Apple’s iOS 15 and 16 updates have had a significant impact on financial marketers’ strategies. For financial marketers, iOS 15 and 16 have primarily impeded their paid user acquisition strategies. Apple’s previous iOS 14 updates already have shown to have a large impact on marketing strategies, with users being given the option to opt-out of tracking for third-party apps such as Twitter and Meta. Unsurprisingly, this new feature saw almost 96% of US users opt out of tracking, indicating that finance brands need to find new, effective ways to engage their audience via paid advertising.
What are the iOS updates?
Apple’s iOS updates have significantly impacted data sharing by enabling users greater control of their privacy settings and data. These changes to privacy settings and data sharing limit your finance brand’s ability to reach and engage prospective clients on both mobile devices and the web. Owing to this, as a financial marketer, you may have already noticed a decrease in ad performance and personalisation. This is particularly true for email and social media marketing campaigns.
Andrew Frith, Research and Social Media Director at The Dubs explains, “With the loss of granular detail in the user data these changes created, it meant that the usual reliance on specific analytics criteria to help shape marketing and advertising strategies had to be re-considered.”
For email marketing, Apple has placed numerous roadblocks to prevent marketers from accessing important data such as:
- Email open rates
- Ability to track online activity and location
- Finding a user’s email address
“Certainly email campaigns have been affected. Apple Mail and Apple mobile devices make up over 50% of the global email provider market share,” shares Andrew. “With the loss of the ability to access granular user data, it becomes more problematic to segment email campaigns based on important criteria such as location-based targeting, and gender/age segmentation and reduces the ability to A/B test things such as subject lines for marketing emails, and importantly the ability to understand email open rates which have always been an important KPI for email campaigns.”
Social media marketing has also been affected by the increase in privacy settings. Andrew states. “Likewise, social media campaigns on platforms like Meta and Twitter have been more difficult to target specific target audiences for the same reasons.”
He adds, “Additionally, common targeting strategies on social media campaigns such as building remarketing and lookalike audiences become more unreliable when the user data is more restrictive.”
How does this affect B2C and B2B marketers differently?
The increase in privacy changes affects B2C and B2B marketers differently and each financial marketer should adjust their strategies accordingly.
“There is a distinction here between financial marketers operating B2C campaigns versus B2B,” explains Andrew. “B2C campaigns are more heavily reliant on mobile users as a target audience and so the iOS 15 and 16 privacy changes impact them to a greater extent. However, B2B audiences are still more desktop-based in their computer usage and so they are not as impacted as much.”
“ For every new obstacle in implementing effective communication campaigns, there are always new opportunities to explore – Andrew Frith, Research and Social Media Director at The Dubs ”
For B2C marketers it’s especially important to understand what the changes mean for them. So, how can financial marketers prepare and adjust their marketing strategies?
How can financial marketers adjust?
Andrew shares what he recommends financial marketers do to limit the impact of these iOS updates on social media campaigns.
He continues, “For financial marketers using a platform like LinkedIn offers the ability to target audiences by a rich dataset of on-platform user profile criteria which is not affected by the iOS 15 and 16 changes.”
“On social channels, financial marketers, especially B2B marketers can restrict their targeting to desktop only and avoid the user-data analytics problems caused by ios 15 and 16,” shares Andrew.
“Also, relying more on first-party data collected through other owned marketing channels that can be then used on social channels to create matched audiences that can be reliably communicated to is another option financial marketers should be looking at.” He adds, “Building first-party databases should always be a conversion goal for effective marketing campaigns.”
To limit the impact these iOS updates will have on email marketing campaigns there are also several things financial marketers can do to adjust their strategies for success. “For email marketers, prioritising different KPIs is a good way to lessen the impact of the iOS 15 and 16 changes.” He continues, “KPIs like click through rates (CTR) and click tracking is a good way to track engagement without relying on open rate data.”
To gauge the success of email campaigns Andrew suggests that “Website traffic analytics can be used to determine email traffic visits to important campaign landing pages or content destinations.”
In addition, he shares, “Unsubscribe rates is also another KPI that financial email marketers can still use to gauge the impact of specific content. High unsubscribe rates indicate a review of content might be in order whilst low unsubscribe rates indicate that the email content is hitting the mark.”
Final advice about the iOS updates
At the end of the day, these iOS updates were inevitable. Data breaches are almost a daily news occurrence and users have been crying out for greater control over their personal data for a while. In good news, these updates don’t spell the end for marketing campaigns entirely.
Andrew shares some final advice for financial marketers, “iOS 15 and 16 changes and other major internet policy changes like GDPR are here to stay and will be constantly evolving.” He continues, “Financial marketers need to be in for the long haul, keeping up with the latest technology changes and data policy changes.”
“Likewise, marketing and advertising strategies will always be constantly evolving and so financial marketers will need to stay on top of their game in responding to changes.” Andrews notes, “For every new obstacle in implementing effective communication campaigns, there are always new opportunities to explore.”