What the iOS14 Updates Mean for Your Business

Written by 5ivecanons Staff

Of all the Apple operating system updates over the years, in our experience, none have the marketing implications like the new iOS14 updates. One simple pop-up is sending the advertising world into a frenzy. And with good reason.

Yes, you read that right. The iOS14 update requires App developers to up their privacy features by serving users a prompt asking for permission to track their activity. 

While privacy is not a new concept, previous operating systems had users digging in their settings to make privacy a choice. Now, the option to opt out of in-app tracking will be thrust onto users screens when they open their apps. 

Advertisers must also include a note on how they will use the data collected. This is a good place to explain how tracking can indeed lead to a more customized browsing experience, but will it outweigh the enticing thought of not being tracked? Advertisers should also note that users will be opted-out of tracking by default if not prompted.

Can we all assume most people will choose “Ask App Not to Track?

If we are right, advertisers previously reaching the 72% of iPhone users who adopted the new iOS14 will no longer be able to collect those users’ IDFA and track them. That is a whopping 81,360,000 people. 

The IDFA is one of the most effective ways to track an iOS user. It is a unique device identifier assigned by Apple used to track what people are doing on their devices, what events they are triggering in apps, and their likes and dislikes. While the IDFA gathers identifying qualities of a user for advertising, it is on the right side of privacy and does not provide the app with personal data. Advertisers use IDFAs to deliver customized advertising through segmentation and ad retargeting. Tracking also includes sharing device location and information to other apps to repurpose for targeted advertising. 

What do the algorithm updates mean for your business?

It means that ad personalization, performance reporting, and attribution will be very limited, and businesses relying on advertising to Apple iOS14 users need to make adjustments to measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

Let’s follow Beth in a real life scenario. 

  1. Beth is looking for casual white sneakers and opens your shoe store app on her phone. 
  2. When your app opens, the new iOS14 privacy prompt appears and Beth chooses not to allow your app to track her activity. 
  3. Beth clicks around and lands on the product page for the all-white Nike Court Legacy sneaker. She loves them but ultimately leaves without purchasing. 
  4. Because Beth opted out of tracking, you are unable to retarget her across the web with brilliant personalized ads like “You forgot something” or “You have great taste.”
  5. While browsing the internet the next day, Beth is searching for a number of things including white casual shoes again. Today she is ready to make a purchase, lands organically on a different shoe store site, finds the all-white Nike Court Legacy snearker and decides to buy.

As you can see, if you are mobile advertiser, the new privacy prompt will limit your sales by shrinking the your retargting list. The retargeting ads would have reminded Beth of her interest in your shoe on your site, but without the extra nudge she ultimately purchased somwehere else. 

It doesn’t stop there. The iOS14 updates will also affect social media advertising – a lot. Facebook specifically is not happy as they rely on their pixel tracking for remarketing, conversion tracking, and lookalike audience generation. Facebook has addressed concerns and made adjustments. Effective advertising will still be possible with some changes on your end and a new tool called Aggregated Event Measurement.

Let’s take a look at your website and see where you need to adjust.

As you can see, how people decide to answer this prompt may greatly affect your business. Reach out and we’ll help you understand the iOS14 updates and provide strategies for you to continue to get your valuable product or service in front of potential customers without invading their privacy.  

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