Condensed Checklist Before iOS 14 IDFA Nerfing and SKAdNetwork

For those of you looking for the TLDNR/too long did not read, abridged version (plus some new ideas) of what to do to prepare for iOS 14 and the nerfing of the IDFA via SKAdNetwork, here is a concise list of ideas on how to prepare:

Your Marketing Team

  • Prepare to shift your budget to Android, until Google makes its move.
  • Prepare to pause your iOS value optimized campaigns (although perhaps Facebook will continue running value optimized for only users with AppTrackingTransparency IDFA sharing on).
  • Prepare to pause your remarketing campaigns until you can adjust your bids/budgets/audiences for only users who follow AppTrackingTransparency.
  • Prepare for your reporting to come from ad networks, not MMPs. For those interested in consolidated, ad network-based reporting for Facebook, Google, Apple Search Ads, Snapchat and TikTok learn more about our reporting and automation tool, Xyla.
  • Right now, expand your testing of keywords in Apple Search Ads (the most “safe” iOS channel to continue investing into).
  • Right now, determine which combination of campaigns, ad sets and ads you want to run such that you have 100 campaigns maximum.
  • Prepare to re-map your postback “conversion value” to ad network events in order to continue running AEO campaigns; hopefully Facebook and other networks will create a mapping UI prior to September.
  • Prepare for the tracked ROI of your advertising campaigns to precipitously drop post-iOS 14.
  • If you can, shift from ROAS to CPI/CPA KPI reporting.
  • Replace your deferred deep links with iTunes Connect campaign links.
  • Talk to SDK ad networks (Vungle, AppLovin, Unity, etc.) about testing on their platforms.
  • Start exploring web advertising flows and how to capture users via web-first flows, not app-first.
  • Start exploring other acquisition channels: ASO, referral marketing, email marketing, traditional marketing, connected TV ads, etc.

Your Engineering Team

  • Implement SKAdNetwork
  • Ensure that you are agreed on how to track conversion postbacks. While Apple allows you to track a conversion, currently there is no method for distinguishing event types from the conversion value (e.g. does “1” mean a purchase or a sign up? Does “10” mean a purchase of $10 or a purchase of $1?). So you will need to decide this for yourself.
  • Refer to Singular’s ongoing efforts to create a standardized SKAdNetwork conversion value mapping for the industry to participate and benefit from this thought leadership.
  • Check out this work from Kevin Bravo, Co-Founder of 2nd Potion for an open source method, called Elixir for a method of changing the conversion values without requiring an app update.
  • Implement AppTrackingTransparency for users who do agree to share data with you.
  • Work with your marketing team to figure out the best messaging to try to convince as many users as possible to give you permission to access their IDFA via AppTrackingTransparency.
  • Start trying to implement a web-based signup flow that captures new users via a web-first flow, not app-first.
  • Addition from Alasdair Pressney via MobileDevMemo Slack: Be sure to call registerAppForAdNetworkAttribution() to kick off the attribution process

Your Analytics Team

  • Capture all the user-level data you can right now while you can — get it from API, get it from raw CSV exports, get it however you can. Without hyperbole, this is the last opportunity you will ever have to get this much user-level data on a majority of your users with source, and it will prove invaluable in the coming months to refer back to.
  • Work with your marketing and engineering teams to determine which events occur within the first ~1–7 days, and ensure these are posted back via SKAdNetwork. You may need to define and track new events in the app based on how user behavior correlates with predicting user value.
  • Establish some assumptions on the value of an install and the ROI of whatever conversion values you will post back, for each ad channel you run.
  • If you can, shift from ROAS to CPI/CPA KPI-setting.
  • Start working on marketing mix models or other means of assessing advertising efficacy without user-level data.
  • Prepare to use the pipeline of data for users who enable AppTrackingTransparency.
  • Implement web pixels to start pushing data to ad networks to prepare your web advertising campaigns.

Your Creative Team

  • Start building a backlog of more divergent creative concepts to test and start orienting your testing around optimizing your creative for “hits” — let the networks tell you which creatives have the potential to scale from your creative testing efforts, and only break these high potential creatives into single creative campaigns to get conversion reporting on the creative level.
  • Eschew smaller creative iterations and go bigger and broader in creative testing to maximize your testing efficacy from the newly narrowed data pipes (i.e. 100 campaigns max).

Your Monetization Team

  • Addition from Jan Pollack via MobileDevMemo Slack for Ad Monetization Managers: Expect critical SDK updates from your mediation & ad network partners and schedule them ahead with your game-teams & engineers.
  • Expect a large decline from ad-based monetization (Eric Seufert points to Facebook’s whitepaper indicating that CPM rates in the Audience Network could drop by 50%; Eric predicts as much as an 80% decline, in particular from the gaming space).
  • If you monetize with ads, start rapidly experimenting with IAP-based monetization.




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Gabe Kwakyi

Gabe Kwakyi

A curious mind and a passionate soul seeking to reflect and share learnings on life through the practice of mindfulness.

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