The impact of iOS update on the marketing industry

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In May 2018, Apple introduced a concept called the ‘SKAdNetwork’ API. One of the main reasons for the formation of this concept was to improve the privacy of users who installed mobile applications.
Now in 2021, the SKAdNetwork API is no longer just a concept. It is a reality that will affect the way we use Facebook ads.
In the future, the Facebook SKAdNetwork API will be used to advertise apps on all iOS 14 devices, and this will be to either restrict, consolidate, or delay all event data in the app.

Personalized ads effect
Apple’s changes will limit your ability to effectively reach, understand, and engage people online. Your ability to understand the performance will be limited, as well as an opportunity to control audience to whom your ad is presented, which will result in inability of making informed budget, optimization, targeting decisions. Decline in reported performance will follow, and ad personalization will have decreased success due to these changes as well, with an increase in cost-per-action.

These changes will limit your ability to:

  • Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement.
  • Measure and report conversions for specific customers.
  • Ensure that your ads are delivered to the most relevant audience with the right frequency.
  • Accurately attribute app installations to people using iOS 14 and new versions.
  • Predict and optimize cost-per-action over time and allocate budgets efficiently.

Apple’s policy will make it much harder for small businesses to reach their target audience, which will limit their growth and ability to compete with large companies. Certain studies show that small businesses, when displaying ads on Facebook sales promotion apps on their websites, saw a reduction of over 60% of their sales on average for every dollar they spent when they could not use their own data to find customers on Facebook. For example, currently a local bookstore can spend $50 on a relevant and personalized ad and can win 5 sales. Without using their own data to personalize ads, that company would spend $50 and could only get 2 sales.

Agencies are implementing the necessary technical and strategic activities to facilitate this transition. But it is also important to educate clients about the changes, as well as about the fact that conversions still exist, although not all of them have been recorded, and it is necessary to focus on other metrics.


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