UTEL Case Study at Think with Google
21st April 2020 – 2 Minutes 20 Seconds read.
Another week, another revelation about the true impact on the ads ecosystem from Apple’s enforced implementation of the App Tracking Transparency prompt.
As a result of the upcoming iOS14 changes, dramatic changes to the ads ecosystem will be forced through in an extremely short span of time, which will affect all forms of advertising that in any way rely on the tracking of user activity on apps, whether it is for audience building, ad serving or attribution. Unsurprisingly, this covers most ad platforms. Given that the vast majority of Facebook & Instagram users access the platforms via their app, they are unsurprisingly one of the most heavily impacted players.
This is filtering through to media buyers via reductions in targeting options, reporting breakdowns, attribution windows/accuracy and much more.
There has been a long list of steps for advertisers to take, including but not limited to, verifying your domain, changing pixel implementation, rejigging campaign structure and prioritizing your top eight conversion events. This last point was intended to allow some visibility into the performance of users that had opted out of tracking, with your top priority event still sent back to Facebook for attribution/optimisation purposes. For example, if an opted-out user clicked on your ad, and then viewed a product, added it to cart, then purchased, this purchase would be sent back to Facebook. This was a welcome tonic to advertisers, as it gave some reassurance of continued visibility into ad performance.
However, in the last two weeks, it has come to light that this will only send back the sale, with no revenue data associated. The only way around this is to implement Value Optimisation, which allows this visibility, but comes with a catch. You need to be driving over thirty post-click purchases attributed to your ads every seven days, at a minimum. In Q3 2020, there were 10 million advertisers active on Facebook Ads; the vast majority being small businesses that won’t hit these thresholds and will therefore lose visibility on half their revenue. This 50% figure will vary depending on the percentage of your audience that are iOS users, and the percentage that opt out – but 50% is a likely conservative estimate.
This will have a shattering impact on the millions of small advertisers that depend on the measurability of their advertising to make the most out of their limited budgets, particularly given the ongoing macro uncertainties. Countless businesses will be checking Ads Manager wondering where their revenue has gone, or why their ad performance has nose-dived. Impacts on the visibility of advertising performance are inevitable as we move into the cookie-less future, but a change as dramatic, sudden and unheralded as this will have a devastating impact.
All this being said, there is always a new disaster threatening to change the way we advertise, and there is always a way to shift your measurement strategy to accommodate these changes. It requires creative thinking, and leveraging new tools. Whilst there isn’t currently a perfect solution, there are some steps you can take to bring back some of this lost visibility and build a more sustainable model for the future.
In an ideal world, a clear view of ROAS would always be available. However, if we assume that this is no longer an option, there are further credible solutions:
Despite losing visibility from your iOS14 opted out sales, you still have lots of data from Android, desktop or sitewide performance. You can use this to:
Although the above should allow for some continuity in these turbulent times, it is worth noting that the iOS14 changes are not isolated, and are instead part of a wider shift towards prioritising user privacy. A general shift away from directly attributed sales and towards modelling is expected over the next few months and it is essential that we prepare as much as possible for this. Increasing first-party data usage is expected to be a key element of the new advertising ecosystem, so preparing systems to use this now can only be beneficial in the long term. If you haven’t already got a strong CRM system implemented, now is the time. As always within digital, staying nimble, reactive and, where possible, proactive, is key.
Browse: Industry Insight
21st April 2020 – 2 Minutes 20 Seconds read.
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