Overview of the change
A new privacy feature was released on Monday 4/26/21 with the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 14.5. This includes a new feature called App Tracking Transparency, a significant step for user privacy, giving people more control over their mobile phone app data and how it’s used by companies, like Facebook and LinkedIn, for personalized ad targeting.
The first time users open an app on their iPhone or iPad after they update, they will be prompted with an option to opt out of tracking that monitors their behavior and shares that data with third parties. It’s generally believed that a small percentage of users will opt-in to allow tracking. Time will tell exactly how small, but early predictions have ranged from 2% to 20% opt-in. Recently, a mobile attribution firm AppsFlyer ran a study that showed a 39% opt-in rate.
While it’s an exciting development for users, this update is causing apprehension in business owners and marketers because it impacts data tracking permissions and therefore efficacy of some campaigns. This won’t necessarily mean an end to all tracking, but as more and more users opt out of tracking, we will experience some notable changes in how we’re able to measure performance and tactics/strategies we’ll be able to deploy.
Impact on Facebook / LinkedIn Ad Campaigns
The changes to the Apple iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework including the Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) will have a limited impact on these types of ad campaigns.
- Shifts in delivery across LinkedIn Audience Network placements.
- Smaller target audience sizes when using Matched Audiences data
- Smaller audience sizes for website retargeting.
- Potential decline in conversions, if dependent on IDFA.
- Some campaign results will be counted differently
- New limit on web events (limited to 8 conversion events)
- A domain will need to be selected for each ad to measure conversions
- Audience sizes may decrease
What we recommend for the short term
- Enable or update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1
- Verify your domain and enable the conversions API
- Configure and prioritize your 8 conversion events or choose to rely on your website analytics tool to track conversions from your campaigns
- Rethink the customer journey–review strategies and where you might need to pivot your approach
What we recommend for the long term
Consider developing “value exchange” strategies to collect first party data that you can use to build direct relationships with prospects and customers. First party data includes any data collected directly from your audience, such as the following:
- Email subscriptions
- Resource downloads
- Form submissions
- Data collected through web analytics platforms such as Google Analytics
As digital platforms tighten up on privacy, knowing your customers, their pain points, resources and tools they need is more important than ever. Ask yourself, how current are your personas? Do you need additional customer research? How can you collect more first party data?