Apple’s new iOS 14 update makes some big changes around data privacy. The update grants users more ability to opt-out of any type of targeting or tracking. These large changes to privacy management are expected to greatly impact how mobile is utilized for insights, targeting, and attribution.

What does this mean for digital marketers? We dig in below.

What is the Update?

Apple has announced a release of iOS 14 update with AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework. This means iOS users will soon be asked to give permissions that enable tracking when they open an app, also known as a prompt.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal? Well, The new ATT framework is switching up the previous opt-out nature of online tracking permission to opt-in, and it is expected that a lot more people will choose the latter.

This new feature, and more people opting-out of in-app tracking, is expected to make digital advertising less effective due to the loss of Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).

What is an IDFA?

An IDFA is (Identifier for Advertisers) is a unique identifier for mobile devices and is used to target and measure the effectiveness of advertising on a user level across mobile devices.

So, What Does This Mean?

For us digital marketers, the two biggest areas this update will impact are retargeting and campaign measurement.

Retargeting Effects:

Any retargeting to users based on device-level targeting will no longer work for users who have opted out of online tracking. As iOS users refuse to give the tracking permission, data regarding traffic and conversions made through apps will not be collected. Plus, existing data about the target audience will not be usable through those app ad placements.

This will limit the level of personalization and further affect how digital advertising performs for your business. For the people who opt-out, it doesn’t mean they will no longer receive ads, it just means the ads they will see will not be personalized to them.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of targeted advertising where targeting is based on consumers’ previous online actions.

Measurement Effects:

Although the iOS 14 update is primarily for apps, Facebook anticipates an aftermath for advertisers that rely on Pixels for tracking. Facebook has changed the default attribution window from a 28-day click and 1-day view to a 7-day click and 1-day view. This means that the number of conversions received by a given campaign may be reduced as the window for tracking and attribution is shrinking by 21 days.

Moving forward, Facebook will also be changing the ways in which advertisers can use pixels. Advertisers will only be able to leverage 1 Pixel and at most 8 conversion events per domain. In the past, we could have as many conversion events as we wanted, allowing us to track anything from email signups, social clicks, to various conversions with no limitations. This means, moving forward Advertisers will need to prioritize which 8 conversion events are most important to them and rank them in their Business Manager. For brands that have a lot of events currently, this will need to be looked at to see which ones can be removed in order to fit the new requirements.

What is measurement?

Campaign measurement helps us and brands understand the impact of targeting and will vary dependant on goals. It can include email signups, pageviews, conversions, etc.

What is a pixel?

A pixel is a small piece of code that goes on your website. A pixel is what allows us to track website visits as well as conversion events signups, purchases, etc) and then also leverage remarketing audiences.

What Can We Do?

Worried about how this might affect your digital marketing efforts? Below is a checklist from Facebook to prepare you for the iOS 14 changes. You can also read Facebook’s stance on the changes here, as well as more details on the actions you can take. Always here to help, here’s our summary of the immediate actions that need to be taken:

1. Verify your domain in Facebook Business Manager
2. Prepare to operate and define the priority of a maximum of 8 conversion events per domain
3. Anticipate changes to attribution windows and update automated rules if necessary
4. Identify campaign optimization strategies that may require testing such as alternative audience options or different bidding strategies.

Google has also just released an update on their actions to address the iOS 14 update which you can read up on here.

Get in Touch!

There’s our update for now! If you’re concerned about how this might impact you and want to talk to us directly about the developing situation, feel free to reach out!

If you’re looking for more assistance, AntiSocial can work with your team to adapt to the new changes, so contact us!

About the Author

Kristain Oliveira-Barnes is AntiSocial Solutions’ Director of Media and has a practiced understanding of the diverse media landscape including paid social, display, paid search, and Amazon.