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04 Aug 2021
Industry Trends | 4 min read

Apple’s Impact on Marketing Attribution

Rockerbox - Alyssa Jarrett Written by Alyssa Jarrett
on August 04, 2021

Businesses have always struggled with measuring marketing performance, but it’s safe to say that Apple’s recent privacy changes to iOS14 have taken those challenges to a whole new level. 

With digital media expected to account for half of total global ad spend this year, how can brands apply best practices from industry leaders to meet these changes head on?

We partnered with Portage Ventures in a recent webinar to discuss marketing attribution in Apple’s new privacy world and how marketers can move forward and achieve their desired results. 

In this live discussion, Ron Jacobson, co-founder and CEO of Rockerbox, joined a panel alongside Anthony Trankiem, Senior Director, Performance Marketing at KOHO; Scott Brietenother, founder of Brooklyn Data Co.; and webinar host Jonathan Metrick, Chief Growth Officer at Portage Ventures. These marketers bring years of experience from Tinder, Casper, LinkedIn and Policygenius, and work with today’s world-class brands.


Here’s the TL;DR in case you missed the conversation.


1. Best-in-class attribution has no one right answer

There are many ways to measure marketing performance, and the panelists agreed that no one methodology is perfect. Your business may be more interested in a bottoms-up approach with multi-touch attribution (MTA) to closely understand user behavior. On the other hand, to measure impact at a more macro level, you may seek top-down approaches, such as incrementality testing and media mix modeling (MMM). 

Each approach is one component of a holistic measurement strategy, and while they all have certain strengths and limitations, marketers will be expected to combine methodologies and use them all to get a better sense of direction. Trankiem likened the difficulty of this orchestration to conducting a massive symphony: The best marketers understand how to measure performance like they’re conducting a performance.


2. Brands face attribution challenges regardless of size or stage

If you’re not a Fortune 500 company, it may be tempting to deprioritize the need for marketing attribution technology until all the stars have aligned—you’ve hit a certain threshold of advertising spend, hired a dedicated data analyst, or brought on a high-powered CMO.

However, even if you’re primarily advertising on platforms like Google and Facebook, it won’t be long before you notice discrepancies in the data and duplicated conversions, all trying to take credit for the same touchpoints. In fact, webinar attendees shared that Facebook is underreporting up to 30-40 percent of their conversions, which has a significant impact on their ability to optimize their campaigns.

And this issue exacerbates when you start to add traditionally harder to track channels, like influencers or podcasts. Tactics like vanity URLs, promo codes, and post-purchase “How did you hear about us?” surveys all include their own complexities but are extremely valuable in filling in knowledge gaps.

Having the right infrastructure in place early on to tackle marketing attribution is critical in ensuring that your brand is set up for success as it scales.


3. Embrace this evolution with a culture of experimentation

It's not like walled gardens are a new concept, and there are many channels that cannot be tracked with cookies of Apple's Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Just because a platform or channel is difficult to measure doesn't mean that brands are going to stop advertising on them altogether. Rather than spend too much of your time and mental energy concerned about issues you can’t control, like whether Google, Amazon or other tech giants will follow in Apple’s footsteps, consider now your chance to try new tactics, test different strategies and implement modern marketing attribution solutions.

All of the speakers emphasized getting comfortable with the so-called chaos. What will differentiate the companies that succeed today is a collaborative testing culture, with the entire organization rising to the challenge. And while it’s certainly an advantage to have teams solely focused on stats, analytics and business intelligence, even the very nature of bouncing ideas off one another regardless of role will lead to greater insights.


The world has changed—so should your measurement

We all know by now that the only constant is change, so what does that mean for your marketing? It’s next to impossible to stay current on all the recent and upcoming updates to consumer data privacy, but the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to carry this burden on your own. 

Leading attribution platforms like Rockerbox take the guesswork out of marketing measurement and give you the confidence to make better informed decisions for your brand. 

Want to know how Rockerbox’s team of experts can help you navigate this uncharted territory? Reach out today to schedule a 1:1 consultation.

No more confusion. Just real marketing insights.

Talk to our team about how Rockerbox can change the way you spend—for the better.