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All Things iOS: Webinar Q&A

By February 13, 2024Education, Strategic Consulting 7 Min Read

Answers to your questions from the Kochava Foundry webinar

Grant Simmons, VP of Kochava Foundry, recently hosted the webinar “All Things iOS,” where he unpacked topics including Apple’s SKAdNetwork (SKAN), the AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework, Apple Search Ads, and more. The Foundry team gathered some of the most engaging questions that came up during the session to answer in more detail.

Check out the full webinar on demand here.

What are Apple’s plans with privacy manifests? What do you make of the list of SDKs they published? Will ad monetization SDKs be impacted?

Apple’s plans with privacy manifests provide more transparency to users about the data collected by apps and how it is used. Privacy manifest also empowers app developers by providing them with new control over whether third-party software development kits (SDKs) can transmit signal off device when user consent isn’t granted through Apple’s ATT framework. This level of control means that developers can safely integrate third-party SDKs, potentially avoiding the dreaded “contact your SDK provider” to change the default behavior of the SDK.

The list of software development kits (SDKs) published by Apple has a mix of well-known SDKs and obscure outliers. It appeared to be an addendum to a previous developer-focused communication. While the spirit seems to be attenuated to some SDKs that collect personally identifiable information (PII), it is important to note that the list hasn’t evolved much since it was first released. However, it is possible that more updates and additions will be made in the future. As for the impact on ad monetization SDKs, it is crucial for brands to review the list and ensure compliance with Apple’s guidelines to avoid any potential impact on ad monetization strategies.

I would love to hear about brands that are smaller advertisers and may not meet the thresholds of SKAN—what are alt models to attribution?

For smaller advertisers who may not meet the privacy or crowd anonymity thresholds of SKAN, alternative models to attribution can be utilized to understand campaign performance.

The first recommendation is to maximize owned media opportunities by hydrating special, usually hashed, first-party identifiers to the extent possible. This allows for better tracking and attribution within advertisers’ own media channels.

Another suggestion is to use network and publisher cost as an input and conversions as an output, implementing an MMM (Marketing Mix Modeling) or contribution model. This approach can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of different marketing channels without reliance on deterministic, last-touch attribution. Exploring solutions like our AIM (Always-On Incremental Measurement) product can offer further guidance and support for smaller advertisers seeking to future-proof their attribution efforts.

How are you thinking about over-attribution related to SKOverlay elevating impressions to a Fidelity Type 1 in the SKAN waterfall (30-day attribution window)? Tangentially, how should brands navigate the loss of user intent signal with networks individually defining/justifying passing impressions as clicks on the mobile measurement partner (MMP) side with SKOverlay signaling and Engaged View type “click” signals? Ultimately, this becomes a measurement problem, but how can brands partner with their MMPs to address?

Over-attribution related to SKOverlay, which elevates engaged view impressions to a Fidelity Type 1 in the SKAN attribution waterfall, can be a challenge for brands. The passing of impressions as clicks on the MMP side, especially with SKOverlay signaling and Engaged View type “click” signals, can lead to inaccurate measurement and attribution. It is important for brands to recognize the misalignment that can occur, particularly with in-app ad units that generate multiple “tap-like” activities without significant user interaction.

To navigate this issue, brands should work closely with their MMP to establish clear guidelines and processes for differentiating between impressions and true user engagement. Standardizing reporting across offers and DSPs can also help address this measurement problem, allowing for better normalization and accuracy in attribution.

With Apple building their own DSP and possibly an SSP as well, what is the future for third-party ad platform access to iOS?

The future for third-party ad platform access to iOS may become more restricted with Apple building their own DSP and possibly an SSP. Apple’s focus on privacy and control over user data may lead to tighter restrictions on data sharing and targeting capabilities.

It is conceivable that Apple may push for a more direct integration with publishers, effectively making them integrate directly with Apple and requiring all internet traffic to go through the iOS operating system. It is important for brands to adapt to these changes and explore alternative advertising strategies, such as leveraging Apple Search Ads and other first-party data sources, to ensure continued access to iOS users.

What do you think Apple will release at WWDC 2024? And what do you think about broader private relay implementation?

While the specific releases at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2024 are uncertain, it is expected that Apple will continue to focus on privacy and user control. They may introduce updates to their privacy features, additional components to privacy manifest, data granularity improvements to the SKAN framework, and new tools for developers and advertisers.

Apple is aware that there are still many unsolved challenges in the advertising space, and they have already implemented visibility around Apple Search Ads that Google cannot match. As for the broader private relay implementation, it is an interesting development aimed at enhancing user privacy by masking IP addresses. However, its broader impact and adoption are yet to be seen, and it will be important to monitor how this aligns with industry practices and regulations.

Got more questions on iOS?

Need help with your ATT prompting strategy, SKAN or Apple Search Ads, or any other iOS marketing topic? Get in touch with the Kochava Foundry team for an expert consultation.