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Judo Marketing Response iOS 14.5

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Global Reach custom decorative image to introduce a blog about iOS 14.5 Security updates

Posted on 05/11/2021 at 12:00 AM

Marketing Strategy and iOS14 Update

Apple Releases Update 

On April 26th, Apple released their latest software update, iOS 14.5. The update adds a new challenge to the ever-changing digital marketing environment: increased privacy protections for users. More specifically, iOS users have been granted more control over the collection of their data. 
After updating their device, iOS users will see a pop-up message appear when they access an app that uses an IDFA (an identification code unique to each device, used to collect data about the user’s internet behavior). The pop-up, shown below, notifies users that the app is requesting data permissions and allows users the option to permit or deny the app tracking permissions.

Image showing pop-up privacy notice

The update has received an overwhelming response from digital marketers, many of whom fear these new privacy protections will have detrimental impacts on targeted ad campaigns. While the additional transparency does provide consumers with more control, marketers are not completely in the dark. Here are a few things to keep in mind when building a marketing strategy that includes iOS devices.

Changes To Facebook

One of the most significant impacts the update has on Facebook is the number of pixels allowed on a website. Facebook pixels are snippets of code added to websites, apps, or any online location that monitor and record user behavior. A common use of a pixel might be to place it on the landing page of a featured product. When a user lands on the product page, the pixel would record their activity and report it back to Facebook. This data can then be used by marketers to target that user with similar products. 

The use of Facebook pixels is one of the most widely used and most effective tools for digital and social media marketing. Prior to the update, marketers could have any number of Facebook pixels actively gathering data across their platforms. Now, marketers are limited to eight pixels per domain. The challenge has moved from managing seemingly limitless user data, to carefully selecting which user behaviors are most relevant to a business's overall marketing strategy.

Opportunities to connect 

Fostering interactions

As consumers become more informed about the collection and use of their online behaviors, businesses have an opportunity to direct user attention to their platform. Taking the time to build interactive content on your website or app can capture useful and relevant data that can be used to inform marketing strategy later on. For example, examining user flows through a website will tell you which content is actively engaging your users, and where you’re likely to lose users. Other examples of engagement opportunities could include live chat options, subscription forms, or gated content. 

Some users may be unfamiliar with what the privacy pop-up is asking for, and arbitrarily decline permissions without considering the possible benefits to their online experiences. When faced with a binary choice between “allow” and “do not allow,” some portion of users will always default to declining permissions-- either out of habit or because they aren’t sure what they’re allowing. By adding in strategic data collection points, marketers have the opportunity to re-engage with users and clarify the benefit of allowing your platform to collect their data. 

Gating Content

By definition, gated content includes any online material that requires viewers to submit information before gaining access. Gated content could be anything from recipes and blog posts to course materials and textbooks. Often, websites will allow users a taste of the content first before they encounter a gate. This might mean that a viewer can read steps one, two, and three of your “how-to” tutorial page, but in order to view the next steps, they must first provide their contact information. Gated content is a great option for digital marketers whose value exists directly on their website; content like recipes, online classes, or interactive tools like a translator or writing tool are all great candidates. This article shares real examples of gated content.

Note: be careful not to over-gate your content! Too many gates and your bounce rate may skyrocket as viewers feel too boxed out. The trick here is to find the balance. Also, Google's 2021 May algorithm update now penalizes websites with too many pop-ups unless they are to protect user privacy, so we recommend that these are used with caution.

Utilizing Existing Website Functions 

Another option to gather relevant user data is to utilize specific functions or tools on your website. For example, say you own a small grocery chain with multiple locations across the state. One afternoon, Jane is looking through your online store for a unique flavor of ice cream that your chain sells. Unfortunately, Jane has denied data tracking permissions on your website before, so you aren’t able to gather specific demographic or geographic location from her. This is a great opportunity to re-engage Jane and ask her to turn data services back on. When she searches your website for the unique flavor of ice cream, prompt her with a pop-up box explaining that in order to determine the flavor’s availability in her area, you’ll need to know where she is. 
Helping Jane find her unique ice cream flavor is just one example of how re-engaging users can prevent data lost to updates like iOS 14. The goal of the update is to keep users informed about how their data is used and allow users to make educated decisions regarding who they share their activity with. 


It might be tempting to see the new iOS update solely as an attack on digital marketing, but current data shows that nearly half of all smartphone users in the United States are using an iOS device. And with a growing number of professionals using their smartphones for work, the privacy update serves as an additional layer of data protection.

All in all, the update is just one step in a very long and complex journey toward protecting user data. For better or for worse, marketers should expect to see similar challenges in the years to come. 

If your digital marketing strategy has taken a hit with the iOS 14.5 update, our team at Global Reach is ready to help get you back on track. 

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