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Get prepared or get left behind... How Apple's iOS14 Changes WILL Significantly Limit Your Marketing Efforts

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS14, will start to limit what demographic data and conversion events you can track on YOUR OWN website from iOS14 users. The only way to gather data from those using iOS14 is if they decide to opt-in, allowing Apple to send other sites their private information. Unfortunately, most people won’t willingly provide this information. While it seems sensible and safe to preserve data, many people don’t understand how it will impact small businesses and digital marketing as a whole.

Q: What is the biggest change that concerns you and your organization?

A: The biggest difference from previous iOS updates and iOS14 is that tracking will now be automatically turned off. The only way for someone to have tracking on is if they manually turn it on.

This is one of the biggest changes to digital marketing in years, and it follows a long line of other similar actions taken (i.e. California’s digital privacy law that allows users to deny the sale of their personal information on the internet). 

Apple’s new policy will make it much harder for small businesses to reach their desired target audience, which will limit their ability to grow and compete with big companies. Facebook doesn’t believe that the proposed iOS14 changes will cause a total loss of personalization, but it is a move that is unfortunately going in that direction.

man checking his phone

These changes have huge negative implications for how ads are managed and operated. They will limit your ability to:

  1. Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement on your own website
  2. Measure and report accurate data based on actions and conversion from certain customers
  3. Ensure your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
  4. Accurately attribute application installations, purchases, or lead generation to people using iOS14 and newer Apple operating systems
  5. Predict and optimize costs per actions over time and efficiently allocate budgets between campaigns and ad sets

To marketers and ad managers all over the world, these changes have huge, negative implications for how we manage and operate ads on behalf of our clients.
Most small businesses can’t afford to go to an increased ad spend because of one update to the operating system, even if it’s on millions of devices. The internet leveled the playing field and targeted ads were the tool that allowed small businesses to compete around the world.

Q: What does this mean for your business?

A: You will no longer be able to use data gathering tools to get information on your users demographics, conversion events, etc.

This will essentially force small businesses and larger companies to create separate campaigns and ad sets to try and target these specific groups of Apple users. Other data gathering will also be limited by 3-days, so real-time reporting will go out the window. This is a huge blow, especially on important days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, where you need hour by hour data to make quick business defining decisions that may determine the success of your sales.

This change will also affect boosted posts on social media, as they use specific audience targeting as well, so this will affect some social media clients.

Q: What will M is Good do moving forward?

A: We will create a personalized solution by implementing 3 workarounds:

business huddle

1. Businesses need to verify if they own their domain

Your domain will need to be verified in order to show ads to users who have iOS14. Without a verified domain, retargeting campaigns to Apple users won’t work. We will make sure your domain is verified so we can adjust your ads to these new guidelines.

2. Utilizing reporting that has been delayed by up to three days

Any data being received from iOS14 devices will be delayed for up to 3 days. We will also only be receiving estimated results instead of hard numbers. We are going to be proactive with your numbers and analytics so we can retarget with the information we receive, when it comes in.

3. Retargeting without demographics, device type, delivery, etc.

Your ad campaigns will need to be updated and retargeted because we will no longer be receiving data from iOS14 users unless they have manually set up data tracking. We are going to find new, customized ways to best market you and your organization to iOS14 users without retargeting demographics.

M is Good will continue to work on behalf of our clients and pivot when necessary as we always have.

We encourage you, and every small business owner and customer alike, to share this information and work with us or your own internal marketing team to develop a plan to address these major changes. 

Click the following link to learn more from Facebook’s response to Apple’s new iOS14 and as always, reach out to us with any questions, we’re here to help!