The Impact of iOS14

The beauty and the difficulty of the technological age is change. On one hand, technological change brings constant innovation which leads to improvements in our lives and work. On the other hand, these same changes require us to adapt and adjust our systems, thought processes, and approach to utilizing technology. This is true of the recent iOS 14 update announced by Apple in September of 2020.

what do the changes in iOS14 entail?
iOS 14 is the 14th major release of the mobile operating system by Apple with an initial release in September of 2020 and ongoing updates since. For an individual user, these updates promise what we’ve come to expect from each iteration of Apple’s OS – some screen redesigns, adjustments to the app library, privacy enhancements, etc. The biggie this time around are the privacy enhancements. For the end user this means indicators advising you of apps recording data, privacy reports from Safari, and the option to share an approximate location rather than exact location, among others. For the digital marketer, these changes may mean different levels of access to information previously used to market to your prospective customer.

what does this mean for your business?
What is the potential impact of these changes on your digital advertising? In general, Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy will require developers to ask for permission when they use certain information from other companies’ apps and websites for advertising purposes, even if they already have user consent.

For Facebook Ads
Facebook has advised that we will see ad creation limitations, such as limited campaigns and ad sets, limitations to dynamic ads, and changes to set up. With regard to reporting, Facebook anticipates delayed reporting by up to three days, no support for breakdowns by age, gender, or region, and limited windows of time attribution upon campaign set up. Additionally, Facebook will apply some targeting limitations for custom audiences based on website visits or app usage that are currently available.

For Google Ads
Google predicts Apple’s ATT changes will reduce visibility into key metrics that show how ads drive conversions like sales, leads, and downloads and will affect how advertisers value and bid on ad impressions. Advertisers running display, video, and other campaigns promoting web-based conversion goals may see performance fluctuations as Apple’s ATT policies go into effect. 

what we’ve noticed
As these shifts have occurred, we’ve noticed within our active campaigns it has become more difficult to keep cost per thousand (CPM) as low as we’ve previously been able to achieve. We expect time will tell exactly why, but at this time common factors appear to be smaller audience pools with the same amount of competition going after each click. This is particularly true for campaigns or businesses with more niche products and services and narrowly targeted audiences.

adjustments to strategy
You may be thinking, does digital still make sense given these privacy updates? The short answer is yes, however, there are some adjustments to be made in order to maximize your strategies. For future success on Facebook, you’ll have to verify a small snippet of code in the head of your page. On Google display and video, they will be expanding modeled conversions to more iOS 14 traffic and encouraging advertisers to monitor the performance and delivery of all iOS App campaigns closely. As the adoption of iOS 14.5 grows, when necessary we will recommend creating and allocating more budget to dedicated campaigns and running special iOS campaigns to make sure you’re reaching iOS users. 

We continue to actively monitor the impact of these changes on our campaigns and on behalf of our clients. If you’re curious about your specific industry or business, we’d love to nerd out with you and discuss the best approach for you – hit us up!

Go forth. Go Digital.