How the Apple iOS 14 update will affect your Facebook Ads

How the Apple iOS 14 update will affect your Facebook Ads

January 15, 2021
Push Perspective

You’ll no doubt have heard lots of talk about the recent Apple iOS update and the impact this will have on digital marketing efforts.

We’ve put together this article to help you understand what it means for your business. As a team we’ve been collating articles, attending webinars and have worked through this to provide a summary in regards to the potential impact, how we can best prepare and some initial ideas to try and mitigate the risks.

We understand that there is a lot of information on this topic, and a lot is very technical so we highly recommend reading through this comprehensive guide put together by Depesh Manadalia and his team.


What is happening

In June 2020, Apple announced an upcoming change to their (at the time) new iOS14 iPhone and iPad operating system. Apple would prompt users on whether they were willing to allow the app developer to track their personal usage of the app via their ‘AppTrackingTransparency’ (ATT) framework (explained further below).


We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first.

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) December 17, 2020


Who will be impacted?

This update will impact ALL apps and not just Facebook so this includes TikTok, Snapchat, Amazon – any other app that relies on collecting user data in order to build advertising and/or personalisation services.

As far as we know, Google will not be impacted in the same way as Facebook, since most customers do not use apps to access a browser like Chrome. This update does not change how we track Desktop and non-mobile traffic.


What will be impacted?

1. Tracking

We have to prioritise 8 events to track across 1 domain. What does this mean? When we install Facebook tracking we implement standard events or custom conversions to help us track success. For lead generation businesses, this would most likely be a lead submission, whereas for eCommerce clients these would be view content, add to cart, initiate checkout and purchase.

With this update we can only track a total of 8 events – in most cases, this should not change much, and this would most likely impact large multi-market conglomerates with several different domains.

How do we select or prioritise the 8 events to track?

Facebook will provide us with a suggestion based on the amount of data that your events receive, however, we understand your success metrics and can override these suggestions if not relevant.

If users opt-in and provide consent to being tracked, we would be able to track all 8 events and be privy to the customer journey.

If users opt-out and do not provide consent to be tracked, we would NOT be able to track all 8 events and we would have to select only 1 event – in most cases this will be ‘purchase’ or ‘lead submission’ however if your customer journey tends to be longer than normal, and purchase data is small we might recommend tracking an event lower down the funnel such as ‘add to cart’ or ‘initiate checkout’


2. Percentage of Sales and Leads attributed to Facebook or any other mobile marketing app

This update limits our visibility of the customer journey and the impact of our channel on the customer journey. If a customer opts out, we will no longer be able to see how they interact with your website once they leave the app. Facebook will only be able to know whether they took that 1 action which we prioritised from section 1. This massively limits the signals and data we receive and thus the % revenue and conversions attributed back to Facebook.

In response to this update, Facebook will also be removing ‘28 day click and view attribution’ meaning we will no longer have visibility on whether a customer converts after 7 days of clicking or viewing an ad. This will massively impact customers with higher-priced items or where the consideration period is longer.

What are we doing for our clients?

As a team, we are in the process of reviewing our clients % of revenue and % of leads beyond the 7 day attribution period so we can provide an estimate of how much revenue we should expect to lose out on.

Just to clarify – this will not impact your overall revenue you are tracking as a business BUT we would not have clarity on Facebook’s contribution to this revenue.


3. Audiences

As we lose out on signals and data our custom audiences will shrink over time, and in return, it will impact our prospecting of audiences too.

With this in mind, we will have to

  1. Adjust audience sizes and increase the duration of retargeting.
  2. Retest some of our prospecting audiences if they stop working
  3. Rely more than ever on email customer lists and use these to build out Facebook’s understanding of the customer.


In Summary

If you’ve made it this far then I want you to take a few things away:

  1. As of the last update in this document, nothing is set in stone yet, EXCEPT that Apple has made the change to iOS14 and rolled out the ATT framework
  2. We are yet to know the full extent that this will have on advertising
  3. There is a world of advertising, traffic sources and growth potential beyond Facebook to explore
  4. That said, Facebook may have taken an uppercut but it’s far from down. Don’t lose focus on your immediate goals and actions for your business.

As a team we’ve put together a roadmap with key actions on how to best prepare for this change, we are working through this list as we speak and the most immediate action will be to verify your domain as soon as possible. You will need to have a business manager set-up to do this. Please find more information on this here.

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.



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