If you have an Apple device, a major iOS update is a bit like Christmas. There are lots of new features to discover and great tweaks that make devices feel just a little bit new and shiny again.
But the newest big update – iOS 14 - isn’t being received quite so well by many.
If you believe the headlines (and statements from Facebook), it’s like Apple has turned into the grinch who stole Christmas. Many are dubbing it ‘Applegeddon.’
Privacy changes look set to impact the way many businesses conduct their marketing, but is it really the end of the world?
It’s all a bit confusing, so keep reading for a simple outline of what’s going to change, how it might affect your business, and what you should do.
Is The iOS 14 Update Really ‘Applegeddon’?
What’s All The Panic About iOS 14?
It’s just an operating system, right? Can it really be that bad? According to Facebook and many other organisations, it can. Here’s what Facebook had to say about it.
“The limits it [the iOS 14 update] places on advertising will harm the growth of small businesses and the free internet. Apple’s proposed changes will limit your ability to effectively reach, understand and engage people on mobile devices and across the web.”
Ouch. Sounds scary. So, let’s start by looking at the specific changes you need to know about.
Before the update, marketers could track people across the internet using their IDFA (identifier for advertisers). This is a number unique to your device. It’s used to gain insight into your behaviours and help businesses target and personalise advertising according to your travels across the internet.
The privacy updates for iOS 14 will change this by requiring all apps on iOS to provide an explicit “opt-in” for all users. They are calling this the App Tracking Transparency Framework (ATT).
This is good news for those concerned about privacy, as it will be easy to opt-out of tracking. But it is likely to make things a little more complicated for businesses who rely on that data to guide their marketing efforts. Facebook Ads will be affected, and those who run e-commerce businesses will need to adapt their marketing strategies.
How The iOS 14 Update Might Affect Your E-Commerce Business
Right now, most people probably aren’t even aware that their device usage is being tracked by a wide variety of businesses. The update will change all that: chances are, many will choose to opt-out of sharing their phone activity and data when prompted by the required pop-ups.
Think of it like the more recent “Accept Cookies” pop up that many websites have to display, only this time it’s for apps.
When users choose not to share this information, businesses will lose track of a lot of the granular data they once had access to.
It might be harder to measure the effectiveness of your ads and make it more challenging to target your advertising.
What You Can Do To Prepare
The good news is that it’s probably not going to be as dire as many are making it out to be. Apple pushed back the start date for the privacy update requirements, giving those in the industry time to develop solutions and workarounds.
For example, Facebook is tweaking their engagement metrics, allowing advertisers a maximum of eight events for targeted ads.
Here are two simple things you can do to get your business ready:
1. If you use Facebook’s SDK (software development kit), make sure you update to the latest version.
2. If you use the Facebook pixel to track consumer events, ensure you verify your domain with the Business Manager.
Remember, not everyone in the world has an iPhone or iPod (even if it feels that way sometimes!), so the changes aren’t global. Start by gathering data on what percentage of your audience use iOS devices, and you will have a better idea of what the impact might be on your business.
Expand Your Marketing Strategies
In marketing, there are no dead ends, only opportunities to pivot! So, while iOS 14 may throw a few roadblocks in your path, it’s certainly not going to be the end of the road. You just need to find other ways to get there.
And it all comes back to marketing basics: communicating value and being authentic, engaging customers using a solid marketing strategy, and utilising your various channels effectively.
If you do rely heavily on Facebook Ads to generate leads and sales, it might be time to expand your efforts and explore other marketing channels – aka diversify! Invest time and money into your web ads, email marketing, or even direct mail, as well as those social media platforms.
Expend more energy in building a sturdy, long-lasting relationship with your customers. Your business will continue to grow, regardless of any changes and challenges the big players throw your way.
Embrace The Changes
Change is inevitable in life – and in marketing – and the only way to succeed is to accept it, embrace it, and evolve with it. Instead of dreading the upcoming changes, use them as motivation to update and innovate with your marketing strategy.
Take charge of your own data tracking and collection, and be ready to approach and engage with your audience in new and exciting ways.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by it all and not quite sure where to start, that’s understandable! There is a lot of information to take in. I’m here to help you make sense of the changes and adapt your marketing so that you are prepared for anything.
If you would like to discuss how you can still use Facebook to boost your business, regardless of the iOS 14 update, >> CLICK HERE << to book your '30min Business Road Map' session with me today!
About Louise Stephens | Business Strategist | Digital Marketing Coach
Louise Stephens has been working as a business strategist for 10 years & more specifically over the past 4 years as a digital marketing coach in her own business.
Louise is truly passionate about is teaching E-Commerce Business Owners how to take their 'side hustle' full time & scale to 5k revenue months with a step-by-step, here's exactly how to do it system with Facebook
The REAL way…