Small Business Owner? The upcoming Apple update will impact your advertising budget

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If you own a digital tool, you will be used to software updates; updates to apps, updates to policies, updates to your computer software and updates to your phone’s operating system. What we do not always realise is that these updates are not simply improvements, but change how business is done.

Apple’s iOS 14 operating system update

One of these changes will be Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 update. This change will impact on business’ ability to reach the right customers and do so effectively. If you are a small business owner, this could very much matter to you.

It matters to you in two ways, one, as an individual and two as a business owner running ads.

Individuals will have more control over their data

As an individual, this change will protect your privacy and give you more power over what brands can track. A simple i_phone pop-up will allow you to choose what can be tracked. You will be able to make decisions on:

– in-app advertising
– sharing of location data with advertising brokers
– sharing of personally identifiable information, such as email addresses with third party advertising networks (for example for ad-retargeting)

Small Businesses will lose out as they are forced to spend more on ads

As a business owner, however, this change is likely to make reaching your ideal customer more difficult and therefore more expensive. The reasons are simple.

If customers can block ads more easily and if you cannot gain market data about them it will cost you more effort and more money to get your brand in-front of your ideal customer.

Instagram, facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others will be required to ask for permission to track data on their platform. Certainly traditional advertising stands a chance of gaining from this change as you and other business owners opt to spend more money with them. This means that your advertising budget will rise – traditional, offline advertising being more expensive.

What can you do?

Certainly, we can see why Google and Facebook are creating quite the media hype around this. Facebook even ran an ad campaign to let people know about the impact on small businesses (more here). With the increased call for better data protection and increasingly tighter laws, particularly in Europe, it is likely that they will succeed in overturning these changes.

So, we will need to go with the change. What advertisers can do is to ensure that their social media platforms are optimised. Here some actions you might want to take:

Do not rely on Audience Network

If you use Audience Network to drive advertising, this might no longer be a good option. Rumour has it that Facebook might cull Audience Network going forward. The current data debate contributes to this.

Keep an eye on Facebook’s changes

More changes are expected on the Facebook platform with regard to data tracking. If Facebook does, other platforms are likely to follow. Make sure to stay on top of these changes and adapt your advertising strategy and marketing funnel decision Segways accordingly.

Reduce the number of conversion events

When placing Facebook ads you are asked to identify which ‘event’ or, which ‘action’ that the target audience takes you consider to be successful. That can be a purchase, or a click etc.. The new rules, however, will see Facebook reducing the number of conversion events it will allow for data collection. The issue with this is not that you cannot choose more than 8 conversion events, but that if you do, Facebook will discount your ad in terms of ability to track data. Marketing relies on data, so you will not want to lose access to data.

“Your pixel may only optimise for a maximum of eight conversion events for each domain. Facebook will initially configure the conversion events that we believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity.” (more, see Facebook)

Make sure you verify your domain with Facebook

This sounds more difficult than it is. Head on over to Facebook for details on how to do this. If you struggle with how to add the code provided to your domain DNA, check with your domain provider. Usually their support teams will help you out.

So, most importantly, keep your marketing strategy fresh. Keep reviewing what you are doing and keep adjusting. Digital marketing is fast moving, no time to stand still.

If you need any support with your marketing planning, or just someone to regularly check in with you to see if your marketing is optimised, reach out. Our consultants really enjoy working with people who love their business and help them make it stand out.

Give us a call or simply book 30 minutes on a zoom call to find out more.

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