App Trends for Growth Marketers, chapter #1

App Trends for Growth Marketers, chapter #1

Chapter #1: Cookie Deprecation is here

If 2023 was a watershed year for digital marketers, 2024 will continue to bring a tidal wave of changes. Never fear; industry numbers look strong despite economic concerns, with global advertising spending predicted to grow by 7.2%, including cyclical events. In 2024. As per the Wall Street Journal, worldwide ad spending, excluding cyclical events, will reach $936 billion this year

Therefore, digital marketing is poised for another exciting year of growth and innovation in 2024. The ever-accelerating pace of technological advancement promises to open even more opportunities for marketing professionals. The trends and transformations that emerged in 2023 have continued to shape the digital marketing landscape. These shifts have profoundly impacted digital marketing strategies and the various channels used to connect with consumers.

In this new ‘App Trends’ content series, we will explore five key growth opportunities. The expert teams at M&C Saatchi Performance have identified themes marketers must seize in 2024 to stay at the forefront of the ever-changing digital media landscape.

The App Trends series will cover:

  • Chapter 1: Cookie Deprecation is here
  • Chapter 2: All About AI
  • Chapter 3: The growing significance of Apple
  • Chapter 4: The TikTok User Base Peaks
  • Chapter 5: A new dawn for social apps

Chapter #1: The cookie phase-out is here. Welcome to Google Privacy Sandbox

Google started removing third-party cookies in early 2024. As of 4th January 2024, Google has started restricting third-party cookies for 1% of its Chrome browsers, amounting to approximately 30 million users. The planned cookie phase-out will apply to 100% of Chrome users by the third quarter of 2024. Google also announced that at some point in 2024, the Google Advertising Identifier (GAID) would also be deprecated, meaning mobile and app marketers will have to rely on Google Privacy Sandbox for measurement and attribution, personalization, and segmentation.

The Privacy Sandbox is a group of tools that Google has created to help advertisers adjust to these changes. The Privacy Sandbox is a cross-platform solution that, while limiting tracking, provides alternatives such as the Topics API and Protected Audience API to allow advertisers to target ads to users without tracking their browsing history.

Impact of Privacy Sandbox on App Marketers 

  • Marketers should prepare now; this involves setting up future-proofing measurement strategies. 

  • We expect to see Privacy Sandbox rolled out more widely in the second half of 2024, and Google will officially sunset cookies in Chrome and block access to the ADID on Android.

  • Targeting methods and attribution processes will change on the backend, but all the same tactics (behavioral targeting, re-engagement, conversion tracking) will still be available.

  • The average ATT opt-in rate is 34%, up from 29% in 2022. Opt-in rates vary by region, with the UAE(49.6%), Brazil (47%), and Vietnam (45%) having higher rates than Germany (20%), Japan(22%), Australia (23%), and Canada (23%). At 24%, the U.S. and Italy have slightly higher opt-in rates than the average. ATT opt-in rates have also grown for iOS, and we can expect a similar trend for Android. Source

  • Opt-in rates differ across categories; for example, Gaming (37%), Food & Drink (36%), and E-Commerce (34%) see the highest ATT-opt-in rates. Within the gaming category, there are hyper-casual games (44%), sports games (43%), and racing games (40%). Source

Do you have measurement concerns or pain points? To help growth advertisers review their measurement needs, we’ve produced a free ‘Measurement Health Check’, available here.

Overall, marketers can expect changes to performance results and conversion reporting, albeit on a smaller scale than the changes felt by ATT and SKAdNetwork. 

While the impact of the Privacy Sandbox will be more widespread due to its higher usage and penetration globally, the changes are expected to be less disruptive overall. However, advertisers should work with trusted partners such as their MMP and media agency to ensure they are ready for the change.

 Impact of Third-Party Cookie Deprecation

  • Data signals will be housed in the device or browser itself and not passed on to third parties. This will make user data more secure but may limit the number of signals used for targeting. 
  • Users will be targeted based on Topics (behavioral signals) or Protected Audiences (first-party audience segments). This means that advertisers must focus on collecting first-party data and building relationships with their customers.

Biggest challenges for media teams

  •  Keeping Topics and Protected Audiences fresh. Google auto-deletes Topics older than four weeks and site-suggested ads for Protected Audiences after 30 days.
  • Driving users back to their site consistently. This is important for keeping users in the retargeting audience pool.

Biggest opportunities for media teams

  • Providing users with the ability to customize their ad experience. This should reduce impression wastage and improve user satisfaction. For example, a 32-year-old woman who likes to shop online may block “News” and allow “Fashion & Style” and “Women’s Clothing.”

Campaign Measurement in the Post-Cookie Era

Google’s Attribution Reporting API offers two reports:

  • First, event-level reports attribute conversions to an ad impression or click, but the conversion data is limited and delayed.

  • Second, summary reports provide more detailed conversion data, but they are aggregated.

Like SKAdNetwork, Privacy Sandbox limits the level of granularity significantly. Ad tech partners will need to retrain their machine learning models based on this new framework, and advertisers will need to adjust how they analyze results. Thinking in cohorts rather than individuals will be beneficial.

Exploring New KPIs in the Wake of Change

Google does not have a framework for cross-device attribution. This means that other methods will need to be used to measure the value of Android campaigns, such as incrementality testing and media mix modeling.

Strategic Steps for App Marketers in the Google Privacy Sandbox Era

  • To understand the impact, get ahead by testing APIs and comparing results under Privacy Sandbox versus ADID targeting.

  • Refine Contextual targeting strategies as they won’t be affected by Privacy Sandbox.

  • Explore new channels like CTV, podcasting, and DOOH to diversify your marketing beyond mobile.

  • DOOH advertising is on the rise. The global DOOH advertising revenue is expected to grow by 34% by 2028. Media teams can capitalize on this trend by developing creative and effective DOOH campaigns.

  • Ensure Measurement strategies are fit for purpose. We recommend and help clients set up three measurement areas they need to succeed: Attribution, Incrementality, and Media Mix Models. The benefit of having these strategies in place is:

  • Refinement of media plans based on insights and campaign performance

  • Driving growth through ROI

Do you have any questions about Cookie Deprecation or Google Privacy Sandox, or do you want to hear how we can help your brand grow?