Get ready for SKAd Attribution

Smadex and Attribution In The New SKAd Era

Gerard Colomer

While we await the release of the App Tracking Transparency framework, we’ve been busy getting ready for SKAd attribution. In the last few months, we have been working hard with advertisers and MMPs alike.

After some hard work, we are now successfully integrated with all major MMPs for SKAdNetwork. Proudly, we can say we were among the first players and networks in doing so.


Smadex Deeper Modeling

At Smadex, we develop our own technology to deliver the best performance for our partners. When it comes to SKAd, we faced this challenge with a full-time engineering team. Our focus on leveraging the data science behind our platform helped us sharpen our algorithms and data pipelines.

As a mobile-first DSP at Smadex, we have been running successful LAT campaigns since it was first introduced. In 2012 by Apple, and later by Google in 2013. As the device_ID is not always available -and bidding on LAT traffic can sometimes even deliver better ROAS-, we’ve built and perfected a full set of algorithms for probabilistic attribution. In fact, during 2020 alone, we bought over 10 billion LAT impressions.

Preparing for SKAdNetwork, we’ve been working on reformulating how our machine learning works in the upcoming new bidding framework.

Our Data Science team has developed and trained new algorithms to be best suited for SKAdNetwork based attribution. For example, optimizing towards intentional clicks and working with SSPs to get additional signals can allow us to deliver more installs in the new SKAdNetwork environment.

Our system has also been developed so our clients can choose if they want to optimize towards SKAd installs or probabilistic attribution obtained from the MMPs (if they are allowed after ATT).

Last December, together with SocialPoint, we tested our developments on the competitive landscape of gaming apps in the US. To scale their UA efforts for their flagship game, Dragon City, we tested a campaign on LAT traffic only. We ran a 4 week test period achieving great D1 and D3 ROAS when implementing our new data science suite (see full case).


Are you up to the challenge proposed by the new SKAd attribution?

Apple’s changes to IDFA are going to make things more difficult for advertisers. And according to a survey carried by Appsflyer last month, almost 40% of marketers have little to no understanding of the IDFA protocol.

At Smadex, it’s a high priority for us to work with our partners ahead of the full implementation of App Tracking Transparency and SKAd in March 2021 to minimize side effects and get the expected performance.

Here, we’d like to share some tips and the first steps you need to take to stay ahead of the curve.

  • Get your technical set-up ready: Make sure you can notify Apple when you receive a new install. Your MMP SDK will help you to do it. This brings us to the next point.
  • Integrate with your MMP: Work as if the release date were tomorrow. It sure feels like it. Your MMP can help you to notify installs to Apple and to map the conversion_value.
  • Start collecting data: Run your first campaigns on SKAd traffic, both LAT and device ID, to understand how your performance could be affected and be able to adjust your buying strategy. If you start testing before ATT is enforced, you will be able to compare the information you currently have (MMP attribution) with the one provided by SKAd.
  • Develop a post-install strategy: Work with your DSP on how to keep achieving your objectives despite not having the same level of data granularity.

Want to know more about how to be best prepared for SKAdNetwork?
Get in touch with our team.

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