SAN FRANCISCO – Apple’s decision to rip up the fabric of iPhone ad targeting will force marketers to seek out alternative methods that include closer, more direct relationships with users.

The tech company is due to change its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which advertisers use to identify iOS devices so they can deliver customized advertising, to a default opt-in.

One Forrester analyst expects 70% of iPhone users may decide not to opt in, based on trends seen when iOS’ Location Services also began asking for overt sharing permission.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Ian Johnson, global COO of IPG’s Kinesso, says the move is disruptive.

Opt-in drop-off

“I suspect the (IDFA prompt) wording is suitably scary that few people will do that,” Johnson says.

Apple had been due to make the change with the just-launched iOS 14 update, but in September said it would defer the switch to early 2021.

Still, Kinesso’s Johnson thinks the industry is now pushed for adapting adequately.

“It’s very little time for the ecosystem to be able to respond to it and preserve their kind of business, that’s the concern with it.” Some executives have suggested ad-funded app publishers may need to pivot toward payments to sustain themselves.

Pivot to first-party

Johnson is realistic that Apple’s IDFA move, going alongside Google’s planned deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome, is just the latest step in eliminating indiscriminate joining together of pieces of user identity without express permission, following earlier legislation and changing consumer sentiment.

So the new quest is for “first-party identifiers you can use in-app (to) provide addressability across the different applications”, he says. Johnson says there are two main options but, with neither emerging as the main alternative, he expects “fragmentation for a while”:

Authenticated traffic solutions

Apps that require logins to user profiles have sight of those users on any device. “The question really is, ‘What is the consumer’s appetite to log in to different content?’,” Johnson says. “And my belief is, for some they will, for others they won’t.”

First-party cookies

“The other solution really is the reliance on first-party cookie and doing everything in first-party (mode) as much you can,” Johnson adds. “Obviously that’s advantageous for the key walled gardens with big inventory sets on a single cookie. The question is, ‘Are you going to be able to get consumer consent so you can use other identifies across domains?'”

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Piecing it together

Kinesso is comprised of IPG’s addressable activation team Cadreon and its  Data and Technology group. Kinesso will work with IPG Mediabrands, Acxiom and will provide services to agencies across the IPG network.

It was launched by IPG in October to provide data-driven capabilities to clients.

Johnson says a key mission is ending the “siloed” nature of working. He says Kinesso has some patents granted and under review for processes that address cross-domain functions, media planning insights and audience insights.

“The core thing that we’re trying to do is make things work seamlessly end to end,” he says.

This video is from a Beet.TV series title Advertising in a Time of Privacy-Centricity presented by AppsFlyer. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.