– Industry-defining report from Tenjin and Growth FullStack shines a light on mobile marketing a year after Apple’s privacy changes.

Tenjin, a leading mobile measurement platform for independent and mid-market game publishers, and Growth FullStack, a personalized business intelligence platform for mobile advertisers, today released the full report of the results of their insightful study of the state of mobile marketing.

With billions of people spending almost a third of their waking hours on their phones for shopping, socializing, scrolling and, of course, gaming, it’s hardly surprising that mobile advertising spending will hit a whopping $300 billion in 2021, compared to $350 billion US Dollars in 2022, reflecting the strength of an industry boosted by lasting changes in user behavior caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But for an industry so used to knowing where its money is going and what returns it is delivering at extreme granularity, the past year has been a wake-up call. Privacy-related changes forever changed the usual methods of targeting and measuring ad performance, particularly in relation to what’s often seen as the most lucrative ecosystem of all: Apple’s iOS.

Between alarming predictions and the picture of ad spend exploding, the reality in which mobile advertisers operate is much more nuanced. Wanting to go even further, Tenjin and Growth FullStack hired market research agency Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of over 302 mobile advertisers in the UK and US.

Christopher Farm, CEO and co-founder of Tenjin said:

“Although the apocalypse did not occur as expected, our investigations show that tectonic changes are underway. The reality is that the full implications of privacy-focused marketing are not yet understood, even by people like us who spend our days fully deciphering it and finding solutions. »

Main results:

  • Expectations vs. Reality – While they feel reasonably well prepared for Apple’s privacy changes (53% likely, 15% very much), the majority (55%) of mobile advertisers say mobile advertising has become more difficult in 2021. This had a significant negative impact on advertiser revenue – The average estimate of lost revenue due to Apple’s privacy changes was 39%.

  • Different Strategies – Mobile advertisers use different strategies to be successful. 85% of them have used probabilistic mapping or fingerprinting in 2022, although more than three-quarters (77%) of them expect Apple to put a stop to fingerprinting.

  • Getting Started Problems with SKAN – Making the most of anonymized data from Apple’s SKAdNetwork is a challenge for mobile advertisers. Few companies (32%) have access to in-house data science experts, but three-quarters (75%) have some form of marketing automation in place to extract insights from large, disparate datasets.

  • Games – Mobile game advertisers have felt the impact of Apple’s privacy changes the most. They were more likely to believe mobile marketing would become more difficult in 2021 (68% for games vs. 43% for others), more likely to shift their budget to Android (63% vs. 48%), and to use marketing methods such as probability attribution or fingerprinting (91% vs 70%).

  • Optimism for 2022 – Despite a difficult 2021, mobile advertisers are largely positive and optimistic. 85% of them are optimistic that marketing will be less difficult in 2022, while nearly two-thirds (65%) plan to increase rather than decrease their ad spend.

Christopher Farm commented on the results:

“Mobile marketing can be described as in a zombified state, somewhere between the familiar era of unrestricted targeting and the new era of privacy. The viability of the current model, which is a patchwork quilt, remains to be seen. It is likely that in the not too distant future, the obligation to understand SKAN will become mandatory rather than optional. Yet despite a challenging 2021 for mobile advertiser results, and with more changes ahead, our research shows that advertiser optimism remains strong. Because one thing remains the same: the best mobile content and services are in high demand by billions of people around the world on iOS and Android. »

The field research involved 302 companies with no known affiliation with Tenjin or Growth FullStack and was conducted by Atomik Research, an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and adheres to the Code.

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