How Apple’s iOS 14.5 Release Could Impact Your Business

In this current era of the digital world, data privacy is one of the biggest concerns that many consumers face while navigating the Internet. People are constantly generating data—2.5 quintillion bytes per day, to be exact! Many businesses use this data to guide their business and marketing decisions, especially when it comes to personalized ad […]

In this current era of the digital world, data privacy is one of the biggest concerns that many consumers face while navigating the Internet. People are constantly generating data—2.5 quintillion bytes per day, to be exact! Many businesses use this data to guide their business and marketing decisions, especially when it comes to personalized ad campaigns. For instance, you may use paid ads on social media to promote your products/services and to track user activity so that you and your marketing team can refine target methods within your marketing efforts.

With the release of Apple’s new iOS 14.5 update, however, the way you collect and use data on Apple devices is likely to change. Here’s how.

What is Apple’s iOS 14.5 update?

While Apple’s prior iOS updates focused on fixing bugs and improving the UI, the new iOS 14.5 release will go a step further. It contains a new privacy feature known as App Tracking Transparency (ATT). According to Apple, this feature requires advertisers on mobile apps to gain permission from users to access their data and track their activity. 

For many users of Apple devices, this new privacy update may seem like a long-awaited milestone in data privacy since it gives them control and security over how their personal information is used on mobile apps. It may also offer users relief from targeted ads that may be considered intrusive or overkill when they use social media platforms like Facebook and other social media applications.

How does iOS 14.5 impact your business?

For Apple device users, the new update is a welcome change, but the same cannot be said for small businesses that rely on social media advertising to drive their conversions. Let’s say you own an online store that sells jewelry and drives most of its revenue through paid advertisements on Facebook. 

How will you know who to retarget your ads to if iOS users do not give the app permission to utilize their data? How will you be able to generate leads if you’re left in the dark about how your consumers are navigating through their buyer’s journey? Many marketing campaigns and efforts obtain incredible insights just from event data like product views, bounced sessions, or website navigation.

This also presents a barrier for marketers trying to reach lower funnel audiences. Lower funnel audiences mainly consist of retargeting customers, in which advertisers use first-party data to create effective campaigns that incentivize customers to make a final purchase. Apple’s iOS 14.5 update provides a challenge in this transition as users begin opting out of app tracking. Retargeting audiences that marketers have been accustomed to using may very likely decrease within the coming months forcing advertisers to adjust their low funnel strategies.

While we can hope that most users will choose to opt-in, there’s a higher chance that they may pick the exact opposite. Remember: the average person comes across an average of 6,000 to 10,000 ads each day, according to PPC Protect. And many of these users are likely tired of seeing ads on a regular basis, especially on social media. These factors may put the reliance on Facebook and Instagram as reliable sources of conversions into question.

How can your small business adapt?

Apple’s new privacy feature, ATT may have started a chain reaction among other devices and platforms. With 46% of consumers feeling that they’ve lost control over their own data, the rise in demand for data privacy is undeniable. It’s possible we’ll start to see other platforms start to follow Apple’s example. Search engines like DuckDuckGo go above and beyond to ensure user data isn’t collected, and have implemented certain privacy features that block third-party tracking. There are also add-ons like Privacy Badger that provide online users with similar privacy protections. It’s important to optimize your efforts and adapt to these changes so that you can reach your target audience and make the most of your campaigns. A few your small business can adapt to Apple’s new privacy update include:

  • Maximizing on Android device users.

Although Apple is a big player in the digital space, it isn’t the only device system available in the market. Apple’s iOS 14.5 update only applies to those who regularly use Apple products, including iPhones and iPads. According to Statista, in 2020, there were around 129.1 million Android smartphone users in the United States, and this number is predicted to grow by over 130 million this year. This means you can still segment and target your audiences through Android users.

  • Focusing on website tracking.

Apple’s iOS update affected data tracking in mobile apps, but you can still use your website’s tracking and analytics tools to find out where your traffic is coming from. Tools like Google Analytics and Hubspot can provide you with a variety of insights that can enhance your marketing efforts. These tools allow you to know your audience and their needs so you can produce marketing content based on the behavior of those users. 

  • Expanding your organic efforts.

Organic search is an effective marketing tool that’s often neglected by small businesses. From creating blog posts to leveraging backlinks, there are countless ways to expand your organic search efforts so that your website ranks higher on SERPs (search engine results pages) while also gaining insights about your consumers through analytics tools.

As data privacy continues to be the main concern for consumers, it’s safe to assume that there will be more changes to data tracking and privacy policies in the future. Small businesses must be ready to adapt and optimize in order to move forward in achieving key marketing objectives. Whether it’s expanding on email marketing, growing contact lists, or focusing on SEO tactics, it’s always a good idea to revisit your marketing strategies so that your small business isn’t only relying on social media for conversions. If you aren’t sure how Apple’s new privacy update will affect your small business, don’t panic. At CreativeCore, our team is well-prepared in navigating through these new obstacles, and we’re here to help. Reach out to us today to get started!