• The latest Apple iOS 14 update will allow iOS users to block IDFA and opt out of targeting or tracking. 

    Apple has long taken the public stance that privacy is a user right, given its existing restrictions on third-party cookies and limiting the use of first-party cookies on its Safari browser.

    What do these changes mean for advertisers?

    The ability to understand audiences is more critical than ever before. Brands should start preparing as soon as possible for the inevitable loss of ad targeting and measurement.

    The impact of Apple’s stricter privacy rules will extend far beyond mobile campaigns. Advertisers need to develop new methods of targeting consumers, customizing ads, and measuring results in a privacy-conscious manner.

    Many targeting types (including retargeting to users based on device-level targeting) will no longer work for users who have opted out of sharing their IDFA. Platforms like Google and Facebook have other deterministic variables they can use to identify devices (email, phone number) but other programmatic platforms that don’t have such deterministic ID graph information are likely to see a reduction in targetable audiences.

    As brands must lessen their reliance on third-party cookies, the need to build and enact a first-party data strategy cannot be overstated.

    “First-party data is king,” explains Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer at Tinuiti. “Our advice to all advertisers is to start the process of creating a first-party data strategy. Customers and prospects authenticating via an email address or phone number will be the primary key to ensuring your organization can continue to market on a people-based level across ad products and channels.”

    An action plan for advertisers

    To stay ahead of the upcoming IDFA changes, advertisers should take the following steps:

    • Get ready to implement the ATT prompt in your app for early spring implementation (exact timing from Apple TBD)
    • Update your SDKs (MMP, Facebook, Firebase, etc.) to support SKAdNetwork and Apple Search Ads Framework
    • Set conversion value schema
    • Talk to the agency you are working with to discuss how to set up each channel moving forward, as well as success metrics for paid media
    • Perform a tech stack evaluation to ensure there are no breaks in reporting/attribution
    • Build a strategy for mobile engagement after the first install or action leveraging marketing tools like email, push notifications, in-app messages, SMS, and/or chatbots

    As the industry continues to change, advertisers who adapt to leverage a first-party data strategy and align with privacy regulations are poised to succeed with mobile advertising and programmatic campaigns as a whole.

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