How 3 Top Marketers Are Adapting to The Post-IDFA World

iOS 14.5 has created serious challenges for personalized advertising and attribution in digital media. How should marketers respond and adapt? We connected with some of the savviest marketers we know to get their take on iOS 14.5, the death of cookies, and what they’re doing now to prepare.

How 3 Top Marketers Are Adapting to The Post-IDFA World

For the past decade, mobile apps have relied on Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) to track users across other apps and websites for targeting and measurement.  But with the implementation of App Tracking Transparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5, app developers must now request permission to track their users beyond the app in use.

This is just one of many changes within an industry-wide movement to give consumers more transparency and control over their online data and their interactions with advertisers. But it has created serious challenges for personalized advertising and attribution within digital media channels.   Especially since, according to Flurry, daily opt-in rates for US users are between 4% and 6%.

How should marketers respond and adapt?  We connected with some of the smartest, savviest marketers we know to get their take on the implications of iOS 14.5, the impending death of cookies, and what they’re doing now to prepare for our privacy-first future.  Read the virtual panel discussion below.

Meet Our Panel

Angela Hsu - Angela is a board director and CMO with significant retailing expertise in highly successful digital, eCommerce, social media, and traditional marketing strategies.  Currently, Angela is the SVP, Marketing and eCommerce at LAMPS PLUS, a vertically integrated omnichannel retailer ranked #6 on “Top Housewares/Home Furnishings” by Digital Commerce 360.  

Scott Marsden - Scott is an experienced Head Of Media skilled in business development, digital strategy, mobile advertising, integrated marketing, advertising, and strategic partnerships. He currently serves as EVP, Media & Analytics at Quigley-Simpson, a fully integrated, 200-plus-person, brand-performance agency headquartered in Los Angeles.

David Jackson - David is a digital marketing expert skilled in loyalty, advertising, retail marketing, market research, and mobile marketing. Currently, David is the Digital Marketing and Loyalty Manager at Kwik Trip Inc., a leading convenience store chain with over 750 Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Stop-N-Go, Tobacco Outlet plus Grocery and Tobacco Outlet Plus stores throughout the midwest.  

Virtual Panel Discussion

Lina at AdQuick:  Now that iOS 14.5 (and its App Tracking Transparency feature) has been live for a few months, have you witnessed a detrimental effect on your ad performance?

Angela:  We have seen a decrease in return on ad spend (ROAS) on Facebook.   But, ultimately, we know that this drop is just due to the changes in tracking and attribution.  

Scott: Yeah. The numbers are still good for a lot of our D2C clients – we're still seeing positive ROAS – but the attribution is different.  

And Facebook in particular is getting a little bit murky.  CPMs are going up across the board and attribution is going down.  As a result, clients are challenging us to lean into Google, Tik Tok, and Snap, with new strategies. TikTok in particular is top of mind for a lot of marketers right now.

David: I also agree that marketers are interested in diversifying their partnerships. TikTok is one that we’re actively exploring. We've seen great success with some of our recent campaigns – more success than we've seen on YouTube and Facebook videos, in particular.  And even the organic side has been phenomenal for us, compared to Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Lina at AdQuick: So you're having a lot of conversations about shifting spend out of Facebook and into search and into other social channels, due to these new attribution challenges?

David: We are.  

Scott: Well, I believe that 14.5 is only part of the story.  Marketers are looking to diversify their spend – and in particular starting to look for alternatives beyond Instagram and Facebook, simply because those channels don’t offer a great environment.

Lina at AdQuick:  Interesting.  Do you think this desire for diversification is limited to alternative partners within digital? Or do you see exploration into new channels, like OOH?

Scott: It varies. My personal point of view is that outdoor is one of the most valuable channels out there, and it's underrated – especially now given iOS 14.5, the eventual deprecation of cookies, and the rise of the contextual world.

Lina at AdQuick:  Absolutely.  And OOH is really the ultimate contextual channel, if you do it right.

I actually used to work at a mobile location data company.  And most location-based audience targeting (the kind that relies almost exclusively on mobile app tracking) is essentially just classifying consumers based on their historical place visitation. For example, consumers who are seen visiting a gym are classified as falling into “gym-goer” and “health enthusiast” audiences.  

Place-based ads or geo-contextual targeting via out-of-home – such as, for example, targeting consumers who are actually in the gym at that very moment – has the same effect with the added benefit of aligning with a relevant consumer mindset.  To continue with our gym example: fitness-related advertising is that much more likely to resonate if you’re reaching consumers as they are actively thinking about their fitness goals.

Scott: Yes!  I think contextual, in particular, is incredibly valuable – and this value has been lost to a lot of marketers. When you pair relevant placement with the right audience, you're only going to create better marketing.  

The ability for us to basically stalk users and “frequency” them into submission may generate strong numbers, but, at the end of the day, it has not been a good customer experience.  And the marketplace is finally catching up to consumer consideration.  

That being said, we all love those growth numbers. The thing I keep telling my clients is, while the attribution may shift and it's harder, revenue isn’t deteriorating. People are still shopping.

Lina at AdQuick: Relatedly, Google Chrome’s deadline to block third-party cookies is looming. Are you planning to wean off of a reliance on cookies sooner rather than later – or are you holding on as long as possible?

Angela: Our team has started putting even more effort toward collecting and enhancing our first party data. We have a very strong focus on authenticated users – the people that have given us their email address. But now we're expanding our tool set to gain a 360 view of our customers, from browsing behavior to purchases. And that will give us a little bit more data going forward.  We are looking into what is coming and testing what we can while we still have cookies.

David: I was going to say the same, Angela.  Of course we have always focused on first party data, but now we're starting to look at CDPs so that we can better utilize our first party data.

For example, Kwik Trip offers delicious take home meals, which are produced in our facilities and then shipped to our stores. They're essentially convenient lunch or dinner meals that people can pick up and heat when they get home.  Rather than use 3rd party data to target customers of meal delivery services like Hello Fresh (who may not know much about Kwik Trip), we want to leverage our 1st party data to reach loyal customers that have already established trust of the Kwik Trip brand.  

Angela:  Another thing we are also doing is starting to get more third party data appends of our first party data. We are testing different data providers to append more than 100 attributes of our customers.  So now we can do our own profile analysis, instead of relying on Google, Facebook or other partners to find lookalikes.

We plan to start by looking at top decile customers to understand what they look like in terms of the attributes.  With a better understanding of who our top customers are, we won’t have to rely on black box, third party lookalikes.  

So that's my strategy on the data side: a CDP with third party data appends.  

Lina at AdQuick: Brilliant. Thank you all for your insightful comments!

As advertisers reassess how to prioritize their outreach tactics and reinvest their ad dollars, OOH media is well-positioned to fill the void. Static OOH offers unparalleled contextual relevance, and AdQuick makes this easy with convenient features like point-of-interest (POI) targeting seamlessly integrated in our map-based UI.  Programmatic digital OOH offers privacy-compliant targeting capabilities similar to those that digital marketers have become accustomed to – including dayparting, census-based demographic targeting, and persona targeting.    

Interested in learning more about how OOH can help fill your IDFA and cookie gap? Speak with one of OOH experts today!