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The Scam That Is iOS 14 Advertising

15 July 2021 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

Privacy scam ios 14

A digital marketers job is never done; you're constantly fighting an uphill battle; you're trying to find customers online, directing them to products and services with compelling messaging. This alone is a complex task of matching users and their needs with the right product or service at the right time.

It's been a problem marketers have been wrestling with for years, but with modern-day marketers, they now have to wrestle with additional obstacles like:

  • Algorithm updates
  • Throttling of reach
  • Updates and limitations to ad formats
  • Privacy of data
  • Increased cost to access data

We digital marketers at the mercy of the big platforms like Google and Facebook, and so too is any small business trying to reach customers. Like many in this industry, I have to keep up with the latest changes, one of them being the new iOS 14 update.

What the PR pitch is for iOS 14

When this release was being touted, it was marked as an improvement in privacy for iOS users, taking back their data ownership and blocking big bad Facebook from tracking your every move. Apple looks like the good guy, and Facebook looks like the bad guy.

It's a typical story of face versus the heel that we've seen play out in WWE for years; the crowd loves two giants facing off against one another, when in fact, the play is all orchestrated.

The fact is, this update has nothing to do with privacy and everything to do with an easier way to increase the price of customer reach, obfuscate data from advertisers and make them pay a premium for it.

Never look at what they say; always look at where the incentives lie.

How iOS 14 has rolled out received

When users get asked on iPhone devices if they'd like to be tracked, the vast majority say no. That's worrying Facebook Inc.'s advertisers, who are losing access to some of their most valuable targeting data and have already seen a decrease in the effectiveness of their ads.

Once you've installed the new OS, you'll receive a prompt from Apple Inc.; the device will ask users of each app whether they are willing to be tracked across their internet activity.

Most are saying no, according to Branch, which analyzes mobile app growth. People are permitting apps to track their behaviour just 25% of the time, so what does that mean for advertisers?

Garden walling your high LSM users

Most people are cheering the effects in media, shut down Facebooks reach, but the fact is many businesses depend on Facebook reach and increasing the cost to reach puts more companies out of business or at the mercy of Facebook.

You can already see it in the way Facebook has responded by pushing advertisers to set separate campaigns for iOS 14 users and with a disclaimer of poorer performance. Yes, it's out of Facebook's hands; as more people upgrade, their devices and 1 in 4 allow data access, they get off scot-free by offering advertisers poor performing campaigns but charging them more; it's a no brainer.

In addition, many iOS users are high LSM users; they are the ones advertisers are most keen on, so adding an additional premium to reach them works in Facebook's favour. They've effectively added an additional barrier to their most profitable users and increased the cost to reach these users.

What can businesses and marketers do about it?

Unfortunately, not much; if you have not yet seen the writing on the wall from these platforms, they are going to continue to squeeze you out and charge a premium for access to their user base. If you're not actively collecting direct contact methods with users such as

  1. Email addresses
  2. Phone numbers
  3. On-site push notification subscribers

Then you're going to continue to lose ground as you're cost to reach a customer will increase over time and eat into your margins. There is no way around this but to reduce reach by having direct lines of communication.

In addition to having email and phone number lists that you build, you can use this to create custom audiences and lookalike audiences to help your targeting.

The sad reality is most businesses won't be proactive; they will rely on Facebook and Google until the leads dry up or their lead cost destroys their business model.

Data protection will increase.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for the privacy of user data and giving the end-user control over their data footprint, but the way it's being pitched does not tell the full story and the ripple effect of these changes.

The days of cheap access to customer data is over, these platforms are going to keep raising the cost, and users will continue to advocate for more privacy features.

As this trend continues, you'll have to make certain adjustments to your marketing to build direct audiences, or leverage new platforms, adjust your budget and accept that previous year CPC's and CPA's are no longer going to be the norm.

Contact us

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on Facebook marketing.

Tags: iOS, Advertising , Performance Marketing

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