iOS 14.5 Update Impact on Digital Marketing

Impact of iOS14.5 on Digital Marketing

Everything You Need To Know About The Impact of iOS14 on Digital Marketing

What’s happening?

Following a period of beta testing, Apple’s iOS 14.5 update launched on 26 April 2021. Utilising their App Tracking Transparency (ATT) Framework, Apple users can now control how their data and online activity is seen by third-party websites and whether or not those third parties can serve ads or share this data with data brokers. If the user opts out, they will still be able to fully access all websites, but their data will not be tracked.

Apple- Privacy-Facebook

Why is this happening?

Apple launched this feature to help users protect their privacy online. They also mentioned in their press release, “On average, apps include six “trackers” for the sole purpose of collecting and tracking personal information. Data collected by these trackers is pieced together, shared, aggregated, and monetised, fueling an industry valued at $227 billion per year.”

However, according to Dan Levy, VP Ads and Business Products for Facebook, it’s “about profit, not privacy.”

What are the impacts?

Users that opt out of the web-based tracking will no longer be tracked.

For advertisers, this means your ads performance will be affected. Here’s how:

  1. We can no longer report on all ad reach, views, and clicks, as Apple users are not included, even though they are viewing your ads.
  2. It makes it difficult to target and optimise effectively.
  3. Retargeting users with relevant ads is limited as Apple users will see the ads but perhaps not the most relevant ones.

The percentage of weekly users who have allowed app tracking since 26 April 2021 is mentioned below:

  • Week 1 – 11%
  • Week 2 – 11%
  • Week 3 – 13%
  • Week 4 – 13%
  • Week 5 – 14%
  • Week 6 – 15%
  • Week 7 – 14%
Worldwide Weekly Opt-in Rate After iOS 14.5 Launch Across All Apps

We can clearly see from the image above that a majority of the users prefer not to be tracked.

What’s the impact on businesses and Facebook advertisers?

Facebook advertisers will face the following challenges:

  1. The machine-learning algorithm of Facebook will hold comparatively less data than before to target users. So the ability to analyse results and make informed decisions about advertising will be highly affected – and in some cases, can impact the outcome of campaigns.
  2. Due to limited user tracking, the size of the custom audiences (used for retargeting and for creating lookalike audiences) will be smaller. The size of email and other offline lists will reduce as well. 

Is it just Facebook that is impacted?

This update impacts all applications that rely on data collection for the purpose of advertising and/or personalising ads across Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Amazon, and many more.

Are all advertisers equally impacted?

Mobile application advertisers are more impacted than web-based advertisers.

Does this update impact website tracking?

Yes, this update impacts website tracking as well. How? If a user chooses to opt-out using ATT, then platforms may still collect some data; for example, the data collected by Facebook will be aggregated and not linked to the actions of an individual user. Furthermore, there will be delays in reporting and Facebook will only report one conversion event. 

Is organic marketing impacted by this change?

The answer is YES. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. rely on the signals (likes, comments, shares, video views, etc.) from users in order to see the activity and enrich the experience within the applications. If the user opts out from tracking, then the number of signals would reduce as well. Hence, the end users might see content that is not relevant to them. 

What actions can/should we take on Facebook?

The main actions include:

  1. Verify your domain on Facebook.
  2. Choose and prioritise only 8 conversion events to be tracked.
  3. Focus on other streams of marketing and invest in ‘owned’ lead generation to gather and own your data (i.e. SMS, emails).
  4. Analyse your spend vs return (ROI) for all types of marketing. 
  5. Experiment with new media and channels.

How to track conversions on a third-party website or on an unowned domain?

We suggest redirecting the user from the payment page on the third-party website/ticketing platform back to your website so you can capture the user on your own website’s pixel.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchaser visits the third-party website/ticketing platform, buys a ticket, and checks out on the platform. 
  2. The user is then redirected to a thank-you page that lives on your website.
  3. The thank-you page contains your Facebook pixel which triggers and captures the data from the purchase.
  4. You can then configure this purchase event as a custom conversion.

This option might not be available for everyone, however, it is worth a try. 

Lots of Questions

There is still uncertainty about this topic and Facebook is working to test and roll out innovations to help the advertising industry by keeping in line with the restrictions introduced by Apple and also to keep it profitable. We have to deduce reasonable assumptions based on what we know.

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to get in touch with us

About Us

Milestone is a specialist event marketing agency with a highly experienced team of event marketing professionals, with marketing and creative specialists in digital marketing, social media, design and event ticketing.

There’s no fixed term contracts, we can do as little or as much as you need – one-off designs, digital advertising campaigns, media planning and buying, posting and managing your social media channels.

We want to be part of the solution and as always we have our client’s best interests at heart. We want to help, and we can help. The Milestone team has completely transitioned to ‘work from home’ mode but we still have our full team of marketers at the ready.

We’d love to help you build a campaign to keep, or get, your business on track for success.

Thanks for your time and hope to talk to you soon.