Using Consumer Data in a Privacy-Centric World | AppsFlyer

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Why It’s Becoming Much Tougher For Brands to Use Consumer Data for Marketing Purpose in the Shift Toward a Privacy Centric Ecosystem

July 22, 2020



Global Chief Technology Officer for Merkle and the CRM line of business for Dentsu Aegis Network, Peter Randazzo helps break down what Apple is doing with IDFA and what that means for marketers and the mobile economy. In addition, Randazzo discusses the growing number of challenges brands face as they look to employ consumer data for targeting, ranging from privacy regulation to the elimination of cookies.



Mike (19s):
Hey guys, this is Mike Shields. And this week on Next in Marketing, I got to talk to Peter Randazzo, who is the global Chief Technology Officer at Merkle. I asked Peter to try and help me understand what Apple is doing with IDFA and what that means for the mobile app world. How the ad industry is dealing with both the death of the cookie and lots more regulation, and why it’s going to be that much more challenging in the coming years to track consumers across devices. And just to figure out what parts of your ad spending actually working let’s get started.

Mike (43s):
Hi everybody. My guest today is Peter Rendazo. Peter, you’ve a really big title, you’re global chief technology officer, correct.

Peter (50s): That’s right.

Mike (51s):
And that’s for Merkle?

Peter (52s):
That is for Merkle as well as for the CRM line of business for the Dentsu Aegis network.

Mike (58s):
So that’s all of Dentsu, all of global. So I imagine that means you help people keep their printers connected. That’s where my mind first goes – chief tech guy.

Peter (1m 7s):
That’s exactly right now, I’m all in the client side, data and technology. So for my line of work, it’s all about ensuring that the right data and the right identity get used to drive the right outcome for our clients.

Mike (1m 23s):
Which is an extremely big issue in industry to begin, with and now all of a sudden, the reason we wanted to talk to you now is there’s so much interesting stuff going on when it comes to tracking consumer’s identity and the future of digital marketing. And I feel like you and I talked before the podcast – there’s so much else going on, obviously with the coronavirus and the economy and now in our world, the Facebook advertising boycotts. I don’t know if everyone’s totally paying attention to these. Some big things are happening. And at the top of the list, I think is what Apple’s doing with IDFA. Usually, I, I like to play dumb with my questions.

Mike (2m 0s):
In this case, I don’t actually have to pretend like this is confusing this topic, but I know it’s a big deal. They are changing the way that brands can use tracking identifiers with marketing apps and other things. Maybe you can just tell about, tell us what’s going on with Apple.

Peter (2m 14s):
So this is the latest in Apple’s volleys towards limiting what identifiers can be used on their devices. It’s all really about their user experiences, which is usually what they put forward first. So it started with cookies. In which case several years ago, over the course of the last few years, they have been whittling away the efficacy of third party cookies and third party tracking in the Safari browser. That’s right. This is now similar thinking now in the app ecosystem.

Peter (2m 44s):
So this first foray, which should be coming out with version 14 iOS later this year, it will make the use of IDFA for tracking or force the IDFA’s for tracking to be an opt in regime would mean that whenever an app wants to use it for tracking a popup will come up saying, are you sure you want to allow this for tracking? Yes or no? It will be used and shared in the way that say some of those cookie popups at the bottom of browsers do, and it’s opt-in meaning that someone can say no.

Peter (3m 17s):
So that means that the IDFA, which has been on the op side, tracking of all these different third parties, sharing device IDs, without users knowing are starting to be brought to the light.

Mike (3m 25s):
Okay. So what happens now? I come out with a really cool social app. I launch it, I want to market it. And I’m able to use some kind of third party to help me figure out, okay. If I use paid advertising, it worked, it got X amount of people to install things I’m using in app advertising, stuff like that. And maybe it’s not as powerful as using retargeting with a cookie, but it’s pretty good. And now it’s going to change, right? What does that look like?

Peter (3m 50s):
So there still will be in-app advertising and there still will be people who say yes, you know, like of course track me or they just click it without thinking about it. So that’s true. So set that aside. What we’re going to talk about is for the people who say no. So for the people that are saying, no, there still will be like, you can incite behavior. You still can target by, they are interested in this type of app and the content that it brings, what you just won’t be able to do is to match that ID to some other third party.

Peter (4m 21s):
So they can get this person thereafter represented by the device ID in that app. So if I own an app, what that means is, is that for the subset of my marketers that are targeting by specific person or data, that’s third outside to my app that will have less efficacy by definition.

Mike (4m 42s):
So I’ll still be able to know if certain ad channels drove downloads, right? I guess I’ll still know. It’s not like I will have no idea what happens with my marketing and mobile, but it will be far more limited than it is now.

Peter (4m 55s):
IDFA is one form of pseudo anonymous ID similar to the way a cookie might be. It stands in as a proxy for a person. Some of those ID’s end up in reporting and attribution systems so that you can get a very detailed and granular measurement of what happened over the course of the last few years. Both of those particularly on the cookie side has been under, under a tax, probably the wrong word, but it has increasingly yes, exactly. Getting squeezed. So this way you can see less and less in the grain, larger platforms keeps that data more to themselves.

Peter (5m 28s):
And it means that you can’t get as much as data in the grain, in the individualized grain. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t get reporting out of platforms for downloads and you don’t get reporting from your own application of usage and advertising platforms don’t know about spend. It just means that the grading of the individualized homework is more difficult.


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Meet our host, Mike Shields

Mike Shields is the founder of Shields Strategic Consulting. Shields covered the ad business for over 15 years at top publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Adweek and Digiday.

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