In an era where privacy is not just a buzzword but a paradigm shift, adapting our marketing strategies speaks volumes about our resilience and foresight.
In this article, I’ll dive deeper into the profound impact privacy-related changes have had on targeting strategies and delve into practical recommendations for thriving in what could be a new landscape.
We are standing at a crossroads where the choice is clear: evolve with the changing times or risk obsolescence.
If you are an iOS marketer, you might recognize having to deal with a lot of challenges with SKAN. The granular user-level data that was once the cornerstone of your targeting strategy is no longer accessible. This shift from precise individual tracking to aggregated data has fundamentally altered how we assess and optimize campaign performance.
Now, the focus has shifted towards understanding broader trends and patterns, rather than individual user actions. We must adapt to aggregated and anonymized data, losing the ability to track attributed individual user journeys if we don’t get the user’s consent. Secondly, the constraints of SKAN have led to an increased reliance on predictive modeling and machine learning to forecast campaign performance and user behavior, if you don’t have high install volumes.
The introduction of privacy-focused frameworks like Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has significantly curtailed traditional reliance on extensive user data for broad targeting.
These changes mean we can no longer rely on extensive datasets that detail user behavior across various digital touchpoints. Instead, we must lean towards even more experiments with our targeting, which emphasizes quality over quantity. Now, is this a bad thing? I think not, and let me dive deeper into why.
Gone are the days when launching a campaign and letting the algorithm work its magic sufficed. In today's landscape, marked by evolving frameworks, stricter data regulations, and heightened user protection, the role of a marketer has transcended traditional boundaries. I think this challenging environment is where true marketing prowess shines.
As a representative of a leading app performance marketing agency, I've observed a shift towards more experimental approaches and a deeper grasp of blended holistic performance metrics. The essence of great marketing lies in understanding and engaging the audience effectively. It's about crafting messages that resonate, focusing on the benefits that matter to the consumer, and leveraging insights from consumer behavior and human psychology.
This comprehensive approach is not just about great media buying; it's a nuanced blend of strategy, creativity, and analytics that aligns with the shifting paradigms of the digital world. Moreover, the mark of a truly exceptional marketer (A ‘T-shaped marketer’ is a great reference) lies not only in their reliance on attribution (which is dying) but also in their grasp of incrementality. It's about understanding the holistic impact of each campaign, beyond attributed conversions, to foster long-term, sustainable growth.
It’s no longer about look-a-like audiences, engagement custom audiences or going ‘broad’. The great marketers know that it’s about crafting creatives that resonate deeply with your target audience, and it involves more than just visual appeal; it demands a strategic approach grounded in proven communication and marketing models.
I often refer to Laswell's Communication Model, which is highly relevant, especially when it comes to user-generated content (UGC)
Building the right targeting strategy in the new world of privacy starts with following these steps:
(Try to) Understand your audience
Start by conducting a thorough demographic and psychographic analysis of your audience. This will help you understand not just who they are, but also what they care about. Segmenting your audience based on these insights allows you to tailor your messaging and creative approach to different groups.
Here, I recommend you to test and learn. Setting up a continuous testing plan will lead you to new paths you've not discovered.
Here’s a tip from a professional:
“If we’re talking testing on Meta, do not just throw all of your ads into one adset. Rather have a tactical approach to how you could differentiate your ads, into different creative themes/topics. Doing so, will lead to generating more valid insights, and reduce the performance system’s bias.” - Pablo Perez, Performance Marketing Director @ Admiral Media
Leverage ‘Laswell’s communication model’
I know, models like these are usually never mentioned in articles. Yet, they are truly important in understanding your audience better. Better creatives, better opportunities for greater performance.
Laswell's model simplifies the communication process into five key components:
Here’s how this model can be applied in targeting, and still, with privacy in mind:
If you can master these steps, along with having a great product, you will be on your way to building great and scalable campaigns, where you can let your creatives do the targeting for you.
Hint: If you are doing TikTok advertising, you need to start working on this model, to scale your UGC-creatives.
To sum up, the privacy landscape has evolved significantly, lately. It has been shaped by developments like SKAN and global privacy regulations, which present both challenges and opportunities for great marketers. The core takeaway is that these changes are not just hurdles but should rather be seen as catalysts for innovation and trust-building in marketing.
The loss of granular data will shift the focus towards broader campaign metrics and creative performance, while also fostering a greater reliance on the overall picture, predictive tools and privacy-centric marketing approaches.
On a final note, cheers and thank you for coming this far. On the way to success with our app marketing, we will have to master the ongoing privacy updates and their implications, measurement methods and creative experimentation.
Kevin Dosanjh B2B Marketing Lead at Admiral Media, brings a wealth of experience as an accomplished performance marketer focusing on holistic marketing.
He's boasting more than eight years of specialized skill in paid social media advertising. His career is distinguished by a consistent record of achievements with scale-ups and global brands. Kevin is known for his ability to understand diverse market dynamics and leverage this insight to craft campaigns that are not only innovative but also culturally relevant across different regions.