, IAB Tech Lab, Network Advertising Initiative, World Federation of Advertisers has agreed on some initial principles that will guide its work towards addressability standards.

Learn more about how mobile app industry leaders are preparing for iOS 14 in Mobile Growth Summit’s Deep Dives IDFA on September 10. If you like to join discussions with industry experts, take part in App Growth Summit’s IDFA Roundtables with industry experts. To join Singular’s discussion on Mobile Attribution Privacy (MAP) you can join their Slack Channel.

Forecasts

What will the AdTech world look like after the launch of iOS14? There have been first tests with unidentified traffic and prognosis on user behaviour.

It is also substantial to follow the reactions of the duopoly, Google and Facebook to the changes, especially as Facebook recently announced that the company will not support IDFA tracking on their own apps in iOS 14. The suggested effects of this have been discussed here. In a month’s time, we will be able to tell how foreseeable the effects of iOS 14 actually were.

If you are interested in how Applift is tackling the new chapter of ad tracking, stay tuned. We will update you on our blog regularly. If you need specific information, feel free to contact us

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View-Through Attribution – Why Is It Important? https://applift.com/blog/view-through-attribution Tue, 25 Aug 2020 07:55:27 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=22952 The post View-Through Attribution – Why Is It Important? appeared first on Applift.

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The impact of ad impressions in the app ecosystem remains largely as a blackbox subjecting advertisers to estimation and guesswork as to the results of their advertising budgets. The evolution of View-through Attribution (VTA) allows for a more equitable and representative credit-allocating system by more accurately assigning the ad impressions that drove users towards installs.

Every mobile marketer now knows that the funnel does not end at app install. Retention and continuous re-engagement are recognized as essential components of achieving high customer lifetime value (LTV). Beyond its ability to provide accurate data on the early stages of the customer journey, VTA is also proving itself to be an invaluable tool for tracking post-install events. 

With a renewed focus on the seamless blending of user acquisition and re-engagement campaigns, VTA plays a crucial role in holistically interpreting the customer journey. And yet some negative assumptions about VTA, from cannibalization to double conversions, persist. 

Read on to learn about the merit of those assumptions and how VTA is critical in understanding the user lifecycle from the very first interaction with an app to converting into a valuable customer.  

View-through Attribution Versus Click-through Attribution

Click-through attribution (CTA) works as follows:

  1. User is shown an ad 
  2. User clicks on the ad
  3. User makes a conversion within the conversion window (normally around 7 days)

View-through attribution works on a much narrower timeframe:

  1. User is shown an ad
  2. User makes a conversion within the conversion window (normally around one day)

While CTA focuses on clicks as the sole touch point, enabling VTA expands this into both impressions and clicks. This gives marketers added visibility and a holistic view of their marketing campaigns’ impact on users.

Installs Do Not Occur in a Vacuum

When running programmatic campaigns, VTA is an important metric. Without it, advertisers are overly reliant on CTA and (often falsely) assume that campaign sources with low click-through rate (CTR) are bad performers. With VTA enabled, marketers are one step closer to better understanding the ROAS of all campaign sources and optimise based on an additional user touch point towards real value. 

VTA has the ability to show how impressions have contributed to a users’ conversion. Contemporary advertising campaigns have a variety of touchpoints that influence conversion; the ad a user clicks on is not deserving of all the credit. Solely crediting a single touchpoint like that not only results in unfair distribution of revenue but risks skewing optimization efforts or even blacklisting channels that successfully (albeit indirectly) bring conversions. 

Combining CTA, VTA and Organics – Can Conversions Be Reported Twice?

The answer is no. 

Any Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) worth their salt have deduplication features in place that will prevent the double attribution of a single conversion. These protective measures stop advertisers from paying twice for the same conversion.

Moreover, when it comes to attribution a click will always be stronger than an impression (even when taking VTA conversions into consideration). In other words, view-through conversions happen only when there is no click after viewing an ad.

A single conversion can only be allocated in one of the following three methods:

  • CTA – A conversion attributed to click-through attribution
  • VTA – A conversion attributed to view-through attribution
  • Organic – A conversion attributed to unpaid marketing activity

Example 1

  • Partner A delivers an ad impression. Partner B delivers a subsequent ad impression. The user only clicks on Partner A’s ad. Then the user converts. 

In this scenario, the conversion is attributed only to Partner A as CTA is based on the last click attribution model.

Scenario 1: Conversion is attributed to partner A as click-through attribution

Example 2

  • Partner A delivers an ad impression. Partner B delivers a subsequent ad impression. The user only clicks on Partner B’s ad. Then the user converts. 

In this scenario, the conversion is attributed only to Partner B as CTA.

Scenario 2: Conversion is attributed to partner A as click-through attribution

Example 3 

  • Partner A delivers an ad impression. Partner B delivers a subsequent ad impression. The user clicks on neither of their ads. The user converts anyway (within one day of viewing Partner B’s ad). 

In this scenario, without VTA, the conversion would be evaluated as organic (in spite of any influence from the unclicked ads). With VTA, the conversion would be attributed to Partner B as their impression served as the last ad impression seen by the user before converting.

Scenario 3: Conversion is attributed to partner A as view-through attribution

Does View-through Attribution Cannibalize Organic Conversions? Far From It

An organic user can be defined as a user who converted to a customer without being influenced by any marketing activities. While there is difference in opinion on the existence of organic users (fuelled by vague market definitions and a strong digital marketing presence of brands), it’s important for advertisers to understand that they don’t necessarily have to pay for every new user acquired. Controls and guidelines in terms of priority of attribution as well as lookback windows help determine paid vs organic users. 

The most common concern about VTA is whether it ‘steals’ organic conversions. While there are different views on this topic, when applied correctly VTA can help advertisers understand that some of the conversions they used to see as organic are in fact not organic at all. When ads are shown to users, their effectiveness is calculated by the combination of timing, interaction and intent.

Lookback windows are intended to prevent the overestimation of the influence of an ad. If lookback windows for VTA are too long then they can indeed cannibalize organic conversions. This is why lookback windows should not be longer than 24 hours. For many ads, the lookback window should be even shorter – it depends on a variety of factors, including the client’s brand awareness and the type of creative. One of the first steps before launching a campaign involves working out the optimal lookback window. 

An organic conversion cannot happen if a user has never seen or heard about an app. If VTA is not taken into consideration, then there will be a high number of conversions credited as organic that have actually been unknowingly influenced by paid campaigns. This can lead advertisers to blacklist effective channels and placements because they are not driving CTA conversions even though they are driving VTA conversions.

Discerning an accurate lookback window goes a long way to clearing up these blurred lines. Once done, VTA becomes an excellent means by which advertisers can allocate budgets more efficiently.

View-through Attribution and iOS 14

While there is a lot of uncertainty about running view-through attribution campaigns on iOS 14, Probabilistic attribution at an aggregated level may become a formidable alternative to the SKAdNetwork, provided Mobile Measurement Partners receive server-side impressions and clicks from ad networks. Apple is expected to further develop their SKAdNetwork solution and include VTA in the next version, so a more realistic solution can be on the horizon. 

Learning Through View-through Attribution

The greatest advantage of view-through attribution is its utility in identifying valuable campaign information. Clicking on an ad is not necessarily the decisive ad interaction that users take before installing an ad or engaging with it post-install. View-through tracking reveals when users see ads and the actions they took afterwards; maximizing the efficiency of advertising efforts requires an understanding of these campaign aspects. Marketers in today’s advanced digital ecosystem should rely on multiple touchpoints and use all available data in order to ensure efficiencies of marketing spends.  

VTA provides insights into the incremental impact of impressions, allowing advertisers to analyze the customer journey with a more holistic view. VTA is the first step in building multi-touch attribution models that allow for advanced targeting of users at different stages in the decision-making process (which as mentioned, includes the post-install stages).

Analysis of view-through attribution can result in a treasure trove of data that enables more informed decision making for marketing strategies, channel selection, and budget allocation. While it has the ability to blur the lines between organic and paid-for advertising, its added value at both ends of the customer journey vastly outweighs this lack of absolute clarity.

Want to learn more about how VTA can scale your campaigns? Reach out to us below.

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iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork: Redefining User Acquisition As We Know It https://applift.com/blog/ios-14-skadnetwork-performance-advertising Thu, 13 Aug 2020 14:34:46 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=22775 The post iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork: Redefining User Acquisition As We Know It appeared first on Applift.

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Originally published on Verve.com.

Apple has released a slew of privacy announcements with major ramifications for app developers affecting the whole mobile advertising industry. How does this impact performance advertising?

Commencing with the launch of iOS 14 (likely in September 2020), the new framework requires all apps to describe what data is being collected, used, and attain user permission for its access. It can be seen as the app equivalent of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention on the web.

Verve Group’s Chief Product Officer Ionut Ciobotaru spoke about how the new changes do not reflect an apocalypse, as some have predicted:

“Instead of an ‘apocalypse’, it is actually a very important milestone. Privacy, advertising, and consumer choice finally meet to sustain a more efficient ecosystem.” – Ionut Ciobotaru.

As part of Verve Group, we are in a unique position connecting all major players in the ecosystem – brands, advertisers and publishers – to people in real time. With this all-encompassing outlook, we recently reviewed the impact of iOS 14 on publishers and brands.

In this article, we’ll look at the third part of the ecosystem, advertisers, going deeper into SKAdNetwork and its impact on performance advertising (i.e. advertisers running in-app user acquisition campaigns).

Silver Linings for Data Driven Marketing

Apple has highlighted two genuinely useful methods for developers to continue tracking campaign data:

  1. ID for Vendors (IDFV) can be used for analytics across apps from the same content providers. Developers who own multiple apps can use the data from one to drive and manage the launch of another.
  2. The SKAdNetwork API will grant ad networks the ability to identify who should be credited with downloads and re-downloads.

In addition, the IDFA’s permission request message is customizable. App developers can provide custom description string text, allowing them to tailor their message to try to persuade users to opt-in.

Introducing Apple’s Attribution Solution: The SKAdNetwork

Apple’s SKAdNetwork enables mobile advertisers to “measure the success of ad campaigns while maintaining user privacy”. The ad network API involves:

  • Ad networks – that sign ads and receive install notifications when ads result in conversions
  • Source apps – that display ads provided by the ad networks
  • Advertised apps – that appear in the signed ads

To participate, ad networks have to register with Apple, and developers have to configure their apps to work with ad networks.

Note: Verve Group has a registered SKAdNetwork ID for one of our group companies (Applift). Please reach out to your Client Success Manager or contact us below for more details.

Introducing Apple's SKAdNetwork
Credit: Applift WWDC’20 Keynote

IDFA Has Not Been Killed Off, Yet

Apple did not kill its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) during WWDC. Yet as many have pointed out, the hardware giant appears to be laying the groundwork for its removal. Instead, starting with iOS 14, IDFA is opted-out before point-of-use. According to Apple’s documentation for developers, “Your app needs to request permission to track sometime before tracking occurs. This could be at first launch or when certain app features are used. For example, when signing on with a third-party SSO.”

If a user has clicked, “Ask App Not to Track”, the app will not be able to access the device’s IDFA; it will instead receive the same value as if “Limit Ad Tracking” was turned on. In essence, that means until users have granted permission, their primary identifiers will be zeroed out.

Preparing For A Privacy-First Future

At Verve Group, here’s how we’re preparing for the upcoming changes:

  • Verve Group has its own Apple Vetted SKAdNetwork ID which will be available to advertisers to support campaigns targeting non-IDFA iOS users.
  • Working with the SKAdNetwork consortium to provide an open source list of network_IDs and to drive publisher adoption of the info.plist. This allows us to post back aggregated conversion events. Verve Group’s SKAdNetwork ID will be added to the open source list.
  • CPA optimization will be done based on cohorts defined by advertisers and upon implementation of SKAdNetwork by the MMP.
  • Developing a first-of-its-kind audience builder via Verve Group’s SDK, which allows our advertisers to continue their campaigns by conforming to privacy while targeting audiences.
  • Closely collaborating with all attribution partners to understand how mobile web conversions will be reported.
  • Partnering with publishers to ensure best practices to optimize their opt-in for IDFA.

How Should Advertisers Prepare?

Here are some ways performance advertisers can start preparing for the launch of iOS 14 in September 2020;

  • Define Conversion Events: Don’t set an immediate action after a conversion event as postbacks from SKAdNetwork will be sent only after 24 hours. Be sure to evenly space out your conversion events to accurately track data.
  • LTV Events and Country Attribution: If you want to track the performance of your ad campaigns at a country level, then a best practice is to set up different campaigns per country, as data obtained via SKAdNetwork will only be at a campaign and publisher level.
  • User Consent: Start thinking about the design and messaging of the consent pop-up in your app you advertise. When the user clicks on your ad and downloads your app, you need to request for consent when the app launches. Optimizing your app towards obtaining user consent can be helpful in maintaining activity levels in your app to pre-iOS 14 levels.
  • More Insight with Less Data: With the implementation of SKAdNetwork, mobile marketers should prepare to make campaign decisions based on smaller datasets, and identify actionable insights with that data.

Looking Ahead

SKAdNetwork will help SDK-based ad networks thrive for performance advertising, by levelling the playing field with Self Attributing Networks (such as Facebook, Google, Snapchat, etc).

However, certain services will see a significant impact. A decline in the extent of retargeting and exclusion targeting can be expected, unless there is a healthy consent rate from users. (Mobile) Performance DSPs will need to adapt as well, if they can’t optimize at the user level but only at an aggregated level.

New challenges give rise to new opportunities. In-app retargeting can evolve into contextual targeting (similar to desktop) as opposed to relying on user-level targeting. With retargeting based on contextual audiences, app categorization plays a key role, requiring publishers to become more specific with their app categories on the App Store to ensure improved targeting.

Probabilistic attribution may become a formidable alternative to the SKAdNetwork (which is based on deterministic attribution resulting in certain limitations), with user-level LTV models providing superior capabilities.

Conclusion

In light of the announcement and increasing data regulation, ad tech companies and app developers need to rethink and regroup as the world’s attitude to privacy inevitably continues to shift.

We’re committed to working with all participants in the ecosystem to ensure a healthier, fairer and more transparent ecosystem. With this in mind Verve Group has been working actively towards a privacy-centered future through various initiatives, such as participating in the Prebid Committee, IAB initiatives as well building an in-house CMP. And this is just the beginning.

To learn more about Verve Group’s preparation for iOS 14, reach out to us below.

The post iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork: Redefining User Acquisition As We Know It appeared first on Applift.

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Tackling IDFA Opt-Out With Contextual and Behavioral Targeting https://applift.com/blog/idfa-contextual-behavioral-targeting Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:49:44 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=22860 The post Tackling IDFA Opt-Out With Contextual and Behavioral Targeting appeared first on Applift.

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Originally published on Verve.com.

In our recent article we talked about how iOS 14 and the opt-out by default of Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) will affect publishers and how they can prepare for it, but in no way will this be as apocalyptic for publishers as stated in other articles. We also believe the same when it comes to brand advertisers – the iOS 14 update is a progressive step the industry needs to take toward protecting the information of consumers. Our advocacy at Verve Group for more privacy-centered advertising is prominent. We’re members of the Prebid Mobile Committee, are taking part in IAB initiatives, and have built our own consent management platform (CMP) that publishers can leverage.

When it comes to brand advertisers – the iOS 14 update is a progressive step toward protecting consumer's information.

CONTEXTUAL TARGETING: AN ALTERNATIVE TO IDFA

Contextual audiences are built on the type of media or subject matter that a user digitally consumes at that moment, based on context and not the user’s identity. Looking at the web, contextual audiences are created there based on the content of the website and have been present on this platform for a while now. However, since content does not exist to such an extent in many mobile apps as it does on websites, targeting on mobile can be based on contextual parameters such as keywords, app category or location. See examples of contextual parameters in our audience builder SDK here. With this method of creating audiences, there is no need for user identity like the IDFA and hence, privacy prevails.

Considering this is uncharted territory for the entire mobile advertising industry, we are very much looking forward to developing and contributing privacy-centered and future-oriented practices that improve the advertising ecosystem. Let’s go through what brands need to know about how different targeting approaches can be applied to app verticals to serve ads to users when they are not reliant on Apple’s IDFA.

CONTEXTUAL TARGETING IN ENTERTAINMENT AND UTILITY APPS

Contextual targeting matches advertisements to the content that a user is consuming. For example, if someone is on a news app reading a story about different recipes from around the world, it’s understood that serving them a branded ad for a food product would be better suited to their immediate interests than if they were reading an article about pets (to which they could be served an ad for a branded pet food).

In terms of entertainment apps such as YouTube, advertisers can take into account what type of content is being consumed in order to target the right audience. Native video ad placements allow for a seamless user experience while scrolling and can appeal to users currently viewing a similar type of content. Additionally, unskippable pre-roll ads that play 5 to 15 seconds before the main content allows brands to connect users to their messaging.

BEHAVIORAL AUDIENCES VS CONTEXTUAL AUDIENCES

Contextual targeting focuses purely on content, with the aim to appeal to users that are already consuming similar content to the ads served. On the other hand, behavioral audiences are built on the action patterns of individuals in relation to their digital footprint over time, taking into account their past behaviors. In the example of contextual targeting within news apps above, if we know that an individual likes to read articles about international foods, but they also read articles about pet training, shop online for pet food, and play animal-themed games, their behavior shows that they can be classified as a ‘Pet Lover’. This means that they can practically be served pet-related ads on any available media space, regardless of the content they are consuming at a particular moment.

BEHAVIORAL AND CONTEXTUAL TARGETING IN GAME APPS

Depending on the mobile game genre (casual vs core) and type (e.g. action vs roleplay), the app audience, session lengths and user engagement all vary. Ads shown in game apps should be integrated into the user flow, providing a non-disruptive experience for mobile gamers. Mobile games can then highly profit from their ability to segment their user base into cohorts, which is a similar process to contextual and behavioral audiences. This contributes to the option of targeting ads to different user cohorts by behavior, such as session lengths, playing times and other parameters.

One of the most popular ad formats that is dominantly represented in game apps is rewarded video. Rewarded ads trigger positive responses to player behavior. By receiving in-game currencies or bonuses in return for engaging with the ad, players tend to view them as a positive experience. Therefore, brands today are becoming increasingly involved in advertising in mobile games.

TARGETING AUDIENCES WITHIN SOCIAL APPS

When we think of social apps, like dating or photo/video sharing apps, it’s possible to make similar differentiations of audience type to decipher whether or not behavioral or contextual targeting will optimize toward an action. However, often the way the content is delivered (eg. an uninterrupted session experience where the messaging format looks similar to the in-feed interface) is what matters most in relation to the desired performance.

Some social apps, like dating apps, for example, depend on a user opting-in to share their location in order to utilize the app’s basic functions. This grants the opportunity to create location-based audiences – those that are built on location context and behavior. Simply put, the difference between someone who is near a quick service restaurant versus someone who often eats at them.

LOCATION-CONTEXT AUDIENCES IN A POST-IDFA ERA

However, just because IDFA defaulting to opt-out does not mean that location-based audiences automatically disappear. They will exist in the cloud just as they do now. Publishers are also able to obtain consent opt-in for iOS users to allow for advertisers to continue using these audiences for their media campaigns. This combined with Android users still leaves a vast scalable audience for brands and advertisers to reach valuable customers.

This new implementation presents an opportunity for innovation, to which Verve Group is developing a proprietary solution to make sure that behavioral and contextual audiences remain available at scale. Rest assured that the ‘death’ of the IDFA is not the be-all and end-all of mobile advertising and for brand advertisers in particular, alternative targeting strategies are available to soften the blow of iOS 14.

If you have any questions or concerns about IDFA or iOS 14 and the impact on your business, reach out to us by submitting the contact form below or contact your Account Manager directly.

The post Tackling IDFA Opt-Out With Contextual and Behavioral Targeting appeared first on Applift.

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Publisher Guide: Preparing Your App for iOS 14 https://applift.com/blog/publisher-guide-ios-14 Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:05:42 +0000 https://applift.com/?p=22822 Originally published on Verve.com. The official launch date of Apple’s iOS 14 update is yet to be announced but can be expected sometime in September. With major privacy changes fast approaching, AdTech companies are gearing up for what will be a Continue Reading

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Originally published on Verve.com.

The official launch date of Apple’s iOS 14 update is yet to be announced but can be expected sometime in September. With major privacy changes fast approaching, AdTech companies are gearing up for what will be a huge impact on the entire mobile advertising ecosystem. Verve Group’s Chief Product Officer Ionut Ciobotaru recently addressed the IDFA ‘apocalypse’ arriving with iOS 14, commenting on the changes to privacy actually being a very important and necessary milestone for mobile advertising.

Focusing now solely on publishers, what can be done to ensure readiness for iOS 14?

CONSENT VS PLATFORM OPT-IN

Privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA enforce user consent for the collection of data that developers are required to follow. Many publishers are already customizing their consent pop-ups to match their app’s UI and language. To support this, it is important that the ad networks that publishers work with have a CMP (Consent Management Platform) which allows them to collect consent from users, like Verve Group’s own in-house CMP.

Apple’s iOS 14 opt-in on the other hand is a platform-specific requirement and has limitations for customization, with only the text being possible to adjust. Publishers should optimize both the pop-ups and their flow within the app in order to follow governmental regulations. Not only that but to also follow platform requirements and maximize consent as well as opt-in.

Only the text can be adjusted on iOS 14 opt-in
L-R: Consent pop-up; Platform pop-up

CUSTOMIZE THE IOS 14 PLATFORM OPT-IN POP-UP

Apple’s iOS 14 update will require app publishers/developers to explicitly ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites of other companies, in order to serve personalized ads. Publishers need to explicitly call the Apple system pop-up within the code, however, they are able to choose at what stage in the user’s app experience that this will be done.

The right timing is essential
Customize Apple’s system pop-up

The right timing of calling Apple’s system pop-up is essential in order to increase the opt-in rate and should be after the publisher’s own app-specific pop-up, which will be addressed in the next point.

Additionally, Apple’s system pop-up can be optimized for best results. Publishers can customize the text under the first sentence and there are no character limitations, however, it must fit the pop-up window. Verve Group recommends that our publishers insert a clear description explaining why tracking is needed in this field. See one example of how you can adjust the pop-up to the left.

INSERT THE CONSENT POP-UP BEFORE THE OPT-IN POP-UP

The first pop-up that the user sees is ideally the consent pop-up, which should include the data that is being used (for governmental regulations such as GDPR). Most importantly, the pop-up should explain to the user why consent is important for the publisher, e.g. mentioning that the app is built on and supported by personalized ads. Without a proper explanation, the user may not understand why consent is needed and decline. However, with a clear description, publishers can prepare their users for Apple’s opt-in pop-up which should be prompted after the consent.

UPDATE THE APP’S INFO.PLIST

Another essential action for publishers to prepare for the upcoming iOS 14 update is to add all of the partner network IDs (SSPs as well as DSPs), which are issued by Apple, into the information property list file (info.plist). This step is very important as the IDs of each advertising partner are required in order to display ads. At Verve Group, we’re here to assist our publishers by providing the right IDs to insert into the info.plist. Publishers should also ask their other partner ad networks about the changes that need to be implemented with new SDK releases and ensure they add all of their partners’ SKAdNetwork IDs into the info.plist as well.

UTILIZE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC LANGUAGE

Clear and comprehensible wording should be used when asking for consent from users and being specific about the purpose of data collection – what will the user’s data be used for? Avoiding general phrasing and being upfront with the user should be enforced practices for publishers. Depending on the target audience or app category, publishers can also adjust the language to suit its users. Just as in-app text is tailored to the target audience, consent pop-ups can also be written to communicate to users effectively. A/B testing should also be carried out on consent pop-ups in order to measure performance effectively and optimize the experience for app users.

ADDITIONAL POINTS TO CHECK BEFORE THE IOS 14 UPDATE

  • Analytics: Publishers should ensure that the analytics they are using are capturing all of the events which are needed
  • Consent Management Platform (CMP): Publishers should make sure that the network partner they are working with has CMP support, like Verve Group’s in-house CMP which allows publishers to collect consent from users
  • Ability to change the pop-up messages: It is a major advantage if publishers can make adjustments to the pop-up message directly without needing to update their app. Publishers should check the capacity for this and also see if they are able to A/B test the pop-ups

Apple’s iOS 14 IDFA changes will surely rock the whole mobile advertising industry, but by making preparations in advance, publishers can ensure their app is ready for the next wave. See below for a checklist to prepare for the upcoming iOS 14 and download below.

PUBLISHER CHECKLIST TO PREPARE FOR IOS 14

Publishers checklist iOS 14

Download the editable checklist here. If you’ve any questions or concerns regarding iOS 14, please reach out to us or your Account Manager directly and we’ll help to guide you further.

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