Putting SKAN 4.0 Into Practice in 2023

By Sara Camden, InMobi 

The last few years in the digital advertising world have been a time of both uncertainty and growth. The mobile ecosystem is shifting rapidly towards a more privacy-first world — and it is not just about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) or SKAdNetwork (SKAN). California and Virginia passed consumer privacy and protection laws last year, both in effect as of January 1, 2023. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA) are just drops in the bucket of what we can expect in the near future. 

App performance marketers and ad publishers alike must proactively prepare for the privacy-first world. Times are changing, and proper preparation and adaptation is the key to staying ahead and thriving so that when the time comes for the next big shift, such as Google’s Privacy Sandbox for Chrome and Android, we can all be ready.

Take, for instance, last October’s release of SKAN 4.0, which had mobile marketers waiting in anticipation since its announcement the previous June. The waiting game may have ended without warning and no practice round, but the good news is that the app performance media and measurement players that have embraced and aggressively invested in SKAN since its earliest days are already all-in and hard at work coming together to ensure that the residual gains SKAN 4.0 enables are realized as quickly as possible. However, there’s no time like the present for mobile growth marketers to build their personal toolkits for approaching this new update and cut through the noise. 

How mobile growth marketers can get a fast start with SKAN 4.0

In addition to adopting iOS 16.1 SDK in your apps, here are key action items growth marketers can take today to speed the adoption of these meaningful improvements as well as where they should be looking to their partners for expertise and assistance:

1. Revisit conversion value mapping schemas and verify MMP support

Work in close collaboration with your media partners alongside your MMP to develop a refreshed strategy that takes into consideration how to leverage the multiple postbacks now available, incorporate the new Coarse Conversion Value, and determine when to trigger conversion window locking to receive postbacks more rapidly than the default times of 0-2, 3-7, and 8-35 days that are associated with the three new static conversion windows. These new features should be approached in a strategic manner that maximizes rapid campaign optimization while also delivering the level of performance reporting insights you need. Consult with your measurement partners to ensure systems are ready to support your updated conversion mapping schemas and reporting needs.

2. Ensure media partners are deploying upgrades that maximize the value of SKAN 4.0

Media partners must update their systems to support the new four-digit Hierarchical Source ID, Safari web-to-app flow, and ensure access to ample SKAN 4.0 compliant mobile app and web ad inventory. Additionally, you should look to them to be making enhancements to their machine learning models that drive better performance leveraging the fresh signals SKAN 4.0 provides, accounting for multiple postbacks, new delay mechanisms, Hierarchical Conversion Values, and Source IDs.

Predictions to look for in 2023

Late last year, InMobi leaders and executives took time to gather their thoughts on what’s ahead in our industry. And fortunately, there’s a lot to be excited about. Here’s a preview of what co-founder Abhay Singhal had to say about the innovative turns the mobile advertising space is taking: 

  • Consumers will exert control over the mobile experience – “A battle is brewing as consumers are given the means to control their lockscreen experience. Apple kicked off this trend with iOS 16, and in 2023, we will see the lockscreen take its rightful place as the most important interface for consumers on mobile.” 

Surfaces, not apps, will be the new frontier for mobile innovation – “Lockscreens and homescreens, now under-utilized as mobile real estate, will emerge and begin to dominate the user experience. This next stage of mobile innovation will empower developers to deliver intuitive functionality and highly engaging entertainment experiences for consumers.”


About the Author: 

Sara is Head of Product Marketing for InMobi’s app performance solutions in North America. Prior to joining InMobi, she led product marketing for Publicis Groupe’s CORE ID as part of Epsilon. With more than 15 years in digital media as both a buyer and a marketer, Sara has broad ecosystem experience, having worked for global consumer brands as well as agencies, publishers and ad tech providers.  She is a recognized expert on identity, privacy and third-party data deprecation, frequently writing and speaking on topics such as SKAdNetwork and the cookieless future.