Blog Article

Mobile Marketing Milestones: Q&A With Mobile Action

November 18, 2022

Welcome to Mobile Marketing Milestones, Moloco’s new Q&A interview series. We will be chatting with the best and brightest minds in the industry today, to provide you with the insights, knowledge, and tips you need to succeed.

For our first installment, we chatted with Muammer Ünal, Consultant at Mobile Action. In this 18-minute conversation, we cover the current state of iOS mobile advertising, how advertisers should be approaching their ad creatives, SKAdNetwork, and so much more. Check it out!

Full Interview Transcript 

Matthew

Hi, everyone. Welcome to Mobile Marketing Milestones, Moloco’s Q&A series with the best and brightest in mobile advertising and marketing. And very excited today to have Muammer Unal from Mobile Action. Thanks for joining us today.

Muammer

Thank you for inviting me.

Matthew

So before we get started, can you give the folks tuning in a little bit of an overview of both yourself and Mobile Action?

Muammer

Sure. Hello, I'm Muammer. So I'm working at Mobile Action as the Head of Platform. But a little of background, I worked at AdColony for nine years, in different teams like programmatic, brands, and UA performance teams. And for Mobile Action, so we founded in 2013, and launched our app intel and our ASO intel suites in 2015. And finally, in 2018, we became a full stack App Store insights suite, with the launches of market intel and ad intel. We launched our Search Ads platform in second half of 2019, and became an official Apple Search Ads partner in 2020. So yeah, that's, that's all.

Matthew

Great, fantastic. And I think it's really great to have you on the program, because certainly one of the the topic of today's conversation and a topic that still remains 18 months later the hot topic in our industry is, of course, App Tracking Transparency. I think with your deep expertise in the Apple ecosystem, it'd be really great to get your insights. So really looking forward to today's conversation. So my first question is, let's just level set here. How has ATT impacted mobile advertising on iOS? And how have advertisers been reacting to it, you know, at this point, coming close to two years since its first introduction?

Muammer

So as you know, after ATT, the apps are only allowed to use their first-party data in their ads for the opt-out users. ATT doesn't stop advertisers from serving ads. But it does make it significantly harder for advertisers to target and personalize their campaigns on ad networks. So they can still collect some information about user behavior, but it's not nearly as specific as what they've been using for years. Some big advertisers choose to do acquisitions, as you know, because Apple actually allows you to use your first-party data. And as an answer here, advertisers should not combat ATT, they should adopt it. They should rethink their UA strategies on the result level. They should work on strategies like contextual targeting, and find ways to do more and more effective creatives.

Matthew

So I guess this leads into my second question, considering the limitations imposed by ATT, yes, it still makes sense to advertise on iOS?

Muammer

Sure. Yeah. Sure. You know, of course it is, because it's still a very big ecosystem. And even if user base targeting options on user level is less, and there's no way around for, you know, for this feature, advertisers can still re-examine and rethink their UA strategies, rethink every part of their app campaigns lifecycle and generate a good revenue from iOS UA campaigns.

Matthew

Yeah, and I think you brought up a really interesting point before in the sense that the users are still there, and I think, as you mentioned, between creatives and contextual targeting, there's still many different levers that you can pull to achieve your results that you're looking for. It's not like there's zero data, it's just like, the information that you're getting is perhaps less granular and less one to one than maybe what you're used to.

Muammer

Yeah, exactly. You know, about the creatives part. So, you know, you can use more broader messages with your creatives, not just granular level creatives, but you can still sell with your creatives in your UA campaigns. So the users are still there. It's really a very good ecosystem still. So it really needs to continue. 

Matthew

Yeah, I think the creative point is really interesting, because it's almost going back to what the purpose of advertising, which is really to convince someone and to provide that education. You know, for so long when, if you're so reliant on one-to-one targeting, it almost doesn't matter what your creative is, to an extent, because you know that person is highly likely to use your app, be interested in your services, etc. And now you have to actually think like, oh, how can I actually convince someone that what I'm offering or that my app is worthwhile to download with the creative?

Muammer

Before the ATT, the creators were just like, using, you know, filling the funnel. In post ATT, your creative should be more like, actually selling your product, actually selling your app. So if you focus on your, you know, creative testings, you can find better ways to advertise your apps in your ecosystem.

Matthew

I'm curious, are you seeing certain types of creative that is working especially well in iOS these days? Are there certain trends or styles of creative that are kind of catching your eye?

Muammer

The full page video size is the, you know, best used creative before and still marketers are using the full page video size creative the most. But other than that, you know, in-feed videos are still in the game. So the creative sizes are a very good formula that can help advertisers to performance better in the post ATT processes as well. 

Matthew

One thing I'm curious about on the creative piece is around testing. So certain kinds of standard creative testing, like an A/B test, for example, is maybe just not quite as straightforward in iOS as it used to be. What do you recommend for like, what are the best practices for testing different types of creative and making heads or tails of the results?


Muammer

About testing, actually, not only for creatives, but also for your all UA campaign cycle, my suggestion is  to use the incrementality testing, like we learned in school, like control groups and test groups. You know, it's the most known methods, but with these changes, because you can not go to the user level, you can just isolate your affected variables. And, you know, after using the control and testing groups, just isolate your affected variables, and you can just formulate your actions, you know, in your whole campaign, also in your creative testing part as well.

Matthew

Yeah, I know, and I think you’re, it definitely a good idea. And certainly, I'm hearing a lot more about incrementality and then the benefit of that. I guess, maybe to level set here, I've seen a couple different definitions of incrementality and incremental testing. How do you define it?

Muammer

So, it's basically the most known scientific method that we learned in school. Just use two different groups, like control group and one test group, and run your, let's say, if you're testing a contextual targeting part in your campaign, just change that variable and run your campaign those two different targeting styles and see which performance is better for you. So for creatives, you can use the same methods. So you're just evaluating that control and test group methods in your campaigns. That's, you know, the best suggestion I can make, I guess, about creative testing and campaign testing in a way.

Matthew

Yeah, I think it's, certainly if you're used to running an always-on campaign, and then now you have to turn off your campaign for testing purposes, that definitely can be a little scary. But I think there can be some really interesting insights that you get from incremental testing, for sure. You know, sometimes it's what you thought were paid installs were actually just organic installs that you're wasting money on. So there's a lot of good insights that you can get from that style of testing. You've mentioned contextual targeting a few times and I do want to get into that. I think certainly there's a certain amount of contextual targeting has long been the case in mobile advertising and mobile marketing, right? As anyone who's ever played a game on their phone knows, certainly anytime you open a game, you see ads for other games. I think, though, that I could see potentially that contextual targeting may evolve, and we can be kind of more thoughtful about how contextual targeting is applied. How are you seeing marketers and advertisers think about contextual targeting and iOS today? And how may that change over time?

Muammer

So it's not a secret that, you know, personalized ads work better. So it's been much more difficult for those people to properly target the correct audiences, because Apple kind of thrown a wrench into targeting. But instead of trying to determine what someone likes, I believe the mindset should be giving people choices and personalization. And you can achieve it by creating interactive and engaging ad creatives, which can personalize itself with the engagements. So the good thing about these interactive ads is, for example, you can have different click URLs based on what people are engaging with, to essentially deep link them into the products that they're looking at. For example, playable ads allow you to almost host a mini website as an interactive ad, and let people pick and choose and engage with the content they want. So they can go through these ads and get a different product and experience based on the choices they make, what their actual interests are. So now you no longer have to target someone so specifically. If you think of it as a wall, we may not crush it but we may walk around it. So there are still available options out there which are certainly better than static ads that no one interacts with.

Matthew

Yeah, I think that's a really interesting point, and something that I don't see getting discussed very often. So I'm really glad that you brought that up in the sense that the ad itself can provide you with information on the user and what they like. And I'm really glad you brought up playable. I think so often, when in the industry, when you think playable, you think, Oh, I can play the game before I download it. But I think there's a lot of value, whether it's when you're trying to advertise a movie, or you know, I've seen some major, you know, food and beverage brands use playables. I think there's ways in which you can take the interactivity, inherent in mobile and make your ads that much more engaging and get additional context on the user. So a really, really good point.

Matthew

So, one thing I want to get into, I think we've gotten some great topics here, covered a lot of great ground on creative and contextual targeting. But I do think we would be remiss if we didn't cover the measurement and attribution side of things, which of course leads us directly to SKAdNetwork. So certainly one of the, probably the key limitations to ATT is that the postback windows are much less exact. The information that we're getting back on our campaigns through SKAdNetwork is fairly limited. I guess, you know, knowing the limitations of SKAdNetwork as it stands today, how, you know, what would you recommend is the best way to make heads or tails of the data that you are getting, and how should advertisers be thinking about SKAdNetwork?

Muammer

So overall, iOS 15 represents a positive change to the advertisers. Now with the access to installl relation postbacks, they're afforded greater insights into the performance and, you know, they can see more results of their campaigns. So, in iOS 15, they aim to solve the targeting issues [that] occurred after ATT through several changes primarily by giving advertisers access to the raw postback data. So, which are you know, exchanges of data and information that are sent back after a process such as an install. We can see you know, the process is completed. This brings us, you know, SKAdNetwork change helps, like, advertisers to make it, you know, to see their reports maybe in probabilistic ways with MMPs, and try to use better targets in their apps. So, you know, it's not just helping all the way. It's not bringing us to the before ATT process, but it's definitely helping advertisers to target their audiences better, have better reports database. 

Matthew

I think that's a good point. And that it's, you know, there's still useful data that you're getting back from SKAN. And it's just a matter of, like, how do you make sense of the data, and setting up your campaigns in a way to make sure that you're getting the right data that you need. So I'd love your thoughts on this. So Apple has announced that SKAN 4.0 is supposed to be released by the end of the year, although it's October so we'll see if it does, and certainly they've released some advanced specs. I'm curious, your thoughts as far as SKAN 4.0 is concerned. Are there certain features that you're really looking forward to? And what features do you wish that Apple would introduce to SKAN in future versions?

Muammer

So with, you know, iOS 15. One, you know, as I said, they can, because of the raw data, they can, advertisers can gather more information about, you know, from the SKAdNetwork, and they are not using the uninstall tracking, it's no longer possible. So uninstall tracking is referring to the process in which advertisers were, like, able to track device IDs of those who had uninstalled an app, using this information for later retargeting. So I guess this is making it difficult about, you know, the retargeting parts. 

Matthew

Great. So we've covered a lot of ground today. Really appreciate all of your insights. So as we wind down today's conversation, let's look forward a little bit. As we're, as we head into 2023 and beyond, where do you see mobile advertising and mobile marketing on iOS evolving? What trends do you think will become more or less prominent as we move forward?

Muammer

So, you know, for advertisers, the first answer here is you need to know your audience. You know, you need to know where they are, you need to know why they are installing your apps. And, you know, for the future also, we can customize, you know, you can customize some of the message you are showing to your audience, you know, the opt out message you can customize that. So convince them to stay, to opt in, in your apps. And advertisers should work on their creative strategy as we said in post ATT. Instead of just working to fill the funnel, your ads have to sell. You should think broader, not so granular. You should use your ad types wisely. Video ads are still the most effective ads. And, of course, there are channels like search ads, you know, you should also use your UA channels as well. So the future is not dark. We need to just adapt all these changes. And we need to remember these are for the user's privacy and adopt those changes at the end of the day.

Matthew 

Yeah, all really fantastic points. When you're delighting your users and respecting their wishes and their privacy, it's really a win-win for everyone. 

Muammer

Exactly. 

Matthew

Well, fantastic. Yeah. Thank you so much for your time. It was really great chatting. I learned a lot. And everyone tuning in, I hope you learned a lot as well. So everyone, thanks for tuning in. 

Muammer

Yeah, thank you. 

Matthew

Thanks, everyone.

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