In this article, originally published by MartechasiaYogeeta Chainani, CEO and co-founder of Swaarm, talked about how gaming companies and mobile app developers should prioritize privacy-enabled user acquisition by partnering with new-age performance-based marketing platforms.



Privacy and advertising have always had a stormy relationship. The mobile marketing industry has witnessed a multitude of privacy changes in the past few years, leaving marketers and advertisers in a state of flux when it comes to measuring and analysing their campaigns.  


The ability to target ads at consumers increases every time brands get access to more information about them- a scenario that now depends on the willingness of users to share such information for a specific app. With consumers reigning supreme, globally the environment is rather unstable for advertisers who but naturally are latching onto privacy-enabled user acquisition technologies.



Changing user behaviour and its impact on mobile gaming app developers


To begin with, governments across geographies, especially those in the  European Union with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are taking strong actions to tackle privacy violations. Apple privacy restrictions for third-party ads were implemented in 2021.


In June this year, the announcement of the launch of iOS17 further impacted both businesses and users. Apple’s key privacy changes in the form of Link Tracking Protection, Mail Privacy Protection and Safari Private Browsing Enhancements brought crucial changes to tracking and privacy, specifically in the realm of private browsing. Google soon joined this tribe and its latest privacy restrictions no longer allow users’ data to be shared with third parties without clear consent.


Mobile gaming companies want players to both come back to their games and/or get on new ones.  Equally important for them is to be able to do attribution such as details about users making a purchase in a game – their point of motivation and location etc.  Earlier partners like Facebook helped them in getting such data, a scenario which has been cut off by Apple, who no longer permits third parties from using such data.


Additionally, with users thinking twice about giving consent, gaming developers and publishers can no longer rely on reduced data to acquire users- the ROI just doesn’t make sense. From a major dip in revenues to mobile companies like Zynga selling itself- the impact is for everyone to see.



So what’s the need of the hour?


Mobile app developers and gaming companies should look at partnering with new-age performance-based marketing platforms that can target groups of similar users as against specific individuals, without invading privacy.


This can also greatly simplify the day-to-day tasks of digital marketers; and empower them and advertisers to focus on creating meaningful, successful advertising campaigns by removing the complexity associated with the privacy features introduced by Mobile and Desktop platforms recently.


There are already industry-first end-to-end SaaS offerings that can help marketers, advertisers, Ad Networks, and Ad Agencies sail through the dynamic privacy arena without compromising on users’ privacy.


Such solutions not only ensure that campaigns are measured and monitored accurately but also help marketers to evaluate their campaign performance metrics on every environment including iOS where ID (or identifier) for advertisers are a rare occurrence, Android where either user agents are deprecated, or on the web where third-party cookies are being taken off.


The fact that such solutions track data linked to campaigns or traffic sources rather than individual user profiles on iOS, Android and the Web ensures maintenance of a user’s privacy.


Additionally, specific to iOS 14, there is already a presence of a compliant attribution chain methodology which is the first of its kind in the mobile advertising industry- another offering that digital marketers should explore.


Privacy-enabled user acquisition for mobile apps: time to overcome the challenges

Photo by Jud Mackrill on Unsplash


Privacy-enabled attribution is the way to go


Performance-based tracking platforms have introduced privacy-enabled attribution wherein the cohort, the identification of a user is not collected. For the business side of things, they identify the source information (where a user comes from versus user identification for targeting) that can be used and optimized by the advertisers. For example, advertisers could earmark a group of people having preferences for a particular type of game.


Let’s take a scenario as an example wherein a mobile gaming company is looking to identify the source of a publisher (from five of its publishers)from where its users are coming from. They can focus their marketing efforts towards one or two of its publishers if they observe their overall performance indicators (KPIs) better or overscoring than the rest. This can lend a much-needed edge to mobile gaming advertisers.


It’s imperative for mobile gaming companies to scout for platforms that as much as possible can act like a one-stop marketing solution – take care of performance marketing, influencer marketing, or social media marketing. The biggest expectation from a platform should be its ability to help mobile gaming companies become more efficient in the realm of privacy-related business whilst keeping their costs low.


This article was originally published in Martechasia!