Media Insights

iOS 14 Impact on Targeting: Four Immediate Steps for Marketers

As Apple rolls out iOS 14 updates, there will be significant impact on marketers’ ability to both target and measure at the customer level. We have outlined the immediate steps you should be taking to prepare as marketers. 

Updated 1/15/2021 to include Step 4- Download historical attribution results from the Facebook UI.

Alex Meyers shared his perspective on how measurement capabilities will be impacted by Apple’s iOS 14 requirements for users to opt-in to data collection and tracking, limiting the amount of data for user path analysis in the article Marketing Measurement in an Increasingly Privacy-Oriented World.  

However, the impact of iOS 14 changes will reach far beyond measurement and will change the way marketers target. Advertising on Facebook will be impacted most given its robust ad product offering and reliance on advanced tracking. Read more about the iOS 14 policy changes, why they matter for you, and immediate steps to be taking for your Facebook advertising program.  

What Policy Changes Are Included in iOS 14? 

With the release of iOS 14 policy change expected to occur in early 2021, Apple will require all app developers who wish to be searchable in the app store to adhere to their new AppTracking Transparency FrameworkThis will require that prior to downloading any app on iOS users must give their permission to be tracked and permit the use of their device ID (IDFA) for things like targeted advertising.  

Why Does it Matter for Media Targeting? 

This will impact in-app advertising platforms that leverage device IDs in their data stitching for targeted ad productsThis is particularly significant for Facebook given its ad product’s reliance on advanced tracking and ID stitchingExpected implications include: 

  • Website Custom Audiences (WCA) may see an impact via audience size and scalability   
  • The number of conversion events that are trackable on FB pixels will be restricted to 8 per domain   
  • Ad Personalization and Reporting may be limited or delayed 
  • Attribution windows may need to be altered  
  • The 28-day view and click through and 7-day view through will be depreciated  
  • Delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region, and placement will not be supported

Additionally, if consumers begin opting out of tracking on iOS 14 devices at a meaningful rate, it will ultimately impact the targeting precision and scalability across any in-app advertising platform like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.   

Immediate Next Steps for Marketers on Facebook 

1. Verify your domain by mid-January  

Why? Establishes which Business Manager account has the authority to configure and prioritize the eight available conversion events for a given domain.  

Who? Advertisers who optimize to web activity. Give this additional priority if your domains have multiple businesses or personal ad accounts with pixels. 

How? Domain verification can be completed through DNS verification by someone with access to your domain host, HTML file upload by an admin with access to your site’s root folder, or meta-tag verification.  

2. Update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1

Why? Allows for continued app event tracking from iOS devices.  

Who? Advertisers who optimize to app installs or activities. 

How? Admin to update their SDK via the Facebook Events Manager. 

3. Estimate the impact on your business 

Why? While it is unknown how widely adopted app tracking suppression on iOS will become, take these steps to estimate potential impact for your business.  

Who? All advertisers on Facebook. 

How?  STEP 1) Analyze what percent of your users are iOS based using your mobile web analytics software (e.g. GA, Adobe). STEP 2) Apply an estimated opt-out adoption rate threshold (2%-10%) to that number to get a sense of what percent of your users may fall within limited ad targeting capabilities in the future. NOTE) Ad servers, like DCM, can also breakout mobile ad delivery and ad conversions by operating device. 

4. Download historical attribution results from the Facebook UI

Why? Starting Tuesday 1/19 advertisers will have more limited access to 28-day click, 28-day view, 7-day click, or 7-day view attributed results within the Facebook UI. Advertisers will have to use the comparing windows feature to access. In the future as Apple requires the ATT prompt, advertisers will lose access to this data within the UI completely.

Who? All advertisers on Facebook. 

How?  Download historical data from the UI to ensure you have access to this important data set for your brand. 

Marketers have overcome tracking obstacles in the industry before, from cookie acceptance pop-ups to tracking opt outs and cookie blocking. Taking these immediate steps will help you prepare for the iOS 14 rollout and understand the potential impact on your business.  

As always, marketers should continue watching how the industry reacts and respond accordingly. Will Google roll out similar privacy rules for non-Apple devices? How will platforms and measurement technologies adjust their methodologies? Ovative will cover what you need to know and actionable steps to take in upcoming Insights posts.

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! 

SOURCES: Apple, AppTracking Transparency Framework

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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