The Apple of Our ID: Strategies for Overcoming iOS’s Advertising Barriers

Plenty of news has circulated about Apple’s infamous iOS 14.5 update, mainly focusing on how the update will hinder advertising capabilities and audience targeting. Facebook in particular has made a big stink about it.

But you know what we have to say? Fear not brave brands. With every challenge comes new opportunities, and we’ve already been collaborating with our vendors and partners to ensure our digital advertising stays smart, strategic and targeted.

So, what’s actually happening?

Apple, in the name of user privacy, released an iOS update that will require app publishers to get user opt-in permission prior to using advertising trackers like mobile IDs and cookies on Apple devices. These tools are commonly used by advertisers for audience building, retargeting and conversion tracking, meaning digital campaigns could be severely dampened.

According to some polls, up to 20-40% of consumers are expected to opt out.

Is there any good news from this update?!

With the release just rolling out, solutions will continue to evolve. But even in the present, it’s not all doom and gloom. Here’s how advertisers can still run effective digital campaigns:

1) Leverage innovative targeting and use multiple targeting tactics

Your own first-party data can help fill in a big data gap through 1:1 targeting and look-a-like targeting – so if you’ve been investing in your contact and email lists (as you most definitely should), you’ll have a leg up.

Contextual targeting can help position your brand around relevant topics, new stories and other content. While this approach has been around awhile, it’s more important than ever when the user themself cannot be identified.

It’s also imperative that you partner with compliant vendors and data providers – the best ones have already been working through solutions in preparation for this update.

2) Be flexible with how you measure success and learn about audiences

The same attribution metrics available today may not be around once the full force of the update is realized. To compensate, lean into your website data – what sort of lift do you see in traffic and conversions? Also, you can still check insights on the users who opted in through demographic tools from Facebook and LinkedIn.

Finally, there’s plenty of other survey data available on audience trends – subscriptions to eMarketer, Scarborough, Neilsen, Resonate and more can fill in your blind spots.

3) Identify opportunities to collect and securely store first party data

If you haven’t created a strategy for collecting and maintaining first party-data, now is the time! Incentivizing your users to provide their contact info through exclusive content when on your site is a great way to bulk up your lists.

A widely used practice involves launching a pop-up on your website that allows users to opt-in to cookies and a chance for you to explain what benefits they’ll get by sharing data.

Additionally, collecting information through newsletter sign-ups, loyalty programs, website or app sign-in, or other creative offers are best practices in long-term user engagement. All of these methods enable you to collect an email as well as other information like name or age.

Remember, privacy is on your audiences’ minds more than ever these days, so let your users know how you’ll be using (and safeguarding) their data.

Have more questions about the iOS rollout or need help with your digital campaigns? Send me a note and let’s chat!