What You Must Know – Apple’s iOS 14.5

Apple iPhone iOS 14.5 Update

Have you noticed changes to your Apple products? Recently, Apple rolled out iOS 14.5, which is making waves in the digital advertising space.

Companies have been collecting user data to produce targeted ads. Last year Facebook generating $84B in ad revenue alone. As a result, users have been demanding more privacy on their mobile devices.

iOS 14.5 is Apple’s response. 

What’s happening?

Part of the software update includes the App Tracking Transparency framework, (ATT). When the ATT is active on an iPhone, it stops the flow of data that app developers, advertisers, and measurement companies have used to track user behavior and deliver targeted advertisements.

The iOS 14.5 update lets users grant permission to apps in order to be tracked, with an in-app prompt asking if you would like to allow the app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites.

What’s the impact of iOS 14.5?

So, you might be thinking this is a good thing, and from the perspective of the smartphone user it is. Apple is putting the power of the data back into the hands of the user, a massive step towards establishing increased privacy regulations. But, in the eyes of companies that rely on this targeted advertising to drive traffic to their sites which ultimately leads to increased revenue, this could spell disaster.

Mark Zuckerberg said this new update has the potential to hurt “millions of businesses around the world” as smaller companies rely on these targeted ads to find their next customers.  Of course, we can’t forget that Facebook would stand to gain the most if this restriction was not in place.

For companies that rely on targeted advertisement to drive traffic to their sites, or an adtech firm that’s business is built around running these ads, you need to start strategizing your next step.

Whenever a setback like this occurs, it’s time for adaptation and a growth mindset.

How companies can respond to iOS 14.5

Although it is impossible to say how many users will opt-out of app tracking, companies need to be prepared for a shift in tracking capabilities.

Educate

For those who opt-out, advertisers are losing the ability to track their ad activity on Apple devices. Advertisers using Facebook and Google Ads will be heavily impacted. There are many nuances to the rules and both of these gigantic advertisers have been preparing for this shift since Apple made this announcement last June.

For example, Facebook created Aggregated Event Measurement, designed to “help you measure campaign performance in a way that is consistent with consumers’ decisions about their data.”

Google created this guide to explain the impact of ATT on its advertisers.

Measure

Now is the time to benchmark performance to accurately compare how ads performed before and after the software update. Every advertiser needs to monitor campaigns closely. Tracking is imperative to spend efficiently.

Invest

The iOS 14.5 update forces marketers to return to the basics and creative captivating ads which tell a story and help foster an emotional connection with their brand. In today’s media landscape, where attention spans are shorter than ever, this is no short order, and companies must be quick to find alternatives to methods that have become obsolete.

One option is Marpipe, a creative design platform that allows you to create thousands of ad variations in minutes, and then collect your own data on which are the best performing. It provides real-time insights allowing marketers to determine which perform the best on a multitude of platforms.

Marpipe makes creating ad variations quick and easy. Companies get autonomy over what their customers see and can quickly adjust when one version outperforms another.

“In the wake of Apple’s system update, marketers and advertisers have to return to the Mad Men era — meaning, ads need to appeal to customers on a visceral level. That’s why testing and reporting are critical,” said Jeremy Bloom, Marpipe Chief Revenue Officer.

Apple says there are more than one billion active iPhones across the world. To remain competitive with these global users, companies have to reassess creative and media spend.

This update has shaken the digital advertising market and only time will tell as to how companies, both large and small are able to adapt to maintain growth throughout the changing landscape. If you have modified your strategy to attract and target customers, now is the time.