How the iOS 14 Update Will Change Advertising in 2021

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Apple's iOS 14 software update launched in September 2020, and comes with many new features including the biggest home screen upgrade to date, according to Apple. This upgrade also includes redesigned widgets, an autonomized app library, and App Clips to name a few key features. Maps has also been updated to include cycling directions, and lets you create customized guides. The biggest change that will substantially affect digital marketers and advertisers, are the privacy and location restrictions. With metrics for targeted advertising getting more granular, the concern for privacy is increasing among consumers, especially with the recent and very public breaches of personal information from some well-known organizations.

While this upgrade allows for complete transparency for users, it may adversely affect targeting options moving forward.1

Privacy

Typically, digital marketing agencies are able to track and target through pixels that attach themselves through the back end of websites. Now that all apps are requiring opting-into allowing the collection of this data, it could cause less information to become available. While, in reality, tracking and targeting is a positive for consumers and advertisers alike, as it allows us to advertise to the audience that is most likely going to be engaged with your promotions, consumers are concerned about personal information becoming too easily accessible. Platforms are reacting with their solutions to be able to continue to provide campaign tracking while complying with these privacy restrictions. This will affect any platform currently using a pixel to track data, including Google and Facebook.2

Not only will an opt-in feature be added for tracking, but there will also be limitations on geo-fencing, being that location services will only provide an approximate location as opposed to the exact location we were able to get before. In this case, approximate means a 10-mile radius of where consumers are. Real-time reports will no longer be supported, and information can take up to 3 days to populate in analytics.1

According to Facebook, they are moving their analytics to an Aggregated Event Measurement. This will allow you to prioritize up to 8 web events for tracking, and track one main domain for conversions. If the customer has opted into using the pixel, you will be able gather more metrics.3

Google is also taking action by no longer using information that falls under ATT (App Tracking Transparency), and are working closely with Apple to give feedback on improving the SKAdNetwork so advertisers can measure their campaigns in the most accurate way possible. They recommend making sure app advertisers upgrade to the newest version of analytics, for new features as they become available. Continue to measure the performance and delivery of iOS App campaigns closely, and make adjustments to budgets and bids to achieve your advertising goals.4

How you can Prepare

We encourage businesses to research the platforms they use for marketing to see what plan is in action, if any, and if they need to make any adjustments or changes accordingly.5

Although this software launched in fall 2020, it is expected that a majority of users will gradually transition. This gradual change can be beneficial to advertisers, as it will allow you to learn-as-you-go, and make adjustments accordingly.

In the meantime, review your current metrics, and decide what is the most important information going into your reports, and how you can convey those results with the information that will be available moving forward. Analyze what this information means to your business, and see if there are any more general metrics that can be useful to measure success of advertising campaigns.

Make sure that you are compliant with all best practices, and review your own website’s privacy policy so you can continue to optimize campaigns.

Now may be a good chance to review your audiences and broaden some horizons in order to maintain visibility with people in your preferred target groups.

Continue to keep a close eye on all campaigns moving forward, and make adjustments as necessary and make sure you stay up to date on information as it becomes available. Contact our team at Robert Sharp & Associates at 605-341-5226 for expert advice on how to maneuver these updates and create the best marketing plan for your business!

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