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March 10, 2021

Everything Your Brand Needs To Know About The iOS14 Update

By NOW Marketing Group
Everything Your Brand Needs To Know About The iOS14 Update

The much-anticipated iOS14 update is coming and it’s going to impact brands, advertisers and consumers. How? Good question! We have a breakdown of exactly what this update means and how to prepare for those changes that will certainly have you adjusting your ad strategy moving forward.

Advertisers are now all in the same boat - prepping to figure out what will and won’t work when it comes to paid ads. 

Working with paid advertising means being a constant executor and learner. We’re lucky to have Tony Christensen on our team who exemplifies both.


“Ads are changing, but this - iOS14 - is a pretty drastic one. And yes it’s an Apple update, but it’s going beyond the update on your phone. It has to do with you as a business and a consumer.” @Jessikaphillips (click to tweet)  

So what does all of this mean for your brand? Here's the breakdown. 

The iOS14 Update - What it is: 

So, what is all the noise about the update? It’s essentially an opt-in (or out) for data-sharing. 

Woman hand holding iphoneThis update will impact all advertisers because it allows users to self-select whether they want to share data from visiting websites with the specific app. 

Right now, when it comes to Facebook ads, it’s super easy as a brand and advertiser to see the results. You run a campaign, check the data and BAM - you know whether the ad was effective or not.

Well, that’s about to change with this new update. 

“At the end of the day, it’s about Apple getting to hold onto the data. Apple is trying to have a money grab on what ads are showing up because they get a percentage of the ad spend from people that are using apps.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Who is Impacted:

The update is going to impact brands, advertisers and consumers. AKA, the update is going to impact everybody. 

“What’s nice is that all advertisers are going through this at the same time. There are a lot of unknowns still and there isn’t a straightforward answer. We’re going to deal with it as it happens.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

iPhone on a bed

This update impacts advertisers' ability to target, report, and get data and information about how ads perform. 

It’s not just about Facebook. This update is going to impact every social media channel and advertising platform available to brands. 

“The attention is always on Facebook but it will affect other apps - @Snapchat, @TikTok, @Google… it’s beyond just @Facebook.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet) 

The reason why the eyes are on Facebook is because Facebook has been active in raising awareness about the upcoming update to get people to opt-in, AND because advertising on Facebook is hugely powerful. Thus, is going to be majorly impacted. 

Where the Data will be Limited:

As a result of this update, data is going to be harder to capture from ads. Due to data lags and shrinking attribution windows from users opting out, there will be less information available AND it will take longer to collect. 

Not to mention, retargeting and re-marketing are going to become much harder. 

“The platforms will still be able to see what you’re doing - what content you’re engaging with on their platform. It’s more about when you go to another site…” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

So, when you’re browsing online for boots... If you don’t opt-in, you’re not going to see an ad for those boots on Facebook later. You might see an ad for an irrelevant dog collar instead. Sort of annoying, right?

When it’s Rolling Out:

The fun part about this update is that we really don’t know when it’s even rolling out.

Thrilling, right?

“We don’t know the exact roll-out date, it might be next week...it could be early Spring… but there will be a pop-up on your Facebook app that will ask if you want to keep sharing your data with the app.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

It’s because of that, that we recommend your brand do these two things:

  1. Verify your business domain
  2. Set up your conversion events

iPhone on Desk

Starting to get ahead of the curve and taking action.

Why is this Even Happening:

The big question really is: does Apple care about privacy or are they really just trying to control data? 

The “why” that Apple claims is to give users more privacy. 

“The big battleground is data and because we are the product being sold, this is a money-grab! As much as they say it’s about privacy which feels warm and fuzzy… it’s also about data.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

What do we think? >> It’s a mix. Sure, privacy sounds nice but we think data is really the why behind this update. 

How the iOS14 Update Impacts your Brand:

This isn’t going to be easy to navigate as a brand. For starters, you’re going to see data lags. 

“As a brand, you might not have as clear data... and it will probably take longer to pull as a result of the iOS14 Update.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

Data lags are going to make it a lot harder to manage campaigns and budgets effectively. 

“You’re not actually going to know how well you did based on the data inside of Facebook Ads Manager until 3 days later. That isn’t going to allow you to scale in a quick time frame.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

It's going to be nearly impossible for brands to scale campaigns and pivot quickly because the data won't be pulled fast enough. 

“When you have an event, that data lag is a huge thing! A 3-day lag can make a big difference when you’re trying to make adjustments!” @Jessikaphillips (click to tweet)5

Not to mention, the limited targeting! If a user says they don’t want to be tracked anymore, that means that we can’t retarget them. 

All of these changes are going to result in major changes within Facebook.

“Facebook is going to have to change how they report the data and that also means that they are going to have to shift their algorithms.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

Shifting algorithms and reporting changes are going to make it harder for small business owners trying to navigate the platform themselves. 

Our tip for small business owners? >> It might not make sense to run paid ads anymore on Facebook. These changes are going to make it harder to run ads successfully.

“Most people are saying small businesses shouldn’t just run ads themselves. They should work with someone who understands strategy because it’ll make it more successful.” - Tony Christensen

Another tip we have for brands? >> Lean into email marketing! Focus more on developing an email presence and strategy, so you don't have to rely on advertising as much.

“Whatever you decide to do with a situation like this, that might require us to work harder and smarter, do what’s right not what’s easy with this.” - @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Putting It All Together: 

Someone on phone

At the end of the day, the most important thing we can do as brands is own our data. 

We need to have a homebase where our content lives, where our sales can take place, where we can collect data and drill down into it to know what the flow is like… we need to invest in our website and maximize things organically first. 

It’s not about relying on ads anymore because if we’re seeing anything, it’s that paid ads are the wild west. 

“Own our organic. Build your business in a sustainable and organic way and only use ads as an amplifier.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet) 

Keeping up with these changes and understanding what they mean will be hugely helpful for your business in staying ahead of the game as this update rolls out. 

“The biggest thing is to be sure of what’s going on, have a plan so that you’re not reliant on paid ads, and have trusted people around you that you can learn from.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet) 

The iOS14 Update isn’t just an advertising thing; it’s a consumer and brand-relevant update and the brands that continue to learn, stay ahead and do the right thing will be the brands that continue to grow despite the changes in the industry. 

What are your thoughts? Is your brand prepared for the iOS14 update? If you need help navigating these changes and updates, we're happy to offer guidance as we navigate the new lay of the land.

Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Tags: IOS, paid advertising


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