By Bev Strickland, Managing Director of Strictlymarketing
In our last story on the introduction of Apple’s new privacy frameworks, we talked about how this could present as a challenge for those trying to market their business. Today we want to focus on the opportunities which are also inherent in the changes and why we need to understand how best to capitalise on them as an industry to continue providing our clients with true value for our marketing services.
Early in 2021, Apple released the iOS 14.5 update which introduced its users to new privacy options giving them control of who and how their online browsing and shopping data can be collected and used by advertisers to target ads at them through digital platforms.
The restrictions on data collection will have had an immediate impact on the marketing sector which relies heavily on the analysis and interpretation of collected data to build marketing campaigns around.
So what does the marketing sector do in response? That which has been done since the beginning of time – we adapt and innovate.
Apple’s improved privacy control with the iOS 15 update
In mid-May the tech giant announced it would be upping the ante on user’s control over their data collection with its iOS15 update.
This will include the App Privacy Report, effectively allowing users to see which apps they are using which may be sharing their data such as online search engines, location and camera.
Other changes will also make it impossible for any business or organisation distributing newsletters, to track open and read rates.
The iOS 15 update will also introduce two paid services – a Private Relay system using two layers of VPN, making it close to impossible to track a user across websites and the Hide My Email function.
Hide My Email function which will effectively bypass gated content accessible only once an email address has been provided by the user – instead it allows you to use a dummy email rather than your own email address. The dummy email address can simply be deleted after viewing the content and your data remains private.
How we innovate
The moves by Apple to protect the data of its users is commendable, but also problematic for our sector.
Our ability to gather data the way we have historically, will no longer be as effective as users will be able – and likely often will – choose not to share their data. There will be a renewed transparency around data collection; it will no longer be able to be collected covertly.
Our focus must therefore, necessarily shift to building relationships based on trust with consumers so they will willingly share their data.
And then better utilising the data we can collect.
In many instances, this will mean creating a positive narrative around why consumers should share their data such as, it will allow them to access to the latest news, sales, events, promotions etc around a product or service.
Point-of-sale, social media and online promotions and competitions will become more important in building that trust and excitement which encourages consumers to give us their email addresses and phone numbers.
The digital version of word-of-mouth – commenting, liking or sharing – will be all important which means curated content which appeals directly to the target audience will be critical.
In some ways, it will be a return to older ways of marketing and doing business, where building relationships mattered more than data collection. These will be the conversations strategists will be holding in the near future and those prepared to be a part of that conversation will rapidly fall behind and be doing their clients an enormous disservice.