Starting off with some background: What is a Google advertising ID or GAID?
The Google Advertising ID (GAID, or Android ID, or Android Advertising ID) is a device unique, resettable, identifier, used to allow App developers the ability to track advertising performance and users across media inventories, while keeping user privacy secure.
The History of the GAID, or Android advertising ID, Privacy and GAID (and IDFA),
You might be asking yourself: What is the difference between Device ID, IDFA & GAID?
GAID was introduced in 2014 following Android deprecation of the Android ID (equivilent to the Apple UDID). GAID provided users with an option to reset their identifier as well as opt out of ads personalization - a toggle that only provided a "flag" to media vendors and attribution solutions, but did not hide or mask the device identifier itself.
Why is Google planning to nix “GAID” for opted-out users on Android
With critisism and revolt by users and privacy advocates, as well as thanks to Apple's leadership in the topic of privacy - Google is encouraged to limit and eventually deprecate GAID.
Google’s quiet preparations for Apple’s IDFA change offers hints on the future of its own mobile ad ID. Google won’t show ATT prompt in their apps on iOS devices.
Google plans to change Advertiser ID tracking and what it means for you.
Data & Privacy concerns have reached a tilling point. No one wants their data exposed and shared to the highest bidder (pun intended 😬)
Apple is deprecating the IDFA, making it an opt-out by default and eliminating the ability for fingerprinting without user consent.
Google will follow by deprecating GAID (Google Advertising ID”) soon enough.
User level tracking and attribution becomes obsolete.
If you are a mobile marketer – none of this should be new for you. You are probably stressed, as while Apple delayed the IDFA change – you know that this is inevitable.
Why Is Data & Privacy Concerns On The Rise ?
Privacy has been a buzzed up topic in the media for the past years. Platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon and so on, where users willingly share private information have been scrutinize by media for monetizing on this data. Data breaches, Political Interference, Anti-Trust and Anonymous User targeting were painted in the same brush by privacy advocate groups and the media rode this wave.
The New York Times launched “The Privacy Project” – a 1984 styled series of articles showing how location data can be used for harm.
Even if 99% of the adtech industry is ethical enough to protect user privacy – the regulation comes against the 1% that isn’t, and the 1% who means harm.
Apple Wants To Hurt Networks To Make More Search Ads Revenues
Some skeptics and cynics say that Apple doesn’t really care about privacy, and that deprecating IDFA is just a way for Apple to disrupt and take a larger chunk of the $200B Mobile Advertising pie.
My opinion is that while privacy concerns have been the causality, while Apple Search Ads benefit has been the correlation, or opportunity, in this circumstances. The Apple’s Privacy Ad maybe is an over exaggeration – but it does sell more devices in a time where users are concerned about their privacy.
Google Will Follow. Google Advertising ID (GAID) Is As Good As Gone
About 80% of Google’s revenues come from Advertising, and while Apple’s Ad-Revenue is not specifically reported on – we can all assume it is not 80% of Apple’s revenues.
The ability to target, predict intent and leverage on user search and internet behavior data has been in the core of Google’s advertising products. From Maps to Search, from Gmail to Docs. Hell – they own Android!
While all major browsers killed 3rd party cookies already (Apple Safari ITP: 2017, Firefox: 2018), Google announced it will stop supporting 3rd party cookies on June 2022 – giving everyone, but especially – giving Google – time to prepare and work on solutions with privacy in mind.
I personally give it 1 year until Google announces something similar to IDFA deprecation with GAID.
Attribution Companies Will Have A “Workaround”
Many marketers are working with the attribution companies to consolidate data from SKAdnetwork and the users who would consent to tracking.
Some solutions offered including using IDFV (Identifier for Vendors) in combination with an IP to attempt user level tracking.
Some suggested wrapping the SKAdnetwork call outs so that the MMPs can still process and get the postbacks from Apple directly.
It is still unclear how the setup with attribution will be. What could be a safe bet is that Apple will not allow “workarounds” for user level tracking.
What ARE Marketers Doing ?
Almost all marketers we spoke with are somewhere on the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle:
Denial: “Apple won’t actually make this change”, “but I can still target users and get attribution on a user level”, Shock: “hmmmm…..say what?!”
Anger: Frustration, Irritation, Anxiety
Bargaining: “I’m speaking with my rep at Apple to fix this!”
Depression: “I’ll move my activity to Android!!!”
Acceptance: “I’m exploring options. Making plans. Moving on”
Why Do We Feel That We’re Ready For This Post IDFA / GAID World ?
To be perfectly honest – we’ve been ready for this change even before it was announced by Apple. Apple’s announcement, deprecating IDFA was insignificant for us.
Common questions we get:
Is INCRMNTAL an attribution solution ? No
Is INCRMNTAL a new type of media buying platform ? No
Does INCRMNTAL only work for retargeting ? No
To work with INCRMNTAL , do we need to change how they use attribution solutions ? No
So what is our solution ? Why are we so READY ?!
Incrementality CANNOT BE MEASURED ON A USER LEVEL. We already wrote about the marketing funnel and our opinion about “deterministic attribution”.
Our approach to incrementality measurement has always used aggregate data, statistical modeling, algorithms and innovation in AI to score incrementality, cannibalization, by finding the causality in marketing activities.
We use the attribution data as a fact. Whether if an MMP did the attribution , or if SKAdnetwork did. We are not trying to challenge the attribution itself, as typically – MMPs get it right.
What INCRMNTAL does is attribute the correct value (or lack thereof) of spend by learning the independencies and differences caused by changes in the activity in an on-going basis.
Apple’s announcement, and Google’s future announcement, makes no real difference for us, as we have never attempted to claim “determinism”, “forecasting incrementality” or discrediting how attribution is done.
Update: Google to Prevent App Developers from Using Advertising ID for Any Purpose Following User Opt-Out
INCRMNTAL is an incrementality testing platform providing ammunition to the digital marketer. The platform uses machine learning and AI to provide incrementality and cannibalization actionable insights acting as a strategic tool to unlock the value of your marketing budget.
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