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How to Track the Performance of Your Paid Media in the Wake of Apple’s iOS Changes

Apple's iOS14 update has caused a lot of havoc for businesses that rely on 3rd party pixels to track user behavior. The Facebook Pixel, in particular, can no longer track users who have not opted-in to sharing their data with Facebook. This is a huge blow to businesses that rely on accurate conversion tracking data. However, even before Apple's changes, it was difficult to be confident in the accuracy of conversion tracking data from Facebook and Google. In this blog post, we will discuss how to track the performance of your paid media in the wake of Apple's iOS changes.

The background!

Ad tracking has been a hot button issue for some time now, but it came to a head with the release of iOS 14.5. Prior to this update, Apple device owners were automatically opted-in for tracking but had the option to opt-out. Now, following the update, iOS users are prompted and asked if they would like to be tracked, with the default now being opt-out. While this change may seem minor, it has had a major impact on the mobile advertising industry. According to mobile analytics company Flurry, when iOS 14.5 prompts began, an estimated 2% of users opted-in to tracking. That number has steadily increased since the end of April but even now only sits at an estimated 10%. The decrease in opt-ins has made it more difficult for companies to collect accurate data, which in turn makes it harder to target ads effectively. As a result, many in the industry are calling for a reversal of the iOS 14.5 update, or at least a change to the way that tracking is implemented. Whether or not Apple will make such a change remains to be seen, but the current state of affairs is having a major impact on the mobile advertising industry. With the iOS14.5 update, and the blocking of cookies, advertisers are increasingly turning to a new tracking methodology, called "server-side" tracking.

Server Side Tracking

Server-side tracking is a new method of conversion tracking that doesn't rely on cookies. Server-to-server tracking works by assigning a unique ID to each web visitor who interacts with a site. This unique ID is stored on a private server, and can be matched later on if the user linked to the same ID interacts again on the same website. Server-side tracking has several advantages over traditional cookie-based tracking, including increased accuracy and privacy. Server-side tracking can also be used to track conversions across multiple devices, as well as to retarget users with marketing messages. As the traditional pixel-based tracking methods become increasingly ineffective, server-side tracking is becoming more popular among advertisers and publishers alike. For advertisers, server-side tracking provides a more reliable way to track conversions and optimise campaigns. For publishers, server-side tracking opens up new opportunities for marketing and monetisation. Server-side tracking is still in its early stages, but it's clear that it has the potential to revolutionise the online advertising industry.

Adhering to Privacy Legislation

In a world where privacy legislation is only getting stricter, it's more important than ever for companies to have a handle on their first-party private identifiable information. This data needs to be carefully managed in accordance with local, regional and international regulations, which cover everything from what data can be captured to how it's stored and shared. Companies that don't have streamlined and integrated back-end systems in place are going to find the process of managing customer data across marketing and advertising tech to be daunting and manual. This is where privacy labels come in - they help to restrict activation and reduce risk by identifying which data falls under privacy regulations. In a cookieless world, privacy labels are a must for any company that wants to stay compliant.

In Summary

Even though the “cookieless future” is looking bright for good publishers, advertisers, and consumers — ad tech vendors that had been profiting off of privacy-invasive data collection from users are not going to fare as well. If you want to make sure your company isn’t one of them, we can help. Our team of experts have a wealth of experience in first party data, digital marketing and advertising, and we know what it takes to thrive in a cookieless world. Book a demo with us today and let us show you how we can help you succeed in the new digital landscape.

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