Blog In conversation: Becoming a SKAN 4 exper...

In conversation: Becoming a SKAN 4 expert

Adjust recently hosted a webinar on Becoming a SKAN 4 expert: Do’s and don’ts for measurement success. As a Product Marketing Manager at Adjust, a huge part of my role is to ensure that mobile marketing managers understand the full capacity of our products and features, as well as how to make sense of the context behind them. With iOS campaign measurement still one of the most challenging aspects of mobile marketing today, we want to empower marketers with the knowledge and insight needed to thrive on SKAN 4.

In this post, I’ll be sharing with you what I learnt from my chat with Sandra, Product Manager of SKAN Solutions, in our webinar to get you up to speed on all things SKAdNetwork (SKAN), including how to leverage SKAN 4’s new features, what its most challenging elements are, and how to transform complexity into strategy.

For a quick history and overview of SKAN and user-privacy on iOS, check out our comprehensive guide, iOS 14.5+ From day one until now.

The big question: Switching from SKAN 3 to SKAN 4

Concerns about switching from SKAN 3 to SKAN 4 are one of the most common things we hear from clients. Sandra explained that while making the switch can seem overwhelming, there’s actually not very much that you need to do. To receive SKAN 4 postbacks, you simply need your partners and networks to be signing the ad with a SKAN 4 signature and for the user to be on iOS 16.1 or higher.

If you want to make strategic use of SKAN 4 and leverage the new capabilities and mechanics, however,  you will also need an SDK that’s ready for SKAN 4 and to set up a configuration for mapping your conversion values. It is also very possible to use SKAN 3 and SKAN 4 at the same time, and this is a super realistic outcome for the time being because SKAN 4 adoption isn’t universal.

This is made easy In Adjust’s Conversion Hub, where you can set up conversion value mapping for both SKAN 3 and SKAN 4 and run them simultaneously. And if you already have your SKAN 3 conversion value mapping done, Sandra recommends that you simply copy this across directly and use it for your SKAN 4 fine conversion value mapping. So it’s really not as hard as you might first think to get started. Mastering it is another thing, however.

Getting set up for success

As Sandra put it: first things first, get that SDK update done to a SKAN 4-ready SDK. Then start thinking about how to best leverage fine and coarse conversion values. If you have a granular understanding of your user journey, this will be a bit easier. If you don’t, you can always come to us and we will guide you from A-Z. Speaking of which, Sandra shared some details on what Adjust is currently doing, what we’re testing, and what we’re recommending.

Based on the tests we’ve been running with networks, we have some good news about null values. Due to SKAN 4’s introduction of coarse values we are seeing a reduction in the number of nulls that clients are receiving, or that the distribution of null values is decreasing in favor of coarse values. These, of course, aren’t as detailed as fine values but they provide information on whether a user has performed an action or not, and that’s obviously a huge improvement on a null. It’s still possible to get nulls, however, if the privacy threshold for coarse values isn’t met.

The other thing we’re seeing fantastic results from is leveraging the two additional measurement windows and corresponding postbacks. The extra windows and extra time not only give us insights and indicators into behavior longer into the journey, but this information can be used to feed our algorithms for predictive analysis. This is super exciting.

The SKAN 4 Do’s and Don’ts, for now.

For the time being, when getting started on SKAN 4, these are some of the do’s and don’ts that Sandra and I identified.

  • Don’t slice campaigns too thin (same for SKAN 3). Put enough ad spend into one campaign—what we’ve seen so far is that to get a postback, you need 25 installs per day.
  • Do Keep it simple. If you have your SKAN 3 conversion value mapping set up and it’s working well, use it one-for-one as your SKAN 4 fine values.
  • Don’t feel pressured to use lockWindow immediately. Fine tune your mapping strategy and get it working before experimenting.
  • Don’t go targeting-crazy with the new source IDs, wait until you’re getting postbacks in the right tiers and go from there.
  • Do manage your expectations for the second and third postback and use the first, low value for the session.

What about SKAN 5?

All we know for now is that it’s coming and that reengagement is part of it. We are extremely excited about this as reengagement was on our wishlist. This is a big SKAN gap right now as on iOS you can only really do that for App Tracking Transparency (ATT) opted-in users.

It will be super interesting to see how this measures up to the solutions from partners like Facebook and Google. In terms of other things on the wishlist, Sandra highlighted deep linking as part of reengagement, and audience segmentation and multi-touch journey insights as features that would probably come even later, with SKAN 6. But we can’t wait to see!

Answering some more FAQs

  1. Does Adjust enforce SKAN?

    No! But we heavily, heavily encourage it. ATT and granular data are great but you do need to get that opt-in. SKAN data is aggregated data for all users, not just the consented set. We understand that SKAN can feel like a pain, it is a challenge, we see and know and hear this from many of our clients and those out there in the industry. But we have the tools in the toolbox to help you unlock it. Jump in, we’re here to help and guide you and you will figure it out.

  2. What is Adjust doing to mitigate null conversions?

    There might be really good networks and partners out there but if they don’t meet the thresholds you’ll get higher rates of nulls. We’ve developed a hierarchical statistical method to model for those missing gaps, but making cuts from the sources delivering more nulls is the highest-level solution.

  3. Does Conversion Hub support SKAN 4?

    Absolutely! Conversion Hub, part of the Adjust Suite, is fully set up to support SKAN 4. You can toggle between SKAN 3 and SKAN 4 for the same app and walk through all steps to set up your conversion value mapping for either or both. Check out the webinar to see Sandra show this process step-by-step.

We hope you enjoyed our walk through SKAN 4 and my conversation with Sandra. Adjust is continuing to develop and test next-generation attribution solutions that prioritize gaining insights from aggregated data and empowering marketers to make confident budget and analytics decisions in the new measurement world.

To learn more about how we can help you on iOS/SKAN 4 and beyond, reach out to your Adjust contact person or request a demo, we can’t wait to jump in and get started.

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