iOS 14.5 Has Arrived and Here is Ovative’s Take
Following the Apple iOS 14.5 release late April, we are seeing emerging trends impacting app downloads, media costs and conversion rates, and reporting. Keep reading for more on these key insights and what marketers should be doing to adapt.
On April 26th, Apple released iOS 14 which requires user permission in order to track their activity across third-party apps and websites and collect their Apple ID for Advertisers (IDFA). According to AdAge, A poll of iPhone users who have gone through the update shows 47% of those running the latest update would allow Facebook to track and share iPhone data.¹ However as some users will not opt-in, it is assumed the availability of IDFA and the efficacy of tools that use IDFA will decrease.
As users will gradually update devices over time, marketers may not see an immediate impact. Across Ovative clients we’ve seen a few trends begin to unfold – largely within Facebook as impact to other advertising partners like Google or other Programmatic Partners may be delayed because performance trends won’t be realized for another few weeks as the rollout of iOS14 gains more adoption.
- Fewer App Downloads: Clients are seeing iOS installs drop up to 94% with some partners and Cost Per Installs (CPIs) increasing across the board on iOS.
- Increased Costs: Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPMs) have increased up to 9.4% and Cost Per Clicks (CPCs) have increased up to 10% since iOS 14.5 rollout.
- Negative Impact on Conversion Rate: We have seen early impacts to conversion rate that we expect will continue to impact media performance while we adapt to a post-iOS14 world.
- Updated Reporting Attribution Windows: Due to updated attribution windows, missing attribution views, and lack of transparency in cross-channel conversion data, standard media reporting has been impacted preventing a full picture of performance.
- Limited Impact Observed to Search: This update does not significantly impact search audiences, since Google’s tag-based re-marketing lists for search ads have already gone away. However, we do know this rollout impacts app tracking and cookie tracking (like Google Analytics) for conversions with greater than a 24-hour lag. We anticipate that the search impact will be insignificant, but have not yet found whether the impact will be enough to detect in KPIs. Where impacted, revenue may incorrectly track as direct due to misattribution.
- Increased Costs: Similar to Facebook, we are also seeing CPMs increase 4% and CPCs 6% on Google.
- Limited Impact to The Trade Desk (TTD) Media: We’ve observed far less impact to The Trade Desk than other partners. With a lower amount of TTD spend on in-app, this is as expected and we will continue to monitor including any increased costs as brands look to shift spending into Programmatic strategies.
Actions to Take
- Split app campaigns by operating system. After seeing significant impact on app download performance, marketers should split out campaigns by operating system to minimize the immediate impact of the rollout. This should provide a side by side estimate of the net effect and “new normal” relative to historical observations. Also, on in-app campaigns that include iOS, marketers should consider using targeting strategies we previously outlined in Why We Embrace the Cookie Apocalypse², updating their own apps to be compliant with Apple’s SKAdNetwork solution to allow some conversion data to be passed back for media optimization.
- Test new programmatic strategies. Restricted tracking environments have been around in programmatic since Apple’s previous ITP updates. For general display, video, and other programmatic media outside of walled gardens clients should start testing strategies outlined in Why We Embrace the Cookie Apocalypse², like leveraging first-party data, investing in improving audience data sets, assessing tools to enable content-first targeting, talking directly with publishers, and clearly communicating purpose and value to consumers.
- Check in with your measurement partner. Ask if they primarily use IDFA for measuring or targeting customers within the iOS ecosystem—and if so, ask about their alternate approach to tracking these customers. If your measurement partner is already using another approach, ask how they plan to continue connecting individual customers to touchpoints, as the industry will likely continue to trend toward privacy. Ovative’s Marketing Analytics Platform (MAP) includes top-down capabilities like Media Mix Modeling (MMM) to maintain efficacy in measurement proactively as changes in consumer privacy are rolled out.
This rollout and other privacy efforts continue to reinforce the value of zero and first–party data as well as the exploration of more reliant person–level identifiers. A transition towards these types of identity solutions will help create more long–term stability for attribution approaches, cross-platform measurement, and consumer engagement.
The goal of these initiatives is to give consumers more choice about whether or not to share their data with your business, just like the choice to spend money with your business. If marketers treat consumer data like a currency they want to acquire, they must offer value in return by showing consumers why they should share their data and what the benefit is in doing so. Increasing consumer opt-in will create a competitive advantage in marketing measurement for brands long-term.
Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!
1 | AdAge, What Twitter is telling brands about Apple’s new privacy rules, May 2021
2 | Ovative Insights, Why we embrace the cookie apocalypse, March 2021