“The death of IDFA does not mean the end of effective advertising on iPhones by any means. It merely means that advertisers will need to shift their thinking and methodology to continue providing relevant ads to users. IDFA was only one tool — a highly effective tool — but only one tool nonetheless. With the right innovations, the ad-tech industry and digital marketing will still be going strong long into the future.” – Kate Novatska, MarTech Series

Apple has finally announced an “early-spring” roll out of iOS14 updates that will require consumers to opt-in for IDFA tracking – the persistent mobile identification process that powers digital audience targeting and measurement in iPhones. Once the release is installed, Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature will require apps to obtain the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.

Coupled with Google’s planned depreciation of Third-Party browser cookies in Chrome, the digital marketing industry now faces significant changes that are a forcing factor for brands, agencies, platforms and other marketing companies that need to quickly adapt in order to stay ahead of the curve in 2021. 

KORTX continues to take a proactive approach to the ever-changing and evolving media landscape, and here’s five points we’d like to highlight as the situation continues to evolve:

The Reality of IDFA

First off, it’s important to clarify that IDFA (Identifiers for Advertisers) is not being eliminated, but rather the process is being flipped to give consumers full control in the name of privacy and transparency. The impact of switching from a default to a consumer opt-in is still unknown, however industry experts anticipate that the opt-in rate for allowing tracking is likely to be low, with initial estimates at 20% to 30% according to eMarketer.     

The Value of First-Party Data

Axon Audience Manager enables KORTX clients to integrate touchpoints across all media channels into a single and unified customer view, so they can extract critical insights about customers and personalize the experience based on those insights. This includes the ability to evaluate site events by browser type, device and operating system — all data points that help KORTX clients triangulate the potential impact of IDFA (and Chrome) changes. 

Source: Axon Audience Manager

The Increasing Power of Contextual

The contextual relevance of in-app inventory is poised to increase as IDFA opt-in decreases. Understanding the context of an application’s content, category and functionality can provide a strong connection to specific target audiences. Using these identifiers as a proxy for user-level IDFA tracking creates opportunities for brands that have well-defined customer profiles or industry-specific attributes.   

Incorporating Mobile Analytics Solutions

KORTX has always kept a strong focus on flexibility as well as our ability to incorporate new technologies, solutions and processes that align with our industry’s evolution. This continues with the upcoming IDFA and Chrome changes, and the capabilities that come with accommodating the needs of our clients. Our recommendation is that any campaign with mobile delivery should utilize a mobile analytics platform that can provide a combination of deterministic and probabilistic attribution – whether that’s tied into Apple’s SKAdNetwork or a Third-Party yet-to-be-determined solution. 

Looking Towards the Future

Expanding on the concepts of flexibility and evolution, KORTX is well-positioned to enhance our Axon Audience Manager platform as we’ve consistently done over the past five years (a lifetime in the context of digital marketing). As the dust settles there are many options for our engineering experts to assess the optimal approach to address IDFA’s impact – for example, creating an SDK that incorporates mobile app data into Axon’s audience creation tools. 

Ultimately, the ability to embrace innovation will position KORTX’s clients for success throughout the coming industry-wide turbulence.