Apple’s Privacy Policy Update: FAQs Answered By Top Advertising Experts

By Tinuiti Team

The upcoming Apple iOS 14 update grants users the ability to block IDFA (identifier for advertisers) and opt-out of targeting or tracking. It’s estimated that the number of iOS users who currently share their IDFA will drop tremendously—from 70% to 10%.

Brands must not wait to prepare for the inevitable loss of ad targeting and measurement, which is going to have an impact that goes way beyond mobile campaigns. Marketers must develop new methods for delivering targeted advertising and measuring performance while complying with privacy requirements. 

In a recent Tinuiti webinar, top advertising experts answer the most frequently asked questions about the upcoming iOS 14 update including recommendations for the next steps.

Let’s dive in.


1. What is an IDFA?


IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is a unique identifier for mobile devices and is used to target and measure the effectiveness of advertising on a user level across mobile devices.


2. What is Apple Planning for IDFAs?


Apple has announced that it will give users the ability to choose to block the sharing of this unique identifier at the App level. Previously, consumers had to opt-out. Now when a user installs or updates the new iOS, a prompt will appear alerting the user to opt-in or opt-out of the sharing of this information.  


3. Why is Apple Making Changes to IDFAs?


The changes to Apple’s IDFA are not unexpected as Apple has taken the public and strategic stance that privacy is a user right. Apple has repeatedly taken steps across its product portfolio to give users the ability to opt-out of any type of targeting or tracking. 

After all, Limited Ad Tracking (LAT) has been a feature on iOS devices for years, albeit buried in the settings of iOS. This new privacy prompt follows closely to the previous privacy initiatives Apple already put in place on its Safari browser, where it restricts third party cookies and limits the use of first-party cookies.


4. When Will IDFA Changes Take Place?


There’s a couple of dates being thrown around, but we have no exact timeline. All we know is that the changes are expected to be released in early 2021. 

The date is still TBD but just because we don’t know the exact date, doesn’t mean advertisers should kick back and relax. Once this launches, you don’t want to be behind the ball. 


5. How Will the Apple iOS 14 IDFA Update Impact Advertisers?


Most platforms (Facebook, Google, Snapchat, TikTok, DSPs, MMPs, etc.) are still working through how to adapt to these major changes. Initial conversations indicate that most players are leaning towards updating their SDK to support the SKAdNetwork option. 

Apple’s SKAdNetwork enables privacy-safety to install attribution and measurement. This framework appends attribution parameters upon the ad click, so when the app is installed and opened for the first time it will send an install postback to the ad network including information such as campaign ID. Currently, the SKAdNetwork has had very low adoption levels from ad networks.

Advertisers will be impacted in two main areas ad retargeting and measurement.

6. Why is first-party data so valuable?


First-party data is data that your company has collected directly from your audience — made up of customers, site visitors, and social media followers. “First-party” comes from behaviors or actions taken across your website, app, and/or product, your CRM, social media profiles, subscription-based emails or products, surveys, customer feedback and more. All of this information can be used for retargeting purposes.

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) operate based on first-party data where the customer has interacted with your brand (such as purchasing or opting-in). This empowers marketers to make decisions based on known customer preferences and behavior, rather than on assumptions or guesses.

Every brand has first-party data, but the problem is that it’s all siloed. Without a complete view of their customers, brands often spend too much money and effort in building and maintaining point-to-point integrations between systems. When you have all of your first-party customer data in one place, you get a holistic view of how customers are interacting with your brand. CDPs allow you to streamline that entire process by integrating all customer data in a single place for smarter targeting and personalization.

Our advice to all advertisers is to start the process of creating a usable identity graph of customers and prospects with an email address and/or phone numbers as your primary key to ensure your organization can continue to market on a 1 to 1 level across ad products.

7. Are CDPs the solution to a post-IDFA world?


A CDP enables you to integrate touchpoints across all channels into a single centralized customer view so you can gain better insights about your customers and personalize their experience based on those insights.

Integrating data into a single database provides customer insights, makes marketing teams more effective, and allows brands to tailor marketing and support to each individual customer. The customer data collected by a CDP can be as high-level as past purchases or as granular as having opened a mobile push notification.

Along with the ability to gain insights about your customers and take action, CDPs go beyond the traditional functionality of a CRM by gathering data from multiple sources to provide a 360-degree view of your customer. 

CDPs have major benefits, as it aligns with the value of having first-party data and/or second-party data. Cross-platform data on all of your users and probabilistic matching is going to be instrumental in connecting those dots as we move forward.


8. How will the IDFA change impact tracking website conversions driven by Facebook?


Facebook recently rolled a series of steps that advertisers should be taking right now to prepare for the changes. There are also developments in the conversion value API that will be a tremendous benefit to certain verticals. 

If you’re working with an agency, reach out to them now. And if you aren’t working with an agency, reach out to your Facebook partner for more information on the next steps. 


9. What is zero-party data?


Zero-party data is anything that the consumer intentionally or proactively shares with the brand. This can be like purchase intent, survey information, or things along those lines. Zero-party is anything that the consumer is actively giving, like “here you go, here’s some information on me.”

At Tinuiti, we’re constantly talking about how to aggregate data and leverage it cross-channel. We don’t look at the mobile app as just one piece like this is in a silo. We look at the mobile app as a major piece of your overall holistic marketing strategy. 


10. Will there be ramifications for creative strategy?


As a result of the privacy updates, one of the things that we’re realizing for SKAD network is that we’re definitely losing insights on an ad level.  So when we discuss creative optimization, our suggestion is that product linking and deep linking will be the key to success. As we move forward, there will be opportunities to incrementally test different creatives and strategies against each other.  

To learn more check out the entire webinar recording, now available here.

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