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What You Should Know About How iOS 14 Impacts Advertisers

iOS 14 update

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By now you may have heard about the impact Apple’s iOS 14 updates are having on advertising platforms that rely on tracking of user behavior to target ads to the right audiences.

While impacts to Facebook advertising has been most publicized, Apple’s changes will impact mobile apps that rely on search history, location data, and 3rd party demographics.  This will start  February 2021.

For the sake of this post, we’ll focus on Facebook, how Bear Fox Marketing is responding to these changes, and how this will impact you as an advertiser.

With the rollout of iOS 14, iPhone users will need to opt-in to allow apps to track their activity. Currently, users can opt out if they choose, but this new process will ask them to opt in.

If a user doesn’t  allow tracking, other activities such as search history will be hidden from Facebook. For example, if this particular user watched a cooking video on Youtube yesterday, Facebook would be unable to retarget that user with a related cooking pan ad today.

It’s Bear Fox Marketing’s view that consumer privacy is important.  We also believe that the ability to retarget ads is a valuable tool for marketers, allowing companies to position relevant products and services to the right audience.  Facebook takes a similar stance.

So what does this mean for your campaign?

  • 45% of smartphone users had an iPhone in 2020 or about 30% of the U.S. population (source Statista).  
  • It’s unclear at this time exactly how many folks will allow Facebook to track their activity.  Based on historical opt-in rates, if we assume 50% opt in, Facebook marketers would be able to retarget 50 million fewer users through their iPhone device.
  • While this estimate is not insignificant, remarketing will still be available to companies that are targeting users that use a desktop computer, other mobile devices, as well as to those that use an iPhone and opt in.

The negatives?

  1. Retargeting through Facebook will become more limited to iPhone users that opt out of tracking.
  2. Target audience size inside of Facebook will be impacted.
  3. In general, reporting may be delayed by as much as 3 days.  If a conversion happens today, you may not have visibility for up to three days.
  4. The current “look back” reporting period for conversions will be reduced from 28 days to 7 days.

The positives?

  1. According to Facebook, “There are no specific changes for Dynamic Ads for Retargeting, but you may see performance and audience sizes decrease. We expect minimal impact to you using Dynamic Ads to reach Broad Audiences.”

This plays to our favor since as an agency we’ve been increasing the use of dynamic ads for several months, which has been producing well.

  1. We expect that some agencies and companies that are unable to adapt to these changes may use the Facebook Ad platform less.  This would be favorable to us in terms of lower ad costs.
  2. The change allows us to target users that are more open to advertising and who are most likely to engage with ads and respond to them.
  3. The change also underscores the importance of having comprehensive online marketing support and getting good synergy from all marketing channels:  social media advertising, search advertising, SEO, email marketing, text marketing, etc. 

How Bear Fox Marketing is addressing these changes.

  1. In August of 2020, recognizing the weaknesses in highly targeted campaigns with narrow audiences, Bear Fox adjusted our approach to target larger, broader audiences. Since this change, we’ve witnessed the majority of campaigns performing well with Top-of-Funnel ads and efficient Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) across the majority of our campaigns.

  2. Since re-targeting will be limited for some campaigns in Facebook, utilizing additional forms of retargeting such as email and SMS will become more important.  We expect calls to action such as “Text to Subscribe” or “Enter Your Email and Save” will become increasingly important.

  3. Bear Fox will continue to emphasize compelling ad copy and engaging creative to maximize top of funnel conversions while retargeting as appropriate and allowed.

  4. Likewise, compelling offers in the will likely become more necessary to increase conversions and reduce cost per acquisition.

  5. Finally, Advertisers should never underestimate the importance of the right pricing structure and good ole fashion market fit. In a world with better-than-ever access to buyers and ever increasing competition, it will always be those products solving a compelling problem or improve our lives in some way that rise to the top.

If you have any questions about this update or would like to discuss your marketing efforts with a member of our team, please don’t hesitate to reach out or schedule a call with one of our Consultants.
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