Since Apple’s big announcement about upcoming privacy changes in iOS 14, mobile app developers have been scrambling to understand how these changes will affect their businesses. With IDFA effectively dead in the water, developers will no longer be able to use device-level attribution and high-resolution tracking to send targeted ads to their users. So what can they do?
In this week’s episode, we asked mobile marketing expert Eric Seufert for his take. Eric has had quite a career in mobile. From VP of user acquisition at Rovio to his recent consulting projects with subscription app companies, Eric has a depth and breadth of experience with mobile apps and games that few can match. He’s also a prolific writer. He wrote a book on freemium economics and has written hundreds of insightful articles on his site Mobile Dev Memo.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
(6:30) Why it’s hard to determine the effect of a specific ad channel; holdout testing.
(22:10) Why Eric doesn’t like the term “user acquisition.”
(31:00) Why post-IDFA is more work for advertisers but provides a bigger opportunity.
(44:25) Prediction: SKAdNetwork changes will most likely go into effect this January.
David Barnard: https://twitter.com/drbarnard
Jacob Eiting: https://twitter.com/jeiting
Eric Seufert: https://twitter.com/eric_seufert
“When you’re spending a lot of money and you’re showing a person five ads a day, incrementality is critical in figuring out how much value did this particular ad contribute? … That’s the more interesting question because when these budgets get really large, you get these signals coming from all these different mediums, and figuring out which of those actually drives value is more important.” - Eric
“That’s what’s so interesting about the mobile ecosystem: that immediacy, that kind of lack of friction.” - Eric
“Just doing the fun clicking around Facebook Ad Manager, that’s not performance marketing. That’s advertising operations or something.” - Eric
“Google’s always going to tell you to spend more money. Whatever question you ask Google about improving your performance, it’s like, “Oh, just pay more money!” - David
“These systems were designed to sort of alleviate that need, on the part of the advertiser, to not have to have this big team of data scientists working on these models. Like, “Hey, we’ll do it for you!” And to be honest, Google could do it better than any individual advertiser could — it’s Google. And just the fact that they’re syndicating all that data across all these different advertisers, they just have more data than any single advertiser could. And that’s a good thing.” - Eric
“This is something I think Apple has failed at since the very beginning of the App Store: understanding the way their individual, seemingly small decisions end up shaping the entire market… Now we have SKAdNetwork, we have one ConversionValue, you can’t update it in the background, you can only do it once, it has these weird timers… the entire market for apps is going to reshape around the shape of SKAdNetwork versus it having been shaped around the existing tools.” - David
“There’s billions and billions of dollars being generated in the App Store, and it’s such a tiny little market, so people put in the effort to find ways to game, to maximum advantage, any point of leverage that Apple gives them. So now people are poring over the SKAdNetwork documentation just trying to find ways of like well, “How can I best use ConversionValue?” It will shape the design of apps. It’s going to be a totally new design paradigm.” - Eric
“I just get really scared because ultimately if [Apple gets] it wrong, we’re gonna see apps moving in a direction that just is for them to extract the most value across the ecosystem and not necessarily provide great experiences for each user. I think lower resolution tracking, in this sense, actually can lead to that.” - Jacob
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