Comment & Opinion

The future of app retargeting with Google’s Privacy Sandbox

Adikteev and Google explore the capabilities of Google’s new Privacy Sandbox and the opportunities it will create for app marketing

The future of app retargeting with Google’s Privacy Sandbox

The challenges of creating effective marketing for apps and mobile games have evolved hugely in the recent past, with developers and publishers around the world looking for new opportunities to acquire new users and connect with loyal ones.

User privacy is the future of advertising. But after the impact of ATT, Google is adopting a different approach by joining forces with key industry players to shape the future and help publishers prepare for the necessary changes while not totally disrupting their marketing activities.

To help prepare the app marketing industry for the future, app retargeting platform Adikteev partnered with Google to run an Android Privacy Sandbox Retargeting Impact Workshop.

Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to create technologies that protect people's privacy online while giving developers tools to build thriving digital experiences. The Privacy Sandbox reduces cross-site and cross-app tracking while helping to keep online content and services free for all.

Taking place in December 2022, the workshop featured Android’s Product Manager Ryan Fitzgibbon giving valuable insight into the features and status of the search giant’s much-anticipated Privacy Sandbox, alongside Adikteev’s Chief Product Officer, Loïc Anton, with perspective on how this technological innovation will shape the app marketing and retargeting industry of 2023 and beyond.


Private activity within a free and open internet

In 2023 65 percent percent of the world’s population are likely to be covered by regulations similar to GDPR, according to an Avast Digital Citizenship report, so the need for innovation in app marketing is growing.

The speakers compared the digital advertising industry to the electric vehicle market in which consumer demand for more sustainable transport led to a few pioneering companies taking the initiative and creating a new market outside the fossil fuel industry.

Likewise, as increasing numbers of consumers and regulators demand personalised experiences without risk to their data, solutions like the Privacy Sandbox are conceived.

According to Fitzgibbon: “We want to keep people’s activity private but also across a free and open internet, to be able to give that personalised experience without actually having a user's data shared with third parties unnecessarily. And people are willing to adapt their behaviour when given the right tools and the right mission. The Privacy Sandbox is simply a tool that allows you to build upon a foundation to achieve what you need to achieve.

“We want to encourage technological innovation where possible. It's part of our vision. The Privacy Sandbox is really just a part of the toolbox.”

To start a revolution, all players must share the same ideals and goals. Platform-level changes and industry innovations go hand-in-hand. Platform-level changes include new privacy-preserving application programme interfaces (APIs) and mitigations to address cross-site or app tracking.

At the same time, industry innovations will emerge from across the ecosystem to produce privacy-forward products and services, machine learning and modelling, and first-party data strategies - all to improve the technology for remarketing or targeting users.

“We also have the increasing use of your own first-party data - rather than relying on data that is prevalent in the industry from a third-party perspective,” says Fitzgibbon. “Buying back that data from others to increasingly find that your own data could be the gateway to more effective advertising in the long run.”

For Fitzgibbon, transparent conversation with the industry is key.

“Through all of this, we’re trying to have a transparent conversation with the industry, not just with the ads industry, but for users and regulators and the privacy community to try and find that right balance between being able to protect the use of privacy with a high degree of certainty, without completely eliminating the utility of the ads industry, where you want to be able to reach the right people at the right time.”


Marketing and retargeting with Privacy Sandbox

As a retargeting DSP, Adikteev has been following the development of Privacy Sandbox since it was initially announced. The company has also worked with Google to test the Sandbox and provide feedback.

Here are some of Adikteev’s key takeaways:

Precise retargeting at scale

Perhaps the biggest benefit of Privacy Sandbox for retargeting is maintaining precise retargeting at scale. Signing an existing user base for retargeting will remain possible.

Contrary to other platforms’ limited audience capacity, the Privacy Sandbox was designed not to impact the size of retargeting campaigns.

Displaying different creatives per audience

Privacy Sandbox's ability to customise creatives per audience is very beneficial. This helps to ensure the right creatives and messages get through to the users, enabling effective retargeting campaigns.

Measuring conversions and campaign incremental impact

Unlike the current version of the SKAdNetwork on the iOS platform, the Privacy Sandbox can measure conversions to retargeting campaigns.

It can - conversely - also measure a campaign’s incremental impact on the number of conversions thanks to Privacy Sandbox’s audience definition customisation capabilities.


Coming soon

As a retargeting platform, Adikteev has a keen interest in being involved with the design and testing phases of Google’s Privacy Sandbox. The company is using its extensive internal testing and prototyping process to continuously provide feedback to Google, together with various other industry partners.

In the near future, Adikteev plans to extend this internal testing to integrate with different advertisers and key players.

The most important step for app marketers is prioritising discussions with media partners and seriously considering joining the beta test for Privacy Sandbox. In the meantime, watch all of Adikteev’s workshop with Google to get even more insights about the future of programmatic advertising on Android.


Tags: regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.