iOS14 privacy update: What you should know as a B2B marketer

Every B2B marketer should be talking about the upcoming iOS14 privacy changes that Apple will be rolling out early spring this year. This new privacy feature, which requires all apps to request explicit permission for tracking, has caused even big players like Facebook and Google to panic. But whereas Google is currently changing their user-tracking software to comply with this change, Facebook expects it to damage ad targeting. 

What kind of implications can this data privacy update have on your business then? 

We’ve summarized it all for you. Here’s everything you need to know as a B2B marketer:

  • Many people in your B2B audience are using iPhones. Out of the last 4 million mobile ad impressions for our B2B client campaigns in the Nordics, almost 1.6 million were served to Apple devices.
  • In early 2021, when iPhone users get an option to opt-out from tracking across apps or websites, it’s estimated that up to 85% of the users will opt-out. 
  • These changes will affect all ad platforms, not just Facebook. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, you name it. 
  • Mobile advertising may become less accurate because fewer interactions will be trackable on mobile.
  • Last-click may become the only reliable attribution model: if you can’t accurately track the path to conversion, the final interaction before the purchase is the only one you can be sure of. 
  • Retargeting may become less reliable: if your visitors don’t want to be tracked, you can’t reach them again. 
  • The quality of your custom audiences may decrease. When part of the data in the custom audience disappears, the accuracy of the entire audience will suffer. 
  • The amount of “new” website visitors may increase, even if they are actually returning. This is because your analytics software will not be able to track certain visitors the first time.

How can your business prepare for this change?

First of all, take a deep breath 

You’re going to be just fine. Changes to the digital marketing landscape take place all the time. Companies that build on a solid foundation will be fine regardless of any new legislation, trendy new tools, or possible roadblocks like this one.

Focus on content marketing and demand generation

In other words, go back to the basics. B2B customer journeys are long and complex. The most effective way to create demand is by creating multiple touchpoints across the customer journeys. Content marketing is the tool that helps companies do it. Make the buyer’s job as easy as possible!

Start experimenting and learning to diversify your channel mix 

Many B2B companies make the mistake of relying on one or two advertising channels. Because the upcoming changes can lower your campaign performance, it’s important to explore other ways to reach your customers. 

Start running systematic growth marketing experiments to test other channels with a small budget. If you’ve always worked with LinkedIn Ads before, why not explore Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads, Reddit Ads or even Programmatic Buying? By doing so you will lower your risks, and find more effective ways to reach your audience. B2B buyers use social media, read the news and listen to podcasts just like anyone else, so don’t feel like you must only rely on the usual channels. 

Improve attribution on your own channels, like website and emails 

Because digital advertising platform data will soon become less accurate, we recommend not to completely rely on their reports in decision making. Run an analytics audit in your company, and make sure that all your marketing efforts can be accurately tracked by your own analytics tools. Important interactions that happen on your own channels should be trackable.

Do not count on just one attribution method

Since people using iOS devices will be harder to track with tracking pixels and cookies, we recommend relying on multiple attribution methods at the same time, such as adding UTM tags to each url you want to track. 

Remember: B2B marketing is a long-term game

Obsession with tracking every click makes it easier to overlook what’s really important: giving your audience value throughout the customer journey. B2B marketer’s job is creating demand through valuable content. Often this happens on third party platforms, where you can’t track the interactions anyway. 

The best thing marketers can do is to keep creating valuable touch points with their audience, regardless of whether it can be perfectly tracked.

If you want to turn B2B marketing into a revenue driver regardless of what happens to the market, contact us!