The Growth of App Store Optimization and How Tracking Changed After ATT

We know tracking got harder after Apple implemented its AppTrackingTransparency policy, which forced users to opt into cross-app tracking on iOS. But how exactly? For which verticals? When will Google make a similar move? And how has mobile marketing changed as a result?

Anna Kochetkova, head of mobile growth consulting at AppFollow, checked in with Street Fight to weigh in on those questions about mobile marketing. Below is our back-and-forth.

How has mobile measurement evolved since Apple introduced AppTrackingTransparency?

It’s been quite a while since the last proper evolution. Now most of the players have adapted. MMPs have introduced their solutions to deal with tracking transparency. Of course, data is not as granular as it used to be. But we may see some data and attribution insights. The overall situation with user attribution really depends on the industry and the size of the company that is acquiring this traffic.

To what extent and when will Google follow Apple’s lead? 

When Apple introduced IDFA, Google was pushed to make a similar move. Rumors about Google removing UDID were spreading last year. I personally believe that Google will do it this year, which means less granular data for all users of Google Ads.

Is cross-app tracking dead? 

If it is about cross promo of your own apps within one of your apps I wouldn’t say it’s dead. MMPs like AppsFlyer have one-link solutions that enable tracking opportunities. Of course, lots of data is lost because many users do not allow ATT. However some still do and we can understand where users are coming from.

How are marketers calibrating mobile marketing strategy in the wake of these changes?

We saw a major shift in experiments with new channels. And I also noticed that lots of mobile-first companies have started to invest in their brand and run online and offline ads (such as TV ads). Besides that, the popularity of ASO is growing, too. In the past, lots of big brands didn’t want to invest in organic channels due to their slow ROI. Publishers now have gone back to investing in ASO. UA specialists are joining forces with analysts and product managers to get more insights on what strategies work and what don’t. 

Will the metaverse displace mobile as the next primary digital platform or will it be a part of the mobile epoch? 

We need to understand that the metaverse is a bit more complicated for mobile adaptation. Also, keep in mind that cross-platform apps play a major role in our everyday lives now, so companies will have to adapt to be compatible with the metaverse. The metaverse is predicted to be a new UA channel for lots of companies, and brands like Nike are already using it and are seeing some interesting results.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015 and regularly consults with companies in the space on content and communications. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.