When you woke up this morning, what’s one of the first things you did? I imagine you opened at least one mobile application — most likely before you opened your laptop. As the innovation of the mobile app landscape has evolved, so has the growth of this channel.
Consumer spending on mobile apps and app installs has grown significantly. In the first half of the 2020, consumers spent 23.4% more than during the first half of 2019, resulting in $50.1B worldwide. In addition, first-time app installs were up 26.1% year-over-year in the first half of 2020 to reach 71.5 billion downloads.
This creates a big opportunity for publishers expanding into the mobile app world. Compared to navigating the web on a mobile device, native apps are typically easier to access, and provide a faster and more interactive user experience. These benefits also lead to a better in-app advertising experience.
As consumers’ content consumption behaviors change, so do the industries dedicated to building and regulating these applications. As data privacy concerns increase and tech giants prevent tracking and personalization, publishers should pivot and expand their web-based strategies to offer transparency, control, and build trust in mobile applications.
From a privacy perspective, regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) shine a spotlight on mobile app technologies and how apps collect and share data with third parties.
According to the GDPR (Recital 30) and e-Privacy Directive Article 5(3):
Individuals can be associated with online/device identifiers. Use or storage of information can only be done with consent.
On the other hand, the CCPA (Section 1798.120) states:
A consumer can direct a business not to sell the consumer’s personal information. A ‘Sale’ is a transfer for monetary or Valuable Consideration.
Apple recently announced that iOS 14 will mask the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) by explicit opt-in instead of the current limited ad tracking (LAT) opt-out. At a high level, this means end users will be prompted to grant consent for capturing their data and allowing tracking across devices.
The recent privacy rule has gained much attention from the ad tech industry. Advertisers currently rely on the IDFA for ad monetization because it provides a unique and persistent identifier across apps. Facebook and digital ad companies have warned that the proposed change could roil the mobile app industry. Apple says developers can choose to comply with the rule now that iOS 14 has launched — but that it won’t be enforced until 2021.
The rollout of Apple’s iOS 14 impacts publishers’ ability to accurately target and measure their advertisers’ campaigns, so it’s imperative for mobile app publishers to put a strategy in place for this privacy feature to avoid significant ad revenue losses.
Now that they have a little more time, publishers, advertisers, and agencies should develop an encompassing strategy on how to deal with this more restricted environment. With Apple and other tech platforms creating more restrictive policies on tracking, it’s important to stay on top of the ever-changing environment.
Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch and want to catch up on the news while dinner is cooking, so you open your favorite news application. First, you have to log in every time you open the application. Second, you’re served multiple, irrelevant ads that you did not consent to. Eventually, you might forego your favorite application for another because the experience is terrible and not as personalized as you expect.
Now picture this: You open your favorite news app –
Which app would you continue to use every day?
How do you implement compliance requirements, technology updates, and a seamless user experience into your mobile application? Here are best practices OneTrust PreferenceChoice recommends for taking a privacy-centric approach to mobile applications.
If you didn’t code your mobile app yourself, it's important to understand what the technology is doing with regards to third-party sharing. The best way to understand this is to scan your application to understand the SDKs, tracking technologies, and third-parties that are collecting data from your application.
From a vendor perspective, you’ll want to:
Build pop-up disclosures and preference centers based on relevant jurisdictions.
There are three main considerations for the UX of your CMP:
The last step is deploying the SDK into your mobile application. You’ll need to think about what kind of SDK if needed based on the platform your application will run on.
Once the SDK is deployed in the mobile app, you’ll want to consider continuing to leverage CMP capabilities over time. For example, rescan your application every so often to understand if there are any changes to SDKs. Also, to meet compliance standards, generate consent records to automate compliance documentation and record keeping.
A mobile application might be just one of the digital properties you own. What about a CMP for web or an over-the-top (OTT) application on a Connected TV (CTV)?
To meet consumers’ expectations of a unified experience across devices, publishers should ensure that cross-device consent capture is available and consistent across platforms and centralize the consent records from browsers, mobile, and OTT apps.
As we continue to navigate the ad tech landscape, three components will likely continue to be at the forefront of every publisher’s digital strategy: privacy, control, and trust.
Ashlea Cartee spends her time helping companies across the globe rethink the way marketing and privacy teams work together. As the Product Marketing Manager at OneTrust PreferenceChoice and CookiePro by OneTrust — the most widely used CMP and cookie banner on the web — Ashlea is an expert in helping marketers and publishers build trust as a competitive advantage, not a compliance headache.