What Is The iOS 14 Update, And How Can Your Business Survive It?

Written by Bridgette Weller Brown
on 08 Apr 2021

Things are about to change as Apple starts to roll out the new iPhone iOS 14 update.

In the new update, iPhone users will be notified and asked if they want to opt-in to their data being tracked and used by apps. While the full effects of iOS 14 are still unknown, the main fuss has come from Facebook who have protested Apple’s changes and highlighted the challenges that the update will pose to small businesses advertising on their platform.

“Apple’s policy will make it much harder for small businesses to reach their target audience, which will limit their growth and their ability to compete with big companies.”

Marketers will be limited in their ability to accurately and effectively deliver ads, target relevant audiences, measure and report on conversions, optimise campaigns and allocate budgets.

As marketers and business owners, we have to adjust and pivot our strategies. Just because change is on the horizon doesn’t mean this is the end. We’ve lived through platform shifts and algorithm changes before.

SO, what is the iOS update going to change?

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The update affects apps’ ability to receive conversation data (keywords from message conversations) from iOS users, limiting the amount of information that can be exchanged with third parties like Facebook, and ultimately limit any data tracking if the user chooses to disable the option.

iPhone users will get a notification on their phone that asks them if they want to opt-in to having apps track their data in the coming months. It will look something like this.

On an app by app basis, users can choose if they can track their data across other websites or apps. If this feels to you like a direct attack on retargeting, you are right. The update, however, changes more than just retargeting. If a user chooses to opt-out, we will no longer see how they interact with your website once they leave the app.

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While these changes are a massive win for improving social media user’s privacy, they will essentially change the world of marketing. Effective advertising means delivering ads at the right time to the right people, and without data tracking, it certainly becomes more difficult to do this.  If your business uses social media for most of your marketing leads, it’s time to get creative in how you speak and interact with your audience.

So, how can businesses adapt to this update?


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1. Utilise landing pages.

Landing pages are an online asset YOU CONTROL where you can cookie users outside of Facebook’s platform, or alternatively direct ask them to opt-in to speak with you.

Once you’ve cookied users on your landing page or captured their email address, you’ll be able to use email automation or retargeting with more certainty to close your sale.

Email automation doesn’t have to be complicated, and you need a good funnel that pushes your products or services to the right people, instead of trying to get as many people as possible to see your ad bring them into your email funnel and take ownership of the rest of the journey.

2. Focus on customer retention.

Take your customer service to a new level with everything from the pre to post-purchase experience. Making your user’s shopping and checkout experience exceptional encourages customers to come back again and again.

Implementing clear follow-ups in the post-purchase phase is critical too. This can include clever integration with your email marketing and asking your customers to follow your social media channels. Once customers follow you, genuinely engaging with them on your social channels helps to build rapport and boost customer retention.

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3. Target Android devices only.

The iOS update will only affect Apple users. Consumers who use Android devices won’t be affected, and Facebook can track their data with greater effectiveness following the update (for now).

While the iOS update is sure to bring about chaos, it’s also going to bring about many new opportunities. It’s worth trying to split your users by device and seeing which generates better engagement indicative of better data availability.

Facebook will continue to contribute to your business growth by driving new customers to your site. This will not change.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about the Apple iOS 14 update. Make sure you’re following us on all our platforms for more digital marketing tips and tricks.

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