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?
Eastern Skateboard Supply is the leading skater owned and operated B2B wholesale distributor in the industry. As skaters and surfers themselves, they pride themselves on knowledgeable customer service and a comprehensive selection of more than 11,000 products.
Our team redesigned the site to improve the user experience (UX) and shift to a more modern e-commerce framework, with helpful features that today’s customers expect. We polished the messaging and gave the site a sleek, modern design full of color and engaging imagery. From a technical perspective, Signal integrated Eastern Skateboard’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with a new e-commerce platform, Magento. The result was a seamless connection between technologies, syncing customers, orders and inventory.
Plant Impact develops innovative crop enhancement products that increase crop yield and quality. This UK-based company engaged Signal as a full-service partner to help them enter the U.S. market with the launch of Fortalis, a scientifically proven product for soybean. Our goal was to develop a primarily digital strategy to create brand awareness and engagement with soybean growers in five key states in the Midwest. Additional audiences included crop consultants, advisors, university researchers, ag media and retailers – groups interested in learning more about innovations to help their clients improve soybean crop ROI.
Email / direct mail
The Signal team started with a series of segmented e-blasts to introduce Plant Impact, their track record of success in other countries, and the Fortalis product. Additional e-blasts were geared towards growers who had participated in Plant Impact product trials. We called these early adopters “Fortalis Forerunners.”
Signal created a dedicated website, to support the product launch. The website features a clean scrolling design and impactful imagery. It’s also interactive, featuring a simple ROI calculator tool and other resources to help educate growers about how Fortalis can improve their soybean yields.
The Signal team created an instructional video which explains the science and technology behind how the product works. The video is featured on the microsite and has been used for marketing.
Brochure / tradeshow collateral
We developed a comprehensive product brochure, as well as tradeshow collateral and displays for Plant Impact’s booth at the premier ag industry event, Commodity Classic.
Social strategy / promoted social ads
The Signal team created Facebook and Twitter pages for audience engagement, and activated a detailed social strategy which included regular posts and promoted ads.
Currently, the brand has inked three main distributor agreements which represent not only the Midwest, but distribution to the retail channel throughout the entire US. Signal is seeing tremendous engagement on completed forms online and links from our efforts. We look forward to seeing even more results as Plant Impact and Fortalis “grow” their brand in the US!
ExperienceOne Homes is an award-winning builder company recognized for building premier neighborhoods throughout the Triangle area. As a Signal client for over 10 years, they called on us to design an awareness campaign to introduce their new Sweetwater community in Apex, NC to prospective residents.
Signal started by creating key messages for the new Sweetwater community, including a tagline and evocative phrases. The team also created the logo for the new community, capturing the elements of nature, beauty and balance. Signal designed a comprehensive presentation to introduce Sweetwater – and all of its many features and benefits – to the Town of Apex. We also created email templates, cut sheets, home expo posters, local event deliverables, a Facebook page – as well as a local new home guide front cover ad and interior spread.
The Signal team created a dedicated microsite, for the new community. The website was designed to introduce Sweetwater to potential new home buyers interested in a balanced life, encouraging them to “step into a sweeter place.” The site showcases the community’s “neo-traditional” development style, highlighting the appeal of shopping and dining within walking distance, as well as nature trails, pocket parks and a state-of-the art community center.
Each element – from copy to design to photography – was created to convey the charm of Sweetwater. Friendly, conversational copy, modern images, earthy colors, and weathered wood used as a design element. Interactive features on the site allow potential buyers to review all available home styles and floor plans – as well as site and vicinity maps and information.
Signal also designed and delivered a number of environmental graphics, including a community sign package and highway sign to point the way to Sweetwater.
Always-on campaigns enable island real estate company to “weather the storm” through two potentially devastating hurricanes, showing 60% increase in traffic and 158% increase in leads.
Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales is known for its stunning properties and attracting homebuyers who want to savor life on “island time.” Entering into 2018, the company was looking to increase awareness of the island as an exceptional location to own a second home and looking for unique and targeted opportunities to set the island apart from alternative locations for a second home. They were also looking to drive more leads to the website through targeted digital campaigns, and to nurture marketing leads and increase sales.
The company has two websites: the main Bald Head Island vacation & rentals site, and a dedicated Bald Head Island Real Estate sales site. When analytics showed that many leads were coming in via the real estate site, our client contacted Signal for a site redesign to elevate the real estate to be as inviting and evocative as the main site. Signal edited the site copy, helping to infuse it with the color and charm of the island. Our team redesigned the entire real estate site, including standout photography, graphics and typography – as well as custom interactive features and responsive design.
We had seen great success from Facebook advertising, but in quick one-off campaigns. Having first proven the value of this channel and its potential for driving awareness and top of the funnel leads, we were able to re-allocate budget and make Facebook Ads a part of their ongoing marketing mix. We promoted blog articles, island events and even specific property listings.
As with Facebook Ads, we saw great success from email marketing, but again through one-off campaigns and limited frequency. We conceptualized and implemented two weekly, semi-automated email campaigns to a growing list of marketing leads. These engaging campaigns highlighted new listings, neighborhoods and featured properties, driving leads to schedule an island real estate tour.
Despite the island being hit by potentially devastating hurricanes in 2018 AND in 2019, we saw the following:
- a 60% increase in traffic
- a 158% increase in direct response actions