Preparing for Increase In User Privacy: iOS 14 Updates

Preparing for Increase In User Privacy: iOS 14 Updates

Posted on March 18, 2021 Ashley Eining

Apple announced last June, at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, that developers would need to provide an option for user permission in order to track and share IDFA identifiers for cross-property ad targeting purposes. IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is a unique identifier for mobile devices and is used for targeting and measuring the effectiveness of advertising. This update provides users with the opportunity to block this identifier at the app level, giving them more control over their personal targeting or tracking.  

This tracking-restriction update was expected to roll out with the iOS 14 update last fall but was delayed until 2021 to provide developers with more time to make the necessary changes—and prepare advertisers for the impact of these changes.

Here are a few interesting stats that show how serious this update could be for your business:

  • On average, a typical site receives 50–70% of its total web traffic from mobile.
  • Apple iOS has 50% of the US smartphone market share.
  • Currently, around 70% of iOS users share their IDFA, but after the opt-out option becomes available, it is estimated to drop between 10–15%. 

In summary, advertisers should be prepared to be impacted on the Ad Targeting and the Ad Measurement levels. But they can and should also prepare solutions for both. 

Ad Targeting Impact

For many brands and businesses, remarketing ads (serving to past site visitors) is a very popular tactic to continue showing up in front of your non-converting audience. The tracking-restriction update will heavily impact how we collect and store cookies for site visitors. 

Data segments collected by data networks will also be heavily impacted when users opt out of sharing information regarding how they navigate and interact online. 

Ad Targeting Solution

Building out a strong ‘First Party Data Strategy’ can set you up for success. Finding ways to encourage opt-ins, subscriptions, and sign-ups on platforms you control can build your database of names, email addresses, and phone numbers. This way you can continue the conversation with your audience. 

Understanding your audience is more important than ever to shape your online presence to better serve your potential customers and clients. Creating a highly engaging environment across your website, social media presence, and email marketing can encourage growth in these budding audience profiles. 

Ad Measurement Impact

The tracking-restriction update will severely hinder the ability to track iPhone users’ precise location which will make measuring in-store foot traffic much more difficult. Also, website conversion tracking will not be affected but individual channel attribution will. These impacts will make understanding your brand’s typical, complete buyer journey almost impossible and fairly inaccurate. 

Ad Measurement Solution

Just like the targeting solution above, a strong ‘First Party Data Strategy’ is important to provide site visitors with the information they are looking for, but in a way that starts—and continues—the conversation between your brand and the visitor. This interaction can be achieved with gated content, webinars and virtual events, email sign-ups, social media engagement… the list goes on. Brands must become increasingly creative in brand relationship-building methods. By creating and enhancing these relationships with your audience, you can learn more about your audience, analyze the buyer's journey, and improve the overall site experience.

The tracking-restriction update may not seem like a significant situation at this time for your business, but evolving with the ever-changing environment online will prepare your business for future updates. Because privacy is not just seen as a compliance tactic anymore, it is a critical business strategy. User privacy conversations are not going away and there are sure to be more tracking updates similar to this one in the future.