Data Privacy Series: Apple’s iOS 14 Update

In this three-part blog series, we’ll break down new data privacy changes and the impact on advertisers. This post explores Apple’s recent iOS 14 update.

The long-awaited Apple iOS 14 update is slowly rolling out. Among many new features are advanced controls that provide an easy way for consumers to opt-out of being tracked for advertising purposes. The biggest difference most people will see with the introduction of the new privacy tool, called ‘App Tracking Transparency’, is an opt in/opt out pop-up that appears when an app that tracks users is opened.

Image source: Social Media Examiner

This new feature is a significant step for user privacy, as it gives people more control over their data and how it’s used by companies, like Facebook and Google, to target ads. At the same time, the move has concerned marketers across the board who rely on this user data for advertising.

Make no mistake, the new software update is a step in the right direction for consumer data collection. This isn’t the first major shift in the digital marketing space and it won’t be the last. Which is why we strive to adapt as quickly as possible.

CMA has been helping clients navigate the changes as they come, since our core focus is to elevate customer experiences. For months leading up to the update, we’ve been researching, testing new strategies, and finding alternate ways to deliver targeted messages and convert prospects.

Who does this affect?

All digital marketers will likely be impacted by this tech change. Specifically, marketers who leverage user data from apps and pixels (such as Facebook’s Pixel) to target, optimize and report on campaign performance. Marketers will no longer be able to granularly target iOS devices that opt out of tracking, which affects retargeting efforts and custom audiences. It will also impact reporting on cookie-based campaigns and conversion events.

Facebook is front-and-center in this shift because small businesses have gravitated to the platform for the ease of use and wealth of consumer data. Facebook’s access to consumer data may plummet in the coming months, and there may need to be more investment in testing alternative advertising tactics. That being said, nobody will be surprised if Facebook introduces new targeting options in the future—or even new advertising strategies altogether. Just as marketers adapt, Facebook will too.

What does this mean for CMA’s strategy?

Our strategy will need to be nimble in the coming months. Losing some portion of iOS device inventory forces us to take a closer look at our strategies across all campaigns. Thankfully CMA’s media toolbox includes many diverse capabilities for reaching niche audiences, including contextual targeting on programmatic media, and other cookie-less media tactics.

The reality is we may not know the full impact for a little while as users begin downloading the new update. In the meantime, CMA will continue to monitor campaign performance and test multiple tactics to deliver the best results for clients.

As these privacy advancements occur, we are emphasizing the importance of partnering with an agency that not only is knowledgeable on these changes but can also innovate solutions and optimize clients’ campaigns to their greatest ability.

Wondering how else data privacy will be impacted in 2021? Don’t hesitate to contact our agency with any questions you may have about digital trends or data privacy regulations.