Apple’s iOS 14 and the Impact on Digital Marketing for Higher Ed.

Sextant marketing explains how new apple ios 14 privacy policy will affect higher education marketing

If you’re in digital marketing and use Facebook to reach your customers, chances are you’ve heard about the current digital war going on between Facebook and Apple.

Apple’s policy changes for iOS 14 and Facebook’s support for small (and big) businesses are in the news, and we’re breaking it down for you!

Read on to find out exactly what Apple is changing, how Facebook responds to the policy changes, how your business, particularly higher-ed., might be impacted, and what steps digital marketers can take to prepare.

Apple Privacy Policy Issues – What is Changing

At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last June, Apple announced a significant change in its AppTrackingTransparency framework for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.

As of December 2020, Apple requires developers to get user opt-in permission for accessing the IDFA, or Identifier for Advertisers. If you’re not familiar, the IDFA is a device identifier assigned to a specific device. Marketers use the IDFA for targeting and tracking potential customers across apps.

Facebook Response to Apple’s Policy Changes

For its part, Facebook has sharply criticized Apple’s new policy, stating it adversely impacts small businesses that depend on personalized ads to reach their customers.

On a webpage launched voicing its opposition to the change, Facebook says that Apple’s new policy will “limit your ability to effectively reach, understand, and engage people on mobile devices and across the web.”

While Facebook disagrees with Apple’s “policy and approach,” it states that it has “no choice but to show Apple’s prompt. If we don’t, they will block Facebook from the App Store.”

iOS 14 Impact on Higher Education Marketing

Apple’s policy change will make it harder for colleges and universities to reach prospective students and parents, which could limit their enrollment growth.

Apple ios 14 privacy policyiOS14 users opting-out from third-party data tracking limits ad personalization and performance reporting for both app and web conversion events.

Facebook does not foresee that the iOS change will cause a complete loss of personalization but believes that the trend is in that direction.

Here’s what higher education marketers can anticipate as a result:

  • Changes in Facebook advertising tools, targeting, delivery, measurement, and reporting.
  • A decrease in Website Custom Audience sizes will negatively impact retargeting efforts.

Specifically, these changes will limit your ability to:

  • Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business.
  • Measure and report on conversions from certain customers.
  • Ensure your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right. frequency.
  • Accurately attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later.
  • Predict and optimize cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets.

To help navigate these changes, Facebook will begin processing pixel conversion events from iOS devices using Aggregated Event Measurement. “This will support your efforts to preserve user privacy and help you run effective campaigns,” says Facebook.

How You Can Prepare for the Change

Facebook has published detailed information on steps digital marketers can take to adapt to Apple’s new policy.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most important considerations.

For web advertisers:

  • Verify your domain in Facebook Business Manager. Doing so gives businesses the ability to configure conversion events for their domain. According to Facebook, “domain verification must be done for the effective top-level domain plus one (eTLD+1). This can help ensure that your domain verification will encompass all variations.”
  • Facebook will pause ad sets prioritizing more than 8 conversion events. Prepare to prioritize for a maximum number of 8 conversion events per domain.
  • Get ready for changes in attribution reporting inside Facebook Ads Manager.
  • Be on the lookout for campaign optimization strategies that may require testing and changes in bidding strategies.

For app advertisers:

App advertisers using the Facebook SDK should update to version 8.1 or above. Facebook also recommends other steps especially for app marketers that you can read about here. 

What’s beyond (or before) third-party data?

Marketers today are heavily reliant on third-party data. According to a recent study conducted by Epsilon, 69 percent of the respondents believe that eliminating third-party cookies and IDFA will have a greater impact than CCPA and GDPR.

“2020 has been a year of seeing online identifiers fade away,” states the Epsilon report.  “In January, Google announced that it’s phasing out third-party cookies (3PCs) in Chrome. In June, Apple made a similar announcement about changes coming to IDFA.”

Businesses and advertisers now realize that it’s time to take control of their first-party data. It is a valuable, cost-effective, asset and comes with minimal privacy concerns.

Tech giants like Google and Apple will continue to tighten restriction on data that can be shared. Because of this, the priority for businesses of any size is collecting and strategizing around first-party data.

How Sextant Will Help You Navigate This Change

From helping build a robust first-party dataset to email nurturing and content marketing, Sextant Marketing has the expertise and deep integration that brings success to your enrollment campaigns. As your marketing partner, we’ll help you stay above the fray as Apple, Facebook, and others battle it out.

With targeted relationship marketing, we can help you take control of your first-party data and streamline your marketing efforts.

Email Nurturing – Building Relationships

Sextant is a SharpSpring silver partner. We can fully integrate and automate your inbound email campaigns, whatever CRM you use. Our future-focused, data-driven suite of tools helps nurture not only relationships, but also your valuable first-party data.

Relevant Content is King

Sextant helps you plan and execute effective content marketing. With relevant, engaging, SEO-optimized content, lead generation dovetails seamlessly with email and social media marketing.

Sextant understands the specific challenges faced by higher education. Apple’s new policy is one such challenge. But challenges bring opportunities. “The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving and presenting new opportunities,” says Jessica Banich, Vice President of Marketing Services. “Everyone at Sextant works hard to identify and implement technology that will benefit our university partners.”