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Apple iOS 14.5 launch and privacy changes

From now, Apple users will be required to give permission to apps to allow the collection of data for every app they download. This goes a long way to protect the privacy of users but it also makes it more difficult for advertisers to make money.

What’s changed? How it might affect your business? What you can do to make sure you’re not losing out?

What’s changed with the release of iOS 14.5?

The update to Apple’s privacy policy means that apps will now need to get the user’s authorisation to track them and their behaviour across the internet. This is done via the AppTrackingTransparency framework. Each device has an advertising identifier and permission is required to grant access to this in order to track the activity of the user.

Why would an application want to track what I’m doing online?

It’s a familiar story. You’ve just searched for something on Google and minutes later the exact thing you searched appears as an advertisement on your Facebook feed. It’s no coincidence. The Facebook app tracks your behaviour online to display advertisements that are more relevant to you. This is beneficial to advertisers because they’ll know you’re already interested in the product or service they want to sell to you.

Tracking can also take place when you’ve been on a website and left without completing a purchase. This is why if you’ve ever left a website with something still in your basket you might see an advertisement with a promo code or discount offer on your social media feeds later.

The privacy age

It’s a bit of a Catch 22 when it comes to online privacy and advertiser tracking. Consumers want more personalised experiences. In fact 71% of consumers feel frustrated when they find an online experience to be impersonal. But users also feel the need for a balance between the information that’s shared and what stays private.

42.7% of internet users worldwide use an ad blocker. This technology is no longer restricted to desktop browsers. Ad blockers for phones and tablets are becoming more widely available. It could be argued that by giving control to the consumer, Apple is giving consumers the balance they desire.

How does this affect businesses?

Many businesses that use targeted advertising feel the change could be damaging to their revenue. Facebook now has a dedicated page on its website to give small businesses a platform to raise their concerns about the update. Some believe that it’ll cost them more money to reach the same amount of customers, whilst others feel that they’ll simply lose out on business as a result.

Is this the end for Facebook advertising?

Definitely not. Businesses can still use Facebook ads to build awareness and review. Advertisers potentially won’t have access to the data on the behaviour that led to a sale but the option to advertise on the platform won’t be going anywhere. In 2020, Facebook generated close to $84.2 billion in ad revenue; a clue to their apprehension about the latest update from Apple.

What can be done to adapt to the changes?

As far as marketing is concerned, the game is still the same but the rules have changed. The things that were important to a successful marketing campaign prior to this iOS update remain the same.

It’s about coming up with an effective strategy and using every tool that’s relevant to your campaign. If your marketing campaign falls apart as a result of a privacy policy change on one operating system, could you be guilty of gambling all your money on a single bet?

Up your organic game

There’s no denying advertisers will face challenges while adapting to these changes. But Facebook is, and will continue to be, one of the most powerful tools you can use to engage your audience. It’ll require hard work and creativity to stay ahead. Now is the time to focus on your organic output to make sure it’s effective in creating conversations and making an impact on your audience.

Don’t forget about email

Once you’ve captured an email address, you don’t have to worry about losing your leads if or when a third-party platform decides to change the rules. You’ve got direct access to your audience. Make the most of it!

In comparison to Facebook and Twitter, email marketing is 40% more effective at converting a lead to a sale. Email remains a vital part of a successful marketing strategy and you shouldn’t ignore it.

Segment your audience to Android only

Skewed data is worse than no data at all. If you use Facebook to advertise your business, consider changing the settings in the Ad Centre that allows you to target conversion events with Android users only.

The iOS update from Apple has no impact on Android users. Go to Specific Mobile Devices and Operating Systems and select Android Devices Only. This way the data you base your advertising efforts on will be reliable.

Always be ready to adapt

If we learned anything from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s that sometimes we need to be ready to adapt. And at times we need to adapt quickly. Luckily, in marketing, we’re used to change. Look at how far digital marketing has come in the last decade!

Make sure your strategy is strong enough to withstand any changes made by platforms and third parties. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you put together a strategy that is effective, futureproof, and ready to roll with the changes.