Move Fast Around Broken Things

We originally wrote in June around the upcoming IDFA deprecation on iOS 14. Despite not explicitly dealing with pixels, we place this event in the never ending march of something named by a CSM while at Facebook, A-Pixel-Lypse Now

IDFA deprecation places large swaths of the online advertising industry in precarious positions. If you recently tried to explain A/B testing to an executive on your team, try explaining SKadNetwork and how it only allows 6 bits of information in a 24 hour post back period...maybe.

And don’t feel alone if you don’t understand the specifics of how this impacts your business and more importantly how to communicate it to key stakeholders. New information is coming out each week, and even Facebook doesn’t fully know the impacts this will have on their business (see potential collapse of the Facebook Ad Network). The ramifications from breaks in the data chain are far reaching, and this doesn’t only pertain to iOS14.

Next we’ll be watching to see when Google follows Apples lead with Google Advertising ID (GAID). We already know about Google’s plans to block cookies in Chrome. GDPR has been a huge hurdle for advertisers internationally, and CCPA is quickly becoming an important consideration for advertisers in the US. There is now a very real clock on the collection and use of customer information. 

So what does this mean for performance marketing today and the years to come? There are many tactical implications, but we wanted to go up a level and discuss two broad pivots to the way marketing is approached today.

Customer Data is at An All-Time High

There is a concept we take to heart at dysrupt, “If you don’t own your data, you don’t own your company.” Customer data has quickly become the most valuable currency of the modern age, and it’s going to be a key commonality in the advertisers who thrive post-IDFA, post-GAID, post-GDPR. Advertisers that leaned in when user acquisition was comparatively cheap and data was plentiful are going to find they have a distinct competitive advantage over their competitors that played it safe. 

Our advice for any finance folks reading… now is the time to unlock budgets. The clock is ticking on effective custom acquisition and on building your CRM, because every customer acquired today will be cheaper than customers acquired tomorrow. This has been a historically terrible year that caused a large number of advertisers to pause or slow down spend. To quote Warren Buffet’s view on successful investing, “simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” 

Existing Customers Matter Again

For years we’ve been able to prioritize new customers over current because new users were relatively cheap to acquire and the data signals were so strong that the underlying algorithms knew exactly when someone was “in-market”. Everyday moving forward that will become less true. With every new gap in data, the cost to acquire new customers will increase.

Retaining and increasing the value of existing customers will need to become a more balanced priority. To be clear, we’re not saying that new customer prospecting won’t be important. But the math will need to shift a bit. If you still haven’t figured out LTV or a broader view of attribution than last-click, now is the time to take that first step. The best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the next best time is today. 

Between COVID, iOS 14, and a historic presidential election, this is going to be the most chaotic Q4 in recent memory. There is a huge opportunity for advertisers with the vision to see the forest through the trees. Take the time to plan your strategy, but be decisive and attack when others are retreating. 

Probably one of the best online sources of information is the Slack Workspace run by Mobile Dev Memo. This is a group of industry veterans that are still seeking what the specific impact of every move is in the channel #idfa-apocalypse.

Q4 is right around the corner and come September 15th, Facebook will only allow 9 campaigns to handle all your iOS 14 app install campaigns - and they have to be a separate account. 

But business is never ending. As all your competitors are in the same place, we leave you with this helpful message, “All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger, but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”


Thanks to Thomas Dumortier for sharing their work on Unsplash.

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