Internet privacy has been a heated debate in the digital world. However, companies have started to take privacy seriously with people’s growing concerns about invading their private chats and other media.
In a recent update on 27th April 2021, Apple Inc. has launched its iOS 14.5 update that cut down the direct access of social media platforms such as Facebook to their user data.
This, in turn, created a direct impact on all the advertising efforts of social media giants. So, unsurprisingly, Apple’s newest iOS update has also threatened the world of pay-per-click advertising.
In this post, we will explore how these latest updates will affect your PPC strategy.
What Changes Can We Expect With iOS 14.5?
With many other updates such as the home screen and Siri’s update for more voice options, Apple has introduced an App Tracking Transparency framework to limit other apps from using their consumer-centric data. Enabling the app tracking transparency is simple. The user needs to go to Settings>Privacy>Tracking and allow or disallow the apps they want to track their data.
Now all other apps that want to get Apple’s consumer data for advertising purposes need to take permission from the users themselves. Companies who will violate this rule will automatically be blocked from the Apple store for invasion of privacy.
While the update is good news for users, it’s certainly a blow for social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. For example, Facebook ad campaigns depend heavily on the behavioral advertising data they receive from their users. This is why Facebook has been a prominent opponent of privacy updates since 2020.
How Will The iOS 14.5 Update Affect PPC Campaigns?
The iOS 14.5 update will certainly change the landscape of PPC advertising. In the past, advertising companies could precisely target their audience because they had their hands on almost all types of consumer data.
Companies such as Facebook not only have access to the general profiles of the users, but they can also track their users’ behavioral data through tools such as Facebook analytics. For example, the company knows when a user makes a purchase and how many times they visit a specific page.
This unhampered access to consumer data is where the consistent ad bombardment came from. If you’re a Facebook or Instagram user, you must know how targeted the ads that would pop up on your screens are. With Apple’s privacy update, this may not be possible anymore.
Some of the specific ways Apple’s iOS 14.5 update will affect PPC advertising include:
It will Make Targeting Harder for Advertisers
The advertisers were always hitting the bullseye with consumer data access. However, PPC advertisers will have a tough time knowing exactly which audiences they should be targeting with increased privacy. Think of it as like firing an arrow while blindfolded.
This will ultimately negatively impact the sales funnels of companies. They may be able to access the name, gender, location of the users, but there’s no way they could know the behavioral aspects of their audiences and work accordingly to generate ad campaigns.
The Tracking Process Will Completely Change
Before these updates, advertisers could track down their viewers’ click-through activities.
PPC campaigns, as you know, depend on what the users click, when they leave the page, how they behave on a certain page, and which viewers do not opt to purchase so that they can be retargeted. But almost all of these tracking activities have changed face with the Apple iOS 14.5 updates.
The advertisers will continue tracking their consumers, but the details will be missing. However, companies like Facebook are still trying hard to know the tracking preferences of their users so they can still present them with relevant advertisements. But it is still too early to gauge its actual impact on the results of their advertising efforts.
Other Privacy Updates That Are Changing the PPC Landscape
Apart from Apple, Google has been advocating for consumer privacy protection since 2019. The company has introduced policies in phases that eliminate third-party cookies.
The stance of Google behind such policies is to give their consumers more transparency to see how advertisers are using their data.
The company is resolute in providing its users with the freedom to choose what they want to see on the internet. However, they also want users to have more control over who can see their web activities.
However, critics believe that Google has implemented these policies to eliminate competition under consumers’ privacy protection. With no access to Google’s user data, the advertisers will find it difficult to access their potential customers.
This will help raise Google’s trust rating and provide a strategic advantage over their competitors.
These privacy changes will undoubtedly alter the PPC advertising landscape in the coming years, with targeted advertising campaigns becoming obsolete.
Is PPC Advertising Doomed?
It is still too early to conclude if PPC advertising is headed for doom. However, it is undeniable that PPC advertising is up for some rough times ahead. The dependence on click-through data will cease, and other strategies for finding a targeted audience will probably emerge.
The current situation is of utter chaos, with breakthrough changes expected in the digital advertising landscape in the near future. Unfortunately, while we wait for that to happen, most PPC advertisers will be left on their own to figure out how to navigate these privacy changes successfully.
How Can You Prepare For The Impacts Of Privacy Changes?
There’s no absolute solution right now to limit the impact of Apple’s privacy settings updates. However, Facebook is proposing to the advertisers to create new ad accounts with them. This step will come into effect after Facebook updates its SKD network to support iOS 14.
Facebook has also promised to be more transparent about where and how their data is used by the advertisers (following Google’s approach of transparency, choice, and control).
These steps will mitigate the impact of the changing privacy landscape, but it is too early to conclude if these will help digital advertising remain as it is.
Apple iOS 14.5 updates suggest a dramatic change in the PPC advertising world. Of course, it doesn’t mean that users will not see any ads while online, but there will be almost zero ad customization for the end-users.
Companies like Apple and Google have somehow knocked out the advertisers by enabling the users to choose their data tracking preferences. But the coping strategy of presenting the user with transparent usage of their data will hopefully help them bounce back.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods, and more. Join her on Changeaholic.com to learn how to optimize your business operations and find the latest software reviews.