iOS Mobile Tracking Changes and You: Everything Marketers Should Know

As the dust finally settles on the controversial Apple iOS 14 update, what has the fallout for advertisers among the mobile tracking changes? What has changed, and what has stayed the same? The Apple experts on the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team sum up what you need to know. 

The Update Lowdown

What did Update 14 actually do? Once the update dropped, users needed to opt-in to any app tracking their activity off the platform. Tracking online behaviour to facilitate personalization has become a cornerstone of marketing, so losing out on this data was a big concern. Especially as uptake is as high as 90% of users, far more than anticipated. The Update also limited advertisers to 8 or fewer conversion events from one domain. Which makes it a lot harder to track how different campaigns you are running are performing. While that sounds incredibly dramatic, there’s been an overall drift away from tracking cookies over time. So how did the update affect advertisers?

  1. Greater set-up needs

With the update, marketers have had to do a few more steps before setting up campaigns, including items like domain verification and aggregated event management. Yet, despite these needs, retargeting of Facebook ads is still thriving.

  1. Wider ad spend

With the update, Facebook has become less of a monopoly on many advertising budgets. Platforms like Google are coming to the fore with better remarketing and targeting of users without intrusive gathering, instead using search intent. 

  1. Changing Facebook success

That’s not to say Facebook advertising is dead. However, most companies now use what’s called UTM parameters on the URLs to track what data Facebook is accessing through Google Analytics instead of directly from Facebook. 

  1. Lookalikes and retargeting

These strategies continue to drive ROI, and yet privacy updates are becoming a marketing norm. This means more companies need to take ownership of data to inform their campaigns, rather than relying on the anonymized third-party data from Big Tech. 

  1. Exploring other options

Facebook does, of course, offer more advertising options and other ways to reach audiences. For example, retargeting people who reach out to you directly, or starting conversations with those who interact with your ads. There’s also their in-app lead form. As cookies become less common, using these sorts of tools can help you continue to generate leads through first-party, not third-party, data.

Update 14 is unlikely to be a one-time event. More and more legislation and scrutiny is being applied to third-party cookie data collection, and the digital landscape is changing. While this can introduce some stumbling blocks into your online marketing strategies, it just means you need to broaden your advertising horizons again. 

Need some help to create effective, results-driven advertising campaigns? Let the Zebra 360 Social Media Marketing Agency team help you get the results you need today.