At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), held in June, Apple announced product and policy changes which in effect limits data sharing across iOS. How does that actually affect your business? In April 2017, 728 million iPhones were in use worldwide. I’m sure that data gives you a glimpse. The limits it places on advertising will harm the growth of small businesses and the free Internet.
According to Facebook, “free, ad-supported businesses have been essential to the growth and vitality of the Internet, and that personalised ads and user privacy can coexist. We support proactive privacy measures and data transparency, but we don’t agree with Apple’s policy changes”.
Impact on personalised ads
Apple’s proposed changes will limit your ability to effectively reach, understand and engage people on mobile devices and across the web. They will affect your ability to understand performance, control who sees your ads and make informed decisions about your advertising budgets. As these changes take effect, over time, you may see an overall decrease in ad performance and personalisation and an increase in cost per action.
Specifically, these changes will limit your ability to:
- Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
- Measure and report on conversions from certain customers
- Ensure that your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
- Accurately attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later
- Predict and optimise cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets
Apple’s policy will make it much harder for small businesses to reach their target audience, which will limit their growth and their ability to compete with big companies. Case in point, our studies show that when running ads on the Facebook family of apps to drive sales on their websites, small businesses saw a cut of over 60% of their sales, on average, for every dollar they spent when they weren’t able to use their own data to find customers on Facebook1. For example, currently, a local book shop could spend GBP 50 on a relevant and personalised ad and may win five sales. Without the use of their own data to personalise an ad, that business would spend GBP 50 and may only win two sales. We don’t anticipate the proposed iOS 14 changes to cause a full loss of personalisation, but rather are a move in that direction.
Without the predictable costs and personalised ads you’re accustomed to creating and running, many new products and services would never get off the ground. We believe in the opportunity for new ad-supported businesses to start and grow, but we do not agree with Apple’s attempt to disrupt the online ad ecosystem and the small business opportunities it makes possible and sustains.
We disagree with Apple’s approach and solution, yet we have no choice but to show Apple’s prompt. If we don’t, they will block Facebook from the App Store, which would only further harm the businesses and users that rely on our services. We cannot take this risk on behalf of the millions of businesses who use our platform to grow.
Our commitment to you
Our priority is to continue providing stability to small businesses and advertisers. We are doing what we can to help you prepare and mitigate the impact from Apple’s policy and changing guidance. We’ve provided more detailed guidance for our clients here.
We will continue to support your business through these changes, and will do our best to introduce new ad features and measurement solutions to offer the best ad performance and measurement we can despite the limitations announced by Apple. We will provide additional updates as Apple chooses to provide more transparency and makes more information available.
We encourage you to share this information within your organisation and develop a plan to address this disruption to your existing marketing efforts.
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