App Tracking Transparency (ATT)
What is App Tracking Transparency (ATT)?
The App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework was released as part of Apple’s efforts to advance user privacy on the App Store.
ATT now requires app developers to obtain explicit permission (opt-in) from users to track their data or share their information with advertisers.
As a result, effectively targeting the right audiences with mobile ads on the App Store has become more complicated. Instead, many app developers are considering shifting more advertising budgets to Apple’s native ad platform, Apple Search Ads (ASA), due to its exemption from the ATT limitations. You can visit our blog to learn more about how to measure the cost of cannibalization in your Search Ads campaigns and understand the pros and cons of Apple Search Ads.
Apple Search Ads in 2021
The principles behind Apple Search Ads (ASA) are quite simple: app developers can bid on any keyword to have their app appear above the first organic search result for that keyword, in hopes that this prominent position in the search results will help to increase app downloads. The App Store Algorithm supposedly determines which app wins a bid for a keyword by considering the metadata (App Name/App Title, App Subtitle, App Store screenshots, etc) and performance of each bidding app.
Modeling the cost of cannibalization vs brand protection
To model the price of cannibalization, you should first understand how we define Cannibalized Installs. Cannibalized Installs are the total number of installs you received from your Search Ads campaigns minus the number of Protected Installs.
Cannibalized Installs = Total Installs – Protected Installs
Protected Installs are the number of Installs that you received, but that your competitor could have been able to convert into downloads.
Protected Installs = Impressions * Estimated Competitor Conversion Rate
The Cost of your Protected Installs then becomes:
Cost Per Protected Install = Total Ad Spend / (Impressions * Estimated Competitor Conversion
Comparing your Cost Per Protected Install with the Cost Per Install (CPI) reported by Apple Search Ads can then help you estimate the ‘protection premium’ you pay for a given campaign; this will also help you determine what amount of your Search Ads spend actually goes toward cannibalization.
Unfortunately, identifying these costs does not remove the dilemma of whether you should bid on your top organic keywords or not, but it can at least help inform your decisions to start, stop, or change the budget you invest in specific Search Ads campaigns.