Mobile attribution in the new SKAN era

Partner Post - Smadex Mobile-first DSP For Transparent Performance (Apps/Branding/VAS)

Posted: January 29, 2021

While we are looking forward to Apple confirming the updated release date of the ATT (App Tracking Transparency) framework, at Smadex we have been busy getting ourselves ready.

In the last few months, we have been working with advertisers and MMPs alike to be sure we were up to the new challenges ahead. We can now say we are successfully integrated with all major MMPs for SKAN and ready for what’s coming our way.

Smadex Deeper Modeling

At Smadex we develop our own technology to deliver the best performance for our partners. When it comes to SKAN, we faced this challenge with a full-time engineering team focused on leveraging the data science behind our platform to sharpen our algorithms and data pipelines to excel in the new mobile advertising landscape.

As a mobile-first DSP, at Smadex we have been running successful LAT campaigns since it was introduced in 2012 by Apple and 2013 by Google. As the device ID is not always available and bidding on LAT traffic can sometimes even deliver better ROAS, we’ve built and perfected a full set of algorithms for probabilistic attribution in the last few years. In fact, during 2020 alone we bought over 10 billion LAT impressions.

Preparing for the depreciation of IDFA, we’ve been working on reformulating how our machine learning would work in the upcoming new bidding framework on IOS. Our Data Science team has developed and trained new algorithms to be best suited for SKAdNetwork based attribution. For example, by optimizing towards intentional clicks and working with SSPs to get additional signals that can allow us to deliver more installs in the new SKAdNetwork environment. Our system has been developed so our clients can chose if they want to optimize towards SKAN installs or probabilistic attribution obtained from the MMPs (in case they are allowed after ATT).

In December, together with SocialPoint, we tested our developments on the competitive landscape of gaming apps in the US with the goal of scaling their UA efforts for their flagship game, Dragon City on LAT traffic only. We ran a 4 week test period achieving great D1 and D3 ROAS when implementing our new data science suite (see full case).

Are you up to the SKAN challenge?

Apple’s changes to IDFA are going to make things more difficult for advertisers. And according to a survey carried by Appsflyer last month, almost 40% of marketers have little to no understanding of the IDFA protocol.

At Smadex, it’s a high priority for us to work with our partners ahead of the full implementation of App Tracking Transparency and SKAN in March 2021 to minimize side-effects and get the expected performance. Here, we’d like to share some tips and a few steps app advertisers can take to ensure they are ahead of the curve.

  • Get your technical set-up ready: Make sure you are able to notify Apple when you receive a new install. Your MMP SDK will help you to do it. This brings us to the next point.
  • Integrate with your MMP: Work as if the release date were tomorrow. It sure feels like it. Your MMP can help you to notify installs to Apple and to map the conversion_value.
  • Start collecting data: Run your first campaigns on SKAN traffic, both LAT and device ID, to understand how your performance could be affected and be able to adjust your buying strategy. If you start testing before ATT is enforced you will be able to compare the information you currently have (MMP attribution) with the one provided by SKAN.
  • Develop a post-install strategy: Work with your DSP on how to keep achieving your objectives despite not having the same level of data granularity.

Want to know more about how to be best prepared for SKAdNetwork? Get in touch with our team.

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