8 limitations of SKAdNetwork for mobile marketing measurement

The way mobile apps and mobile brands grow on iPhone and iPad just massively changed. In the past, marketers have had access to near-complete data on devices that saw their ads, clicked on their ads, and installed their apps, thanks to a piece of Apple technology called the IDFA, or Identifier for Advertisers.

In iOS 14.5, that changed.

Now, to get access to the IDFA, apps have to ask permission via ATT, or App Tracking Transparency. And because the visibility of one side of the data doesn’t do a lot of good (you install my app, you grant IDFA permission, I see your IDFA, but you didn’t grant it to the app where you saw the ad that you clicked that led to you installing my app, so I don’t see where you came from) even a 20-40% ATT yes rate doesn’t help that much.

So there are some limitations, which I recently summarized for my client Singular in a blog post. An excerpt:

SKAdNetwork may be the only game in town for mobile marketing measurement and attribution on iOS 14.5 and following for the foreseeable future. And it offers some significant benefits: deterministic attribution of app installs on the iOS App Store. But there are also some major SKAdNetwork limitations.

The IDFA, after all, offered attribution data that was deterministic too.

But it also provided device-level granularity. Deep linking functionality with deep linking measurement and tracking. Extensive post-install app events for conversion reporting and ad campaign optimization. Data on ad impressions. Data on ad clicks. And, of course, an identifier for retargeting and look-alike audiences.

That’s in the past.

But there’s still some value in understanding as much as possible about SKAdNetwork limitations so that mobile marketers can optimize around them. I spent a few minutes with Singular CTO Eran Friedman to understand those SKAdNetwork limitations and get some insight into how to maximize the data that SKADNetwork does supply.

Get all the SKAdNetwork limitations details in the post here

Oh, and I interviewed Singular CTO Eran Friedman about those limitations. Here’s what he had to say:


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