Apple’s change in iOS 14 will affect digital advertising by better protecting users from unknowingly giving up their data. These changes affect Apple’s IDFA identification for advertisers. This will reduce the marketer’s ability to track and target users through advertising on a high level.
With an increase in user security and tech giants being held responsible for their users, this should not come as a shock. However, this will significantly impact digital advertising through Facebook ads or retargeting campaigns based on the customer journey. According to StatCounter, in 2020, 71.93% of the global mobile phone market share is Android, and 27.47% is iOS. Additionally, in the United States, the market is split almost 50/50. Now is the perfect time to learn about these changes and implement a plan for your marketing strategy.
What is Apple’s IDFA?
IDFA, or identification for advertisers, is code linked to each Apple device and is identifiable to advertisers. With this technology, advertisers can retarget users and track their digital customer journey.
Currently, Apple users can turn off their IDFA opt-in through their phone settings. However, with the default setting turned on, most people have passively opted-in. In fact, 70% of Apple users voluntarily offer their data to the IDFA.
With the new iOS 14 update, every time an app downloads on an Apple device, users will be prompted with a clear message allowing them to opt-in or out of precise location sharing, user identification, and tracking. It’s predicted that only 10%-15% will continue to opt-in.
What does this mean for digital marketers?
From Facebook ads to customer journey tracking, digital markets will have to find another way to adapt and pivot. With missing user data, these digital ads become less accurate in targeting users, producing lead generation, and limit marketer’s ability to personalize their ads to the target audience.
Traditionally, user behaviors, such as ad clicks and journeys on apps, have been tracked and reported. If a user opts out with the update, these metrics and reach and frequency tactics are not reported. Reporting repeat traffic on a site will also be difficult because the users identifying information is hidden. Apps that are using third-party cookies will become insufficient for tracking the behavior of a web visitor.
Currently, marketers imbed a Facebook Pixel into the code of their website to track outbound links in a social ad. Data collection of the user’s behavior on the website allows marketers to understand and adjust their campaign. Ads can also be A/B tested, allowing marketers to fine-tune their messaging to a target audience. Most importantly, the Facebook Pixel will enable marketers to retarget website visitors with ads and create audiences to organize personas and retarget them with unique campaigns.
However, with the new Apple rules, only users that are opted in can be tracked and reported on. Furthermore, Facebook is limiting pixels to 8 on a webpage. Instead of impeding a Pixel on each web page for full tracking, marketers will have to be strategic about what they want to track.
What can digital advertisers do?
Experts don’t think this will be the end of Facebook and other social media ads. However, these changes will take some pivoting and will affect small businesses the most because they lose an affordable way to reach specific target audiences. New strategies will continue to develop, but here is what marketers are doing now to prepare.
First, the app developers should consider building robust first-party data instead of using third-party cookies. Also, companies can cultivate trust in their audience and increase users who agree to opt-in because they know they can trust the company.
Marketers should start to segment their Android and iOS users and continue with the current strategy of targeting Androids. With roughly half of US users using Android, for now, tracking will still be in place.
Maintenance and updating information in each app is also a good idea to get ready for the transition. For example, Facebook has specific instructions on how accounts can get prepared for this iOS transition. For Facebook, this includes verifying your domain, enabling VO, value optimization for the highest value bidding. HERE are Facebook’s recommendations:
Lastly, it is essential to create a tracking system that doesn’t rely on a specific platform such as Facebook’s pixel. By tracking through your system, you can track emails to curate your customer audience from the Facebook customer list. Take time to come up with your own strategy and research tool that can help you gather the user information you need. Also, stay up to date; things are still developing. Lastly, if you need help with this ad strategy, contact the GROWL Team today!