Privacy-First Mobile Marketing in 4 Steps

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Consumers want privacy. And no place is privacy of higher concern than on mobile, where users share vast amounts of personal information and are accordingly demanding more protection. If you’re waiting for the privacy movement to go away, you’ll be left behind. 

Developing a privacy-first strategy is not only about getting creative in how you message or target; it’s also about being creative in how you find your audience and evaluate your campaigns. Data and audience building is key, and investing in gaining more control of your audience and measurement data will be the best way to succeed.

4 Ways To Transition To Privacy-Aware Mobile Marketing

Here are some tactics mobile privacy leaders are deploying.

Address Your Entire Funnel

Historically, mobile marketing was seen as primarily focused on the bottom of the funnel, with micro-targeted user acquisition or e-commerce ads. This made their work straightforward, as their entire funnel could be managed by pushing buttons to narrow criteria. With privacy removing the ability to micro-target, marketers now need to focus on building the top of that funnel in other ways.

On-device solutions, like preloads and wizards, are one way to get your app in front of a user and build awareness and/or help you acquire first-party data. This can help your down-funnel mobile ad strategy convert, whether you are using social/web ads, in-app ads, or carrier push notifications. In other words, use different methods to get to know users, and substitute that for micro-targeting, which will help boost bottom-of-funnel tactics.

Reimagine Audience Targeting 

With less individual user data, advertisers need to shift targeting strategies to focus on audience segments. While there are platforms that offer pre-packaged audiences, there are other, powerful ways to create your own segments. One way is to take a deeper look at your first-party data. For example, work with your supply partners to create bespoke audience segments and PMP deals.

Contextual targeting lets you target users based on certain contextual clues. A common contextual strategy is to create seamless ad experiences by placing ads within related content. In the new privacy world, new types of contextual clues have grown in popularity. For example, bid opportunities can be evaluated real-time based on certain signals in the user session — like how many ads the user has seen, whether they clicked the last ad, the average completion rate for video, and more. This can help inform bid requests, allowing advertisers to pay more for users that are more likely to engage.

Evaluate with Better Metrics

Traditionally, marketers relied on KPIs like click-through rates, conversion rates, reach, and frequency. When performance across channels was uniform, uniform and simple metrics like this made sense. In the privacy-aware world, however, continuing to rely on them will end up a losing strategy.

This is particularly true if you are relying on third-party data, which already lacked transparency and had fraud concerns even before the privacy push. Without audience data, it becomes even harder to rely solely on data given by ad networks and MMPs. There are smarter strategies that focus on long-term value, but this requires mobilizing your data and digging into true attribution. For example, your top of the funnel actions may have longer windows for conversion than the normal 7-day attribution window since install-to-open rates for those tactics might not be based on specific intent in a certain moment.

Recognize the different approaches you have, and focus on the right metrics for each specific tactic. And go beyond just clicks and conversions. If you are able to secure first-party data, find out what methods are really gaining you users you can retain. 

Test Thoroughly

Don’t just do the three things above and hope for the best. Try different platforms and networks to see if they change results. Do creative A/B testing across all of them. Test for cross-channel impacts with radio or TV. Target different devices — not just Android vs Apple. Explore ways to test high-end or new devices if your app is prime for those types of users. Make sure you test for incrementality to find out the true impact of ALL your different channels to find the right media mix. A key thing to remember in the privacy-aware world is all this testing becomes more difficult when you can’t uniquely identify audiences. So be patient with your testing.

With privacy becoming the new normal, now is not the time to be lethargic about your mobile advertising. Start your tests as soon as possible so you can ramp up the solutions that succeed. We’re embarking on an advertising future with a lot of uncertainty — and while that won’t change, you can certainly change up your strategy to stay ahead of the pack.

Itai Cohen is VP of Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Fyber, a Digital Turbine Company.