What is IDFA?
What is IDFA? The full name of IDFA is Identifier for Advertising, which mainly used for ads tracking with user id identify. IDFA can be turned off or on, and is the only official permission Apple gives to advertisers to access user information. IDFA is turned off by default in iOS 14, but you can turn it on. 99% of iPhone users choose not to share IDFA, which is a major obstacle for digital media platforms to deliver accurate ads and blur the user profile. For users, you will receive far fewer personalized or relevant ads on your digital device.
Why IDFA matters to marketers?
Every iPhone has an IDFA, which is a unique ID for each device, and can be understood as "a cell phone ID". iPhone is highly secure, and IDFA is a unique identifier related to device, which can be used to connect ads between different apps. For example, after you search for a certain product on your phone, when you browse the web with your browser, the ads on that web page will show you the corresponding ads for that product. Of course you can reset or turn off your IDFA, so that others can no longer track to your behavior.
Declare the deprecation of IDFA
When Apple announced they would require every app developer to get opt-in consent from users before they could share their IDFAs with 3rd parties.
This move by Apple has caused great concern in the advertising industry, which relies on IDFA and big data. According to industry analysis, most users would prefer to turn off IDFA, but device ID is an important basis for Internet ad placement, especially for mobile ad placement. Through IDFA, advertisers can better deliver targeted ads and evaluate the effectiveness of ads.
What has changed from the default off of IDFA?
IDFA is very important to the advertising industry, it is a very important component for the display of advertising effects and the accurate description of user profiles. Once IDFA is closed, effect attribution, recommendation, wake up and identification of user identity, on which Internet advertising depends, will be difficult to achieve, and hundreds of millions of Internet advertising businesses around the world will be affected.
Although many Apple cell phone users who resent ad push support Apple's move, the fact is that on the one hand, based on Apple's advertising policy IDFA on or off does not affect the number of ad pushes. Some industry experts even said that closing IDFA will not make the ads less, but will only make them more flooded, because the ads cannot be placed with relative precision, but the ads cannot be left out, so they can only be "comprehensive coverage" and "high-frequency placement".
The are several aspects that would be affect, it would be harder to re-target users, and access to high quality audiences. The ability to measure the value your ad spend is able to generate and the ability to test creatives at the ad level on networks such as Facebook will also be affected.
SKAdNetwork as a replacement
Simply put, this new service, SKAdNetwork, allows advertisers to track which of their campaigns end up driving new users to install their app or complete a purchase; but does not divulge too much information about which specific ad the user viewed or clicked on. The goal is to let companies know enough about the effectiveness of their ads to continue investing in them, but without giving them access to detailed information about their users.
SKAdNetwork still has many issues that marketers need to address, and ASO World is preparing for this short-lived new order and will embrace Apple's decision while bridging these gaps through innovation. We will use a hybrid solution. We expect that some developers will continue to use IDFA in some way, at least in the short term. Others will embrace SKAdNetwork and try to better understand the performance of aggregated data through analytic and econometric modeling. We expect advertisers will use alternative user-level tracking methods to enrich their data to better perform ad measurement.
What act should we take to the deprecation of IDFA?
The Internet advertising industry's in-depth analysis and precise application of data information helps users to more easily access the content and services they are more interested in with less time and lower cost on the one hand; on the other hand, it reduces the operating costs of advertisers in business model transformation and promotion, making it more efficient and convenient to precisely reach target consumers, thus effectively boosting consumption, stimulating the vitality of small and medium-sized enterprises, and promoting sustainable and healthy economic development.
The change of the way you make decisions based on aggregated data
It seems that Apple has listened to the many voices in the ecosystem: developers, marketers, user acquisition leaders, MMPs, and ad networks who all yelled as one: “We’re not ready!” So Apple has announced that it’ll delay the enforcement of the privacy guidelines with iOS 14 until “early next year,” whatever that means. It could be on January 1st. It could be March, April. No one knows. But what we do know is that Apple has granted a grace period of a few more months before user-level data for UA and ad performance measurement purposes are banned.
Retargeting was and continues to be a major growth avenue for many apps and games. The ability to advertise to lapsed users drove double-digit growth rates for many brands.
Evaluate whether cross-promotion is a good channel for you. If you work in a company that has a portfolio of apps or games, creating a strong cross-promotion system and process can drive tremendous growth, and using the IDFV you can still retarget lapsed users in one app when they use the other.
High-quality audiences are going to be replaced with broad, much less targeted audiences in networks such as Facebook. As Facebook already announced, they will disallow sharing audiences that advertisers have used so far with the iOS 14 specific ad account. This means that with iOS 14, you can only create Lookalike audiences (LAL) using existing campaigns for iOS 14. These campaigns can only be based on interest, demographics, and, the conversionValue.
The conversionValue is a 64-bit value that you can report back to Facebook after an install has occurred, via SKAdNetowrk, to tell them which users you want to optimize for. That said, Facebook announced they’ll only take conversionValues reported in the first 24-hours, so comparing the amount of data you reported to Facebook so far (a stream of events and in-app purchases) to only a very early event, is clear to have a much lower ability to build high-quality audiences. Facebook even reported that as a result, they expect a 50% drop in revenues for the Facebook Audience Network.
So for the day after, you need to prepare for a reality in which the audience that is exposed to your ads is much broader. Performance measurement is also going to enter an era of much less accuracy. One approach is optimizing the opt-in consent flow to increase the percentage of users that provide consent. Some voices in the market are calling to extrapolate that user-level data to say something smart about the entire user population. For example, if you get 10% of users to opt-in and provide consent, you might be able to calculate ROAS on a specific ad by assuming these users represent the entire population and scale the revenues they generate to estimate how much revenue was generated by users that converted from that ad.
This approach is lacking, though, as it is only logical to assume that the 10% opt-in consent users do not represent the other 90%, and have significantly different characteristics, including their monetization profile.
Other voices are calling for using probabilistic models that use assumptions to estimate the likelihood that each user came from a specific ad. Without IDFA, though, that estimation will be grossly inaccurate to the point of probably being unusable.
Manage growth in the best possible way in the transitional phase
Legal and compliant use of data is the key. The wide application of big data technology and the development of the Internet industry cannot be separated from the legal use of data. It is the basic operation logic of Internet advertising to bring into play the value of data elements in compliance with relevant laws and regulations to realize the matching of advertisers' needs, users' needs and media advertising resources, and it is the basic demand of the Internet advertising industry for data to interact among the ecological participants of various industries.
We should recognize and understand Apple's attitude of protecting user data security and personal privacy responsibly. However, in terms of the whole industry ecology, it should be considered more comprehensively. The protection of user data privacy and the rational use of big data are not contradictory, and IDFA is not something that can simply be shut down.