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[Marketing] Ad Targeting in iOS14 and Beyond

Apple has announced that it will postpone the revision of IDFA(Identifier for Advertisers) in iOS14 until early 2021, and it appears that this revision will be implemented soon. Industry luminaries have already summarized the impact, but let’s take another look at the impact on advertising.

Apple has announced that they will be switching to an opt-in system for obtaining IDFA starting with the update to iOS14. IDFA is Apple’s own advertising identifier, and advertisers can use it to measure the effectiveness of their ads and track users. In other words, since iOS14, the use of IDFA requires the user’s permission, which helps to protect personal privacy. On the other hand, there are stricter restrictions on acquiring audience data (behavioral history, interests, etc.) that can be used for measuring the effectiveness of ads and targeting, which will affect the accuracy of targeting.

If you have been running Facebook ads for a while, you may have received a notice from Facebook saying, “Be prepared for changes in iOS 14 that will affect your ad account.

This is due to the impact of this update to iOS 14. When this new rule is applied, Google and Facebook will be able to deliver ads less accurately because user privacy protection will be prioritized (strengthened). In other words, campaigns that have been able to acquire users in the past will suddenly be unable to acquire users, and the cost per acquisition is expected to rise. If you have experienced a sudden deterioration in the results of your targeting ads in the recent past, you should suspect this. (Of course, there may be other factors or multiple factors involved, so analyze carefully.)

If many users using iOS allow tracking, the impact on this targeting accuracy loss event is minimal. However, this is not likely to happen. Many users will use various web services with tracking denied.

Therefore, marketers who make their living in digital marketing need to wait for Google, Facebook, and other advertising media companies to develop targeting technologies that do not require tracking of users and devices to address this event.

IDFA and cookies are two different technologies, but Google is planning to phase out the use of third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser in January 2020 over a period of two years. In other words, companies are changing the technologies used in the past and present, such as cookies and IDFA, to meet the modern privacy protection perspective, and I believe they are preparing some technological breakthroughs for this situation.

On the other hand, as the effectiveness of advertising decreases, the unit price of advertising may decrease due to market principles. Therefore, it is possible for advertisers to maintain revenue from advertisements by maintaining/increasing the volume of ad delivery even if the results deteriorate somewhat, but this is not realistic.

We marketers do not have the authority to directly intervene in this matter. Therefore, I think the most realistic response is to create a system that can respond flexibly when each media company takes some action.