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iOS 14 for Advertisers: The End is Near… Or Is It?

Bridget Johnston December 29, 2020

Apple’s iOS 14 has brought some big changes and challenges to digital marketing. 

While these challenges may seem scary, or even somewhat apocalyptic, marketing teams can still jump the iOS 14 hurdles with ease. 

Here’s a look at how Apple’s updates on data sharing will impact your work. 

iOS 14 for Advertisers: What Are The Updates? 

Apple updated the rules around their “Identifier for Advertisers.” This IDFA is a persistent ID used by mobile devices running an Apple Operating system (iOS, iPadOS, tvOS). This ID gets shared with  app developers, ad platforms, & mobile measurement providers, and it strengthens targeting & delivery of personalized advertising.

So what do the updates to Apple’s IDFA look like?

When iOS 14 is installed on a user’s device, apps that wish to access that user’s IDFA must request to do so. The user is then shown a dialog like this sample provided by Apple:

iOS 14 updates for advertisers

If the user does not opt in, the app will not get access to the IDFA thereafter. 

This could potentially be disruptive to digital marketing because without access to IDFAs, user-level targeting will be severely limited.

When these targeting capabilities go away, that can mean:

  • Non-targeted ads for users … and thus lower rates of conversions … which means…
  • Worse results for advertisers … and thus lower CPMs they’re willing to pay … which means…
  • Less revenue for publishers … which could lead to: publishers going out of business, creating paywalls for content, or introducing more ad units to their apps/sites to make of for lost revenue.

What Does This Mean for Facebook Ad Targeting? What About Display Ads?

Facebook advertising will be less impacted, because of Facebook’s own rich set of user-level data. Display ads across web and mobile apps are expected to be impacted more significantly, due to their reliance on IDFAs, cookies and third-party identifiers for targeting.

Of course, these changes won’t cease online advertising, but they will significantly change it. Targeting capabilities will decrease and poor ad personalization could lead to negative user experiences.

Facebook Audience Network — which is a network of mobile apps — will experience the effects of these changes because it relies on IDFA for targeting. However, Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger will be less impacted because they make use of Facebook user ID for targeting. 

We don’t yet know how publishers will try to combat these updates. It’s possible that they may just add on additional ad units to help recover revenue streams. This lack of creative variety will be to the detriment of both audiences and advertisers alike.

How Are Pattern89 Users Impacted? 

As targeting capabilities see greater restrictions, marketers must find new ways to maintain effectiveness. That’s where standout creative comes in. 

Creative has long been the most overlooked cornerstone of advertising. Creative decisions have been driven with educated guesses or expensive testing — rather than intelligent technology. Now, more than ever, marketers need to invest more heavily in getting creative right.

Pattern89 removes the guesswork and oversaturation that’s likely to come with iOS 14 updates. Instead, it can still analyze your brand’s historical data to predict what creative decisions will drive conversions. 

If you want to see how to get a handle on the latest iOS 14 updates for advertisers, join our webinar on January 11 to learn more. RSVP here.