SKAN 4.0, the latest version of Apple’s SKAdNetwork, was released in March 2021 alongside the iOS 14.5 update. This update brought significant changes to the Mobile App Advertising industry and more clarity and insights into iOS attribution practices. So, what works well in SKAN 4.0, and how can marketers get the most out of it?
To begin with, it is important to understand that SKAN 4.0 is designed to protect user privacy while still allowing advertisers to track and measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.
The SKAdNetwork framework relies on a unique identifier for attribution, called SKAdNetwork Identifier or IDFA, which is randomly generated by Apple and shared with the advertiser only after the user has given consent to tracking.
This identifier is used to track the user across different advertising campaigns and networks, but it does not contain any personally identifiable information (PII), such as the user’s name or contact details.
What’s hot on SKAN 4.0
Here are some of the things that work well on SKAN 4.0
Conversion Value Optimization:
SKAN 4.0 provides a new feature called Conversion Value Optimization (CVO), which allows advertisers to optimize their campaigns based on the total value of in-app events completed by the user.
This is a significant improvement over the previous version of SKAN as it provides more insights into how users engage with the app beyond simply installing it. This shift from just installs to user engagement provides deeper insights and understanding of which campaigns drive the most value for advertisers.
Better Transparency and Privacy:
This version gives users more transparency and control over their data while protecting user privacy. This means that users can trust that their data is used only for the purpose of attribution and that it is not being used for other purposes, such as targeting or profiling.
-Millman, Steven (2023). “Why marketers must be leaders in data privacy and transparency” AdAge.
Improved Attribution Accuracy
The new SKAN 4.0 uses more detailed attribution data, such as the install time, conversion value, and ad campaign information, to provide better insights into which ad campaigns drive the most value for advertisers.
Controlled User Consent
SKAN 4.0 puts user consent at the center of the mobile app advertising process. Advertisers need to get user consent to tracking users, ensuring users are in control of their data and privacy.
To take advantage of SKAN 4.0, advertisers need to consider a few best practices:
SKAN 4.0 Best Practices
Implement SKAdNetwork Correctly
To ensure accurate tracking, advertisers should correctly implement SKAdNetwork into their mobile app. This requires technical know-how, so partnering with an experienced vendor or partner to assist with the integration process is recommended.
Define Conversion Value
Define clear conversion values for in-app events that matter most to the business, such as purchases or sign-ups, which help advertisers optimize their campaigns towards ROI-based KPIs.
Focus on User Engagement
Track user engagement beyond just installs by using the Conversion Value Optimization tool (CVO). It tracks in-app events after the download, which gives valuable insights into user engagement, user retention and success metrics that advertisers can optimize to drive more conversions.
Optimize for Privacy
Ensure that user privacy is protected by complying with Apple’s SKAdNetwork requirements. Advertisers should clarify to users how their data will be used and why their consent is necessary to track them. Trust is paramount, and this assurance can increase user opt-ins.
Measure Incremental Impact
Advertisers should spend some extra budget on a split-campaign testing methodology to help measure the incremental value of their ads. This method offers trustworthy data to identify the impact of the campaigns and the return on investment (ROI), considering the impact of ads on users that may have converted naturally without being inhibited by ads.
SKAN 4.0 has introduced significant advancements to the world of mobile app advertising. It aligns well with the push towards user-centric marketing, allowing advertisers to exercise more control and transparency in how they interact with users.
As mobile app advertising continues to grow and evolve, it is essential to keep pace with industry developments such as SKAN 4.0. By following the best practices we’ve outlined, businesses can leverage the new data insights and engage users with relevant and valuable content that drives ROI while keeping user privacy front and center.
However, in the era of data privacy and user consent, it’s imperative to ensure user data is used exclusively for attribution purposes while maintaining user privacy. Advertisers need to focus on transparency and consent, which are critical components when building trust between users and advertisers.
By implementing SKAN 4.0 correctly, defining clear conversion values, measuring incremental impact, and optimizing for privacy, advertisers can take advantage of this technology to drive more conversions and create engaging experiences tailored to users.