The iOS 14 update and the importance for your online marketing

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What really happens behind the scenes at tech giants in California most of the time often has little impact on your Online Marketing. Google and Apple, for example, may be competitors, but somehow they get along peacefully. So your Google "My Business Account" can be accessed in the browser and on Android devices just as easily as from the iPhone.

But with the latest iOS 14 update (iOS 14.5 and later), Apple has caused a small tremor, the aftermath of which has really made huge waves all the way to local SMBs. But what exactly is the reason for this?

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The iOS 14 update brings users more transparency and makes for moist hands in social media marketing

More transparency in tracking. This is the exact wording with which Apple wants to make the blocking of trackers palatable to its users. Apple does not automatically prohibit apps from tracking data, but only from tracking across different websites - if explicitly requested.

So anyone who feels annoyed by browsing an online store for shoes in their browser and shortly afterwards being bombarded with ads for shoes on their Facebook or Instagram account should breathe a sigh of relief. What means more privacy for many is nothing less than a minor nightmare for marketing teams. After all, in recent years, they've adapted to seamlessly tracking across websites and apps and social media accounts. In terms of a consistent user experience, this makes perfect sense, as ads can be integrated into users' natural workflow and they see ads for products that actually interest them.

The new iOS 14 update offers users some new features.
The new iOS 14 update offers users some new features (Source:

How does the update work in practice?

If you own an iPhone or iPad yourself, you may have already noticed the update. When you open Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even eBay Classifieds, you'll see a window where the app explicitly asks you for permission to track in third-party apps and browsing as well.

In this window, app operators are allowed to place a personalized message and make clear why users are using the Tracking should allow. If apps can present their case credibly, there is nothing to prevent permission. However, trust in Facebook and Co. and their handling of personal data is likely to be rather low among many users. This is particularly unfortunate because it is not the large social media companies that are affected in the first step, but the smaller companies with lower budgets that rely on big data for personalized advertising.

By the way, users also have the Freedom, the Generally prohibit app tracking in the settingsthen apps must also no longer ask. In Germany, the Central Association of the German Advertising Industry and publishers' associations, among others, have joined forces to take action against this at the Federal Cartel Office. It remains to be seen whether Google will follow suit with a similar system for Android. However, it is undisputed that Apple can put privacy in the foreground much more credibly than Google, whose system is based on advertising and data.

Apple offers the possibility to decide which app is tracked and which is not.
Apple offers the possibility to decide which app is tracked and which is not (Source:

Facebook's counter argument and the changes in online marketing

Facebook in particular has bitterly opposed switching off advanced tracking and once again brought to the fore that smaller companies in particular would suffer as a result. While this argument is not wrong, it is of course also up to Facebook to better pass on the available data to smaller companies.
At the latest with Cambridge Analytica and subsequent disinformation campaigns, Facebook has shown more than clearly in recent years that the company likes to blur the line between fair data use and data misuse - as long as it is in its own interest and keeps users loyal to the platform for longer.

The fact that users pass on data to Facebook, Instagram or TikTok via trackers, which they actually do not want to pass on, is a thing of the past since the iOS 14 update.
The data sets that Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp track include, for example, location data, address, name, phone number, device ID, user ID, contacts, search histories and email address. This very precise picture of Facebook users is primarily used to offer more relevant advertising, but it is also an intrusion into private data records that many users are so unaware of.

But what can you do concretely and how do you prepare your Online Marketing to the changes?

Patience with tracking and reporting

Monitoring and reporting are affected by changes in real time. So if you're used to seeing conversions immediately via Shopify and being able to assign them to the appropriate ads, you'll need a little more patience in the future.

This complicates and delays optimization for campaigns across platforms, but could be a motivation for you to rely more on Facebook and Instagram stores. This way, all data sets remain on one platform.

Work with broader audiences

Interest-based targeting is very much affected, as Facebook will be working with fewer data sets in the future. This is a bitter loss for interests in particular, because they are often based on data from browsers and search engines.

In the settings, you should therefore no longer set your audiences quite so narrowly, but rather with a broader basis start. After that, the social media algorithm can sort on its own. This is no longer as sleek and elegant as it once was, but ultimately still similarly functional.

Rethink and revise retargeting

The most painful for you will be the data at the Retargeting missing, as you will not be able to quickly guide your website visitors to Social media reach
So put more focus on the Lead generation on your website and get directly the contact of all interested parties - without detour via Social media.

Create more quality on social media and take your online marketing to the next level

The iOS 14 update is not the end for online marketing, even if Facebook would like to present it that way. It puts a stop to the encroaching collection of data, which is in the interest of all users in the long run.

If you do your job cleanly and especially on High quality content you are unlikely to be affected anyway. Because advertising on Social media will be one thing above all else in the future: competitive. So do not be afraid of competition!

With our free whitepaper, you are also well prepared when it comes to qualifying leads and unique content. We will also be happy to help you in a personal consultation when it comes to social media campaigns, Online Marketing or search engine optimization.

Brand Analysis Template: The Foundation for Your Digital Marketing Strategy - Download Template


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