Apple Hasn’t Killed Mobile Advertising: The New Landscape Of Mobile Measurement Partners

Today, all digital advertising revolves around performance. Who saw your ad? For how long? Did they click? And, critically, have they taken any action?

Mobile has long been a cornerstone of this strategy and a leader in tracking how an ad led directly to a conversion. When Apple removed its advertising identifier on iPhones last year, that system collapsed.

After the launch of iOS 14.5 in September 2021, mobile marketers had to reinvent their strategies, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Consumer understanding of data changed forever after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and defining new boundaries between users and advertisers was inevitable. This is perhaps even more true for mobile phones, which can sometimes feel like an extension of ourselves. Because every personal detail is captured, over-targeting feels intrusive and damages brand-consumer relationships.

Apple is not alone in its privacy policies; Google is close behind with its own privacy solution Sandbox. With more tech giants expected to follow, this is no flash in the pan for marketers; it’s a complete recalibration of how we interact with consumers. While this may seem daunting, especially in the already complex digital space, there remain ways to deploy mapping on mobile and continue to perform.

Mobile measurement partners

An important part of any effective mobile strategy is working with a Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP). MMPs create tools that allow you to measure performance by connecting actions taken on mobile devices and relaying them to the advertiser. For example, if you’re advertising on a mobile network and your ad appears in another app, the MMP creates a bridge so that engagement data from that ad can be shared with the advertiser. The process used to be simple – matching a user’s identifier on one side to one on the other side – but now that identifier is gone.

MMPs have spent the last few years developing new solutions that no longer rely on identifiable information. Using anonymized data points, they can either fill in the gap left by identifiers or confirm results from black boxes.

While this is a less direct route, it gives marketers a better perspective on campaigns. Using aggregated data, marketers can create a holistic view and elevate campaigns from individual conversions to overall media performance.

With many to choose from, deciding which MMP to work with should be a careful process that focuses on four factors:

1. Privacy

Different brands have different privacy expectations, whether it’s because of the nature of the product/service or the type of relationship you have in place with your customers.

You need to ensure your data is managed in a way that suits your needs but also gets the best results.

2. Data Accuracy

Data precision will never be perfect, but as long as you both understand the limitations, you can find structure and create KPIs that still indicate success. This helps you measure campaigns effectively and tie the results back to your broader business goals.

3. Fraud Management

Protecting your media investment is a priority; Any investment lost through fraud is needless waste. MMPs may be well versed in ad fraud protection, but you need to assess whether their rules are consistent with the space in which you operate. Find the right rules and level of transparency that works for you.

4. Media Aggregation

You don’t want to see your activity in silos. It’s helpful to know how MMPs aggregate this data and give you the most efficient view of the data. Consider future plans and whether they will work within this model, including new channels you may run on.

With these considerations, you need to keep your overall business goals in mind. This may mean relying on different MMPs for different campaigns.

The future of your partnership

There are many more challenges when starting with an MMP. Last but not least, whether your app/platform is set up for this type of tracking (or will you have an onboarding nightmare?). It’s also worth asking if the MMP will continue to support you through new digitally enabled channels and if they are ready for new industry regulations.

While these questions are worth asking, they are elements within your control. This partnership is two-way, so make sure you do your part. You need to push, challenge and find a customized solution that will bring success.

For more information on how the world of data-driven advertising and marketing is evolving, check out our latest deep dive.