App marketers cite privacy as key concern for 2023 according to new Liftoff report

app market survey 2022 on yellow background

Mobile app marketing optimization platform Liftoff shared a report exploring how marketers are responding to the industry’s rising privacy challenges.

Related: Liftoff and Vungle officially rebrand as “Liftoff”

Using responses from 500+ app marketing professionals – based in APAC, EMEA, North America, and LATAM – the report seeks to understand how they feel about the changing state of the industry in the wake of COVID and stark privacy restrictions, and the need for changing business models. 

Survey highlights and key findings are outlined as: 

  • 43% cite the industry shift towards being more privacy-first as their top challenge of the past year and clearly the biggest hurdle to overcome in 2023.
  • 58% of marketers said they felt positive or neutral about the industry, versus 42% having a  negative outlook. 
  • 52% of respondents said they plan to increase their overall ad budget, and only 12% expect to reduce it in the coming year.
  • A majority of industry professionals (59%) have more aggressive KPIs than they did in 2021. But a little less than half (48%) of respondents are struggling to reach those targets.

Respondents were also asked about their view on the current state of app marketing and whether they are optimistic about the future of the space. As we approach the end of 2022, 58% said they felt positive or neutral about the industry, versus 42%, whose outlook is more pessimistic. That’s understandable, as app marketing has had a turbulent year with COVID-19 winding down, a challenging macroeconomic climate, and industry headwinds combining to make life more difficult for marketers.

graphics about state of app marketing

However, the view of the future was brighter, with 63% of respondents believing that 2023 would be the same or better than 2022 and 88% expecting to maintain or exceed their current mobile advertising spending budget.

The impact of greater user privacy protections is a significant issue for app marketers, with 43% citing the industry shift toward being more privacy-first as their top challenge of the past year and the most important obstacle ahead for 2023. While 59% of respondents said that changes such as App Tracking Transparency (ATT) had been good for consumers, 64% said this shift had hurt their UA campaigns, with a lack of available data and an increase in UA costs cited as the most significant issues.

How strongly do you agree or disagree that recent privacy changes (e.g. ATT)
have been a good thing for marketers/users?

Despite these and other challenges, marketers are planning to spend more in 2023, with 52% of respondents saying they plan to increase their overall ad budget, and only 12% expecting to reduce it in the coming year.

How do you anticipate your ad spend budget will change in 2023

The survey also showed marketers turning to less trackable channels as a way of augmenting their mobile advertising campaigns. Influencer marketing (53%), social media content (52%), and investment in building fan communities (30%) are all areas where marketers plan to increase their ad spend in 2023.

Which of the following paid advertising channels are you currently using

Dennis Mink, Chief Marketing Officer at Liftoff said, “We set out to explore the current state of our industry, and app marketers from around the world have told us they are split on what the future holds, with positivity for the future tempered by a series of challenges – some technical, and some down to global economic trends.” and added, “The good news is that the marketers we spoke to aren’t downbeat. Rather, our survey shows them becoming more adaptive and rising to the challenges ahead.

For more details on Liftoff and to download the full report, visit here.

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