Apple sent yet another shockwave through the marketing industry last week, when the tech giant revealed there would be additional privacy controls in the upcoming iOS 15 update.
While its predecessor – iOS14.5 – focused on how apps collect and use personal data, iOS15 will stamp out email tracking tools and hide IP addresses in an effort to further the data of Apple customers.
For marketers, this means valuable metrics such as open rates and clickthroughs on email campaigns are under threat.
According to Acoustic VP and deputy general counsel John Story, these changes don’t necessarily spell the end of measurement for email marketing.
“Marketers will need to rethink their approach to measurement so they’re not relying so heavily on third-party data like open or click-through rates,” Story told B&T.
Story suggested looking at marketing campaigns through a wider lens could help.
“Using contextual analysis to better understand the holistic customer journey—the patterns and actions prospects and existing customers take—can help us gain deeper insights and enable us to continue delivering personalised messaging based on behaviours and interests,” he said.
There is also now the opportunity to explore channels beyond email, given the expected challenges for measurement.
“Being able to build, interact, and deliver an omnichannel content strategy is key. Are you using a headless CMS solution that makes it easier to execute this vision? While email will continue to be a powerful tool for marketers, there are many opportunities to connect with customers and prospects across channels,” said Story.
“Build up your omnichannel strategy to help supplement the data you collect from your audience.”
Apple vs big tech
Apple has upped the ante with its commitment to privacy in recent months, from the launch of tools like Privacy Report to polished marketing campaigns with the tagline ‘Privacy. That’s iPhone’.
For Story, the motives behind Apple’s privacy play are multi-faceted.
“Apple is pursuing these changes to position privacy as a product feature and differentiator. There are likely three motives for this: first, from an ideological perspective, consumers are more invested in their data privacy today,” he said.
“Apple is aligning their practices with consumer ideals in an effort to continue building consumer trust and brand loyalty. Second, Apple appreciates that part of its big tech competitors’ strength comes from their ability to acquire and monetise data from Apple consumers while they use Apple products.
“By denying those competitors (Google, Facebook, and Amazon) access to this vast data set, Apple reduces the strength of its competitors. Finally, Apple likely believes privacy-centered products will sell more than those not offering similar privacy protection.”
Given Apple’s market dominance, customer expectations around privacy will only increase as these new tools are normalised.
This means marketers need to be thinking about how they can create privacy-first solutions that can still deliver results.
“Consumers are in control, and advertisers need to figure out how to get in front of their target audiences without relying upon IDFA information,” Story said.
“Marketers who embrace this challenge will win. Consumers will not go backwards once this type of control becomes available to them—and I believe other device makers will have to make changes to their own roadmap accordingly.”
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