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iOS Update Short-Changes Marketers by Casey Walter

Casey Walter, Digital Marketing Consultant. PHOTO Casey Walter

Apple updates could impact your digital marketing efforts.

There’s a big shift in marketing that started at the end of April when Apple changed its security protocol for tracking users. That’s impacting Apple users around the world, including those in Canada.

In a nutshell, iOS 14.5 has opted out all of its users and is slowly prompting them to opt in. Most people will opt-in, because if they don’t, they may have limited ability to use certain sites.

This move is providing Apple users with the privacy and transparency they’ve been demanding for some time.

For marketers, it means that when you build campaigns using social channels that allow you to target a certain audience, you’ve lost information that was previously out there. So, your marketing campaigns are going to perform differently.

Focus on your database

How do you prepare for this? While we’re going through this shift, it’s more important than ever to look at the data you already have.

What’s on your database?

Whether on an Excel spreadsheet or a CRM database, you should have phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses and more, if customers are financing. Therefore, it’s time to clean up your data and build lists from there as your marketing tools.

So now, marketers need to know about the changes that are in Facebook, Google, Yelp, and so on. Each of these have released statements about how it’s going to impact their marketing.

But you can use your internal database, scrub it, clean it, create a list and use it.

That’s your data! You can upload all that to your marketing efforts, and that will balance out the loss that we’re going to see for a short period of time. It should last anywhere from three to six months.

Right now, it’s hard to say how this will impact consumers. Those with Android devices, like Samsung, won’t be affected.

No one has definitely said that a consumer can’t use their product if they don’t opt-in.

Consumers will experience limited ability to use the Internet as they normally do, unless they do opt-in. Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Google My Business, are examples of platforms that collect consumer information as they create accounts and pages.

Keep customers engaged

While you can still do campaigns based on demographics, you can’t target the number of people you once could.

That’s where you can supplement with your internal database, maybe focus on retention, keep your customers engaged, and don’t let them go elsewhere.

And if you don’t have time to do it internally, it’s a great opportunity to hire an agency or consultant to handle it for you.

Marketing is a full-time job. If you don’t have someone, if you can’t dedicate the time to it, now, more than ever, is the time to hire an expert.

Take a minute now to research what exactly is happening with iOS 14.5, and the marketing platforms you’re using.

Read how it’s impacting them, and what they’re doing. Often, they’re trying to take a lot of the steps out of it for you, so you can keep on working.

But clean up your database— take all those email addresses, phone numbers, and other information, to create marketing lists. You can upload these to your systems to supplement the information that you won’t be able to get in the coming months.


Casey Walter is an International Digital Marketing Consultant. She educates and builds brands through modern marketing practices, while leverage social media marketing services to amplify clients’ brand communications and connect them with consumers in order to drive business.

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