A CMO's Guide To The Apple iOS14 Update

Updated: Jun 1

What Is It?

Apple’s iOS 14 update majorly impacts privacy and security measures, which require user’s permission to track and collect data.

This includes:

  • Displaying targeted advertising based on user data

  • Sharing device location or email lists with a data broker

  • Sharing lists of emails, advertising IDs, or other IDs with third-party advertisers.

On each app's product page, users will be able to learn about the data the app collects and how the information is used.

Sources: Apple Developer, Apple User Privacy and Data Use

How does this affect Facebook Advertising?

Facebook offers advanced targeting capabilities because of the Facebook Pixel, a piece of code installed on websites and apps that not only provides the ability for advertisers to understand actions that have taken place on the website, i.e. landing page views, add-to-cart, subscriptions, etc., but also target people based on specific demographics and "interest" parameters. That is how a cycling studio in New York can choose to target people by zip code that are just interested in cycling, or their competitors.

Winc: Facebook Ads Case Study

Winc: Facebook Ads Case Study about how the company increased wine membership subscriptions with Facebook and Instagram video ads targeting individuals 21+ that according to Facebook "look like" their current subscribers.

Sources: Facebook For Business, Winc Case Study

Facebook is understandably very against this update. Facebook states that “Apple’s forced software update will limit businesses’ ability to run personalized ads and reach their customers effectively… Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend.”

Pausing here to note that Facebook would only lose the ability to use personalized ads entirely if everyone opted out of information sharing on Apple AND this type of policy was implemented across all mobile devices (Samsung, Google, etc.). This is not something we anticipate happening anytime soon.

Facebook is projecting the largest impact to be on the Audience Network platform, where advertisers can run campaigns on Facebook’s partnering publishers and environments.

Thus, with each app that is in the Audience Network, users would have to opt-in to information sharing. Facebook states that “publishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease… it may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.” (Preparing Our Partners for iOS 14, Facebook for Business).

Adding to their very public protest of the new update, Facebook also recently decided to support Epic Games, the company behind the video game “Fortnite” in its high-profile legal battle with Apple. As the release has been delayed in the past, it is likely that they are hoping to sway personal opinion and delay again.


NY Times, Facebook Takes the Gloves Off in Feud With Apple

The Wall Street Journal, Facebook Wades into ‘Fortnite’ Maker’s Dispute with Apple

How Will This Affect Advertisers?

At SLTC, our opinion is that this update could be treated similarly to the 2018 GDPR regulation that required email subscribers to re-opt into email communication. There was an initial drop-off of people who did not opt-in but continued to market to individuals who wanted to receive email communication.

Sources: Forbes, The Birth of GDPR: What Is It and What You Need to Know

There will likely be a significant impact on advertising campaigns, but then companies will be able to resume advertising to those that have opted in. Retargeting campaigns will likely be the most affected at first. If people from that retargeting do not opt-in to information sharing, conversion tracking and reporting will be skewed. However, as our campaigns continue, these individuals will be seeded out based on the fact that their activity can no longer be tracked.

We also can anticipate that the size of targeted audiences will decrease, as those that do not want to share information will be excluded.

What Can You Do?

Facebook has provided suggestions to mitigate the effects of this new update.

If you plan to deliver ads that occur on your company's app:

  • Update to Facebook's SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1. More information and instructions can be found here.

If you plan to deliver Facebook and Instagram ads:

  • Verify your website’s domain to avoid any additional campaign disruption. Instructions and more information can be found here.

  • Plan to operate with a maximum of 8 conversion events per domain.

  • Set up catalog ads to use only one Pixel.

See Facebook's Article on how the update will affect ads and how to prepare, here.

Via Facebook for Business


Facebook for Business, Preparing Our Partners for iOS 14

Facebook for Business, How Apple's iOS 14 Release May Affect Ads

How Can We Help You?

SLT Consulting is a digital marketing consultancy that unlocks possibilities for brands, companies, and organizations of all sizes. We are a boutique collective of subject matter experts brought together to service you - not only as an agency - but as your strategic partners. Together, we have over 100+ years of experience combined and have won numerous industry awards for our work. We are passionate about the digital landscape and stay at the forefront of innovation.

Our clients range from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Check out some of our work here.

We would like to help you through this transition. Contact us here.

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