In the past, technology providers were bound by the rules of digital marketing and advertising.
However, some tech giants have now become so powerful, they are dictating how we view, consume, and generate data.
For a long time, paid social and PPC platforms have relied on a unique device identifier on iPhones and iPads called the IDFA. However, with the rollout of IOS 14, users are now asked if they want to opt in to tracking. With only two in five Apple users electing to opt-in, this has had a monumental impact on the amount of data platforms can collect.
How is this move to protect users’ privacy affecting the world of digital marketing? Here are four ways Apple is making an impact.
1. Social media platforms are changing the way they serve ads
The privacy changes offered by Apple mean paid social platforms can no longer automatically determine a precise customer location or track user behaviour. This means they can’t serve targeted ads, unless users opt in.
Meta (Facebook’s parent company) was one of the most outspoken critics of opting in. The platform claimed the changes would decrease its sales by $10 billion, as well as impact smaller businesses that relied on targeted ads to find new customers.
To mitigate against this loss of data, social media platforms are looking at alternative ways to provide ad functionality to users. For example, Facebook has launched Aggregated Event Management which lets ad creators track limited conversions on iOS devices.
2. Retargeting is no longer a comprehensive choice for businesses
Retargeting has always been a popular option for companies on PPC platforms like Google Ads and Bing Advertising, as well as paid social. In the past, it provided a great way to improve brand awareness and encourage previous site visitors to return and make a purchase.
However, with Apple’s changes, retargeting audiences are decreasing as people opt-out. This means businesses are looking for alternative ways to retarget customers, such as using email addresses.
Alternatively, search ads are still viable for businesses as they are based on keywords and search intent rather than tracking.
3. Platforms are reviewing the way they collect data and encourage trust
In 2020, Safari started to block third party cookies by default. This, combined with other iOS changes, has motivated other businesses to act.
Google announced at the start of 2021 that it would ban third-party cookies on Chrome, a huge move considering over three billion people use it. This ban was initially earmarked for 2022, although it has now been pushed back to 2023.
Google is also rolling out identity verification across Google Ads to build audience trust.
4. The changes are encouraging businesses to develop better relationships with their customers
As the Apple privacy changes are opt-in and can vary from site to site, the onus is on businesses to incentivise customers to agree to tracking. In a tweet directed at Facebook, Tim Cook advised that platforms can still track users; they just need to ask for permission first.
As shoppers are more likely to shop with businesses that provide a great customer experience, companies can use this to their advantage.
By nurturing customers, businesses can not only encourage them to agree to tracking, but build high-quality relationships that will serve them well in the years to come.
What changes have you seen as a result of Apple’s recent updates? Comment below with your thoughts.