We often hear about data privacy and third-party tracking. Of course, you should do everything you can to protect your data, but the customs may soon change because of Apple’s update. Are you wondering how iOS 14.5 will affect your marketing plan?
Apple’s newly updated App Tracking Transparency policy aims to provide Apple users with confidence and peace of mind regarding apps and their involvement in data collection. Instead of a single toggle for all in-app data tracking, users will now see an opt-in message every time they download an app, allowing them complete control over which apps they allow to track their data.
All apps will prompt the user to agree to data collection upon initial launch with the new change. Companies that want to harvest data through their Apple apps must allow users to opt-in or out of data collection upon launching their app. If the user opts out of this, the app cannot collect their data through IDFA or any third-party data collection tools.
The only exception to this new rule is that companies who run multiple companies under the same umbrella can use one opt-in/out option for all their apps. For example, Facebook and Instagram are parts of the same company, so a user would have the option of toggling data collection on or off for both using the same prompt. This allows Facebook to use data gathered from Instagram to produce tailored content on Facebook and vice versa.
Potential Issues With the Change
Apple’s change will also mean that the IDFA is disabled at the system level if the user wishes it, meaning developers cannot access user data at all when users opt-out of data collection. Apple has also instructed app developers to respect users’ choices beyond the advertising identifier. If any developers attempt to “sneak” data collected through other means, they could face severe penalties under Apple’s updated terms and conditions for app developers.
Apple users should expect that the advertising identifiers will only appear once. After a user opts out of data collection, the app cannot continue asking for permission. Additionally, users have the option to opt out entirely from all apps by default through their Apple device system settings.
Understanding the Change From the Viewpoint of the Customer
Before this change, app developers and their partnered marketers could rely on a host of third-party data collection options to target their ads and content to Apple users. The new change will undoubtedly bring challenges but also opportunities. Primarily, app developers must now position themselves as first-party data collectors. Instead of gathering your marketing data from a third-party source, you must position yourself as a direct-to-consumer brand, providing your customers with the option of giving their data to you willingly for more personalized experiences with your brand.
How Marketers Need to Adapt
Marketers must now look very carefully at their current marketing campaigns and data collection tools. They can no longer rely on many data collection avenues that previously helped them target their marketing materials effectively to Apple device users. However, re-creating data collection policies and reconfiguring marketing campaigns can enhance the relationships between marketers and their target customer bases. Providing transparency and value will increase customer trust. Ensuring customers’ data will be leveraged for their benefit rather than simply sold for profit will increase the likelihood of users opting into data collection. Modern consumers value transparency and ethical business, and they’re better informed about data collection and privacy than previous generations.
Currently, this change will likely impact brands that advertise through social media apps like Facebook and Instagram the most. These companies will have a more challenging time connecting to their target customers with highly targeted ads when they can no longer rely on third-party data collection. While this can certainly present challenges to small and medium-sized businesses that rely on social media app data collection, it also presents an opportunity.
Segment Your Audiences
One of the most cost-effective first steps to address Apple’s privacy update is to segment your customer list based on whether they engage with you through Apple or Android devices. Of course, Android devices are entirely unaffected by Apple’s policy change, so legacy data collection methods will still hold value. However, segmenting your customer list this way allows you to target your adjustments more precisely to your customers using Apple devices.
Rethink Facebook Marketing
Facebook marketing is a critical revenue generator for many small and medium-sized businesses, but it no longer needs to be the single source of generating connections with your customer base. Currently, the most popular form of Facebook marketing is tracking pixels that allow Facebook marketers to track user behavior inside the Facebook app. However, with Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, it’s now only possible to place up to eight tracking pixel objectives in a single domain, significantly reducing the efficacy of Facebook marketing using pixels.
It’s worth considering how to leverage your own data tracking via your brand’s website. While in-house data collection and user tracking may not seem very intuitive or cost-effective, for now, it provides you one of the best ways to gather insights on your customers outside the Facebook platform.
Ramp Up Your First-Party Data Collection
Your website has many tracking tools that will allow you to collect valuable user data for re-targeting purposes, so it’s crucial to invest accordingly. This way, you can take full advantage of your own website’s data collection functionality.
Enhance Organic Reach Through Social Media
Invest in higher quality social media content that not only engages your target audience but also encourages them to interact with your brand outside social media. Invest in more compelling content that drives website traffic, and then leverage your own first-party data collection tools to re-target ads and leverage user data more effectively.