Beyond IDFA: The Path to Effective, Privacy-First Online Marketing

By Peli Beeri

For the past several weeks, much of the conversation around the mobile marketing industry’s proverbial water cooler had been about the changes coming to IDFA. As it is wont to do, Apple casually announced sweeping changes to its infrastructure and left the industry wondering what’s next. 

At Bidalgo, we see this change both as a major event that needs addressing, and as yet another step in a series of shifts towards a more privacy-friendly future for the marketing industry. 

What Happens Now?

“This is only the beginning” is a very easy prediction to make. Data privacy is at the forefront of consumers’ minds, as well as the minds of regulators and technology executives. Given the industry’s propensity for self-regulation, it is only natural that we will see more and more privacy-related changes coming to mobile ecosystems. 

That said, people will continue buying products, use ad-supported services and see ads. The intrinsic value of advertising will not diminish just because it’s more difficult to target users and optimize campaigns to user-based goals.

We think this point is an important one to keep in mind when thinking about privacy-related changes. They will hinder user-related analytical capabilities, but not the effectiveness of a good ad on an interested consumer. 

Bidalgo Is Here for You

As the launch of iOS 14 approaches, we see both advertisers and measurement platforms try to find solutions for the eventuality of low IDFA opt-in rates. At Bidalgo, we’re working hard to support any solution adopted by the market. We already integrate all publisher data seamlessly, which can make the switch to SKAdNetwork easier and smoother. We also are working closely with all measurement platform partners, to make sure our clients can implement their attribution solutions as they become available.

Our primary purpose is to help clients get the most out of all the data they have access to, regardless of its source. In fact, our long-term strategy took into account the possibility of reduced user-level visibility, so we’ve been preparing for what comes next for a while now. Ever since 2013, our stack and capabilities are being based on aggregated data.

The Ad Creative is More Important Than Ever

In the past few months, since we’ve launched our Creative Center, we’ve been touting it as an effective way to regain advertiser control in the face of increasing campaign automation across the major channels. Yet with this renewed push towards privacy, we believe that ad creative has an even more vital role to play in the future of online marketing.

As we’ve already said, an ad that’s viewed but not measured is still effective. In fact, it’s becoming the single most crucial part of a mobile marketing operation, because it’s the one touchpoint between the brand and the consumer. Even if the campaign is not personalized and an AI set the budget, it’s all about whether the relevant user who sees the ad likes it enough to click on it. 

So why not use creative measurement to control and optimize delivery and targeting? Traditionally, because the industry operated on the assumption that creativity cannot be adequately measured and analyzed. With our Creative Center, we’re proving that this is wrong. Unlike human beings, ads have no reasonable expectation of privacy. 

We believe that asset-level data will become the new optimization baseline for online marketing campaigns. When you analyze ads across channels and campaigns, you might not be able to discern who’s clicking on them, but you sure can discover which ad creative is doing the best job at getting users to convert. 

Analyze and Optimize More Than Ever Before

But even if you maximize the potential of your creative, there’s no avoiding the fact that a privacy-first landscape is bound to create data blindspotsnot all of which marketers will be able to overcome easily. One way to eliminate some of these blindspots is heuristic calculations, such as the ones we use to calculate asset-level data for Google App Campaigns assets.

Another implication of the fog, which is setting in on the field of mobile marketing, is the increased value of rapid experimentation. Understanding why one campaign succeeded where others failed will be harder, and actionable insights will require more testing than ever before. 

The speed of this testing will not only determine how fast you experiment, and how much you lose on the inevitable failed experiments but also how many insights you collect along the way. Here, automation will be critical, especially with limitations such as the one Apple imposed on SKAdNetwork, which can only track 100 campaigns concurrently. 

Don’t Panic

There are still many unknowns when it comes to the future of privacy and advertising. Still, the one thing we’ve learned after a decade of working with the largest channels, measurement platforms, and advertisers, it’s that this industry adapts quickly—often with creative solutions.

The changes to IDFA, and what looks like an inevitable industry-wide shift brought on by them, are just the latest paradigms to shift, and they won’t be the last. But remember, they affect everyone—not only you. Measurement platforms have already communicated their proposed solutions, and we still don’t know what the opt-in for IDFA authorization prompts will be. 

We do suggest moving fast in terms of planning a post-IDFA acquisition funnel. Whether you want to put an increased emphasis on ad creative and optimization of aggregated data analysis (Bidalgo can help) or figure out something with your measurement platform—the time to act is now. Why? Simply put, because it’s more than likely that many of your competitors are already doing it.

Whatever happens, Bidalgo will be here to help you produce brilliant creative, place it in effective ads, and manage your campaigns efficiently—using the best data available. 

Published on July 20, 2020
Written by
Peli Beeri

CEO & Co-Founder @ Bidalgo

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