So in the June of 2020, amidst the blow of the pandemic, Apple at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), dropped a blow of its own and announced its product and policy changes that will be affecting the data shared across iOS. This basically means that the Apple users adhering to iOS 14 update will now have control over their data and how who and what they share their data with.

Image source: MobileIron

Such apps like Tumblr, Youtube and Facebook etc. will be obliged to ask users before they track their data. And as they will need to require user permission before embarking on user tracking, and not every one of us is going to agree to be spied upon, this will have consequences.

You see this change came into being after years of discussions regarding privacy concerns. From congressional investigations to general public distrust in tech companies, data privacy has been at the front of national conversations for a while now. No one is a stranger to the power that tech and social media companies possess. The majority feel as if they have lost control over their data in this rapidly progressing digital world, and this update has been Apple’s shot of giving a solution to this issue.

What Effect Will This Have On Online Business?

While many consents to enhancing personal data security and opinionated it to be a good initiative, it comes with a massive effect on one thing in particular- advertisement personalization.

The expectations are that some, if not many, people will choose not to share their data and hence will be getting much less appropriate ad recommendations, which will lead to an overall decrease in user experience. The ads will still exist; they just won’t be tailored entirely to the user’s interests.

This can be rough on the advertisers reaching their relevant audience like they do and can also be an ultimate downfall of online advertising, at least for the iOS audience.

As we know it, Facebook is the most efficient and affordable platform for small businesses to do their advertisements and overall promotions for their products. But with the decrease in audience size, it’s going to get tough to reach a fair amount of people. With a change, this sudden and unexpected, these advertisers will be spending a reasonable amount of time in guesswork and figuring out what is working and what isn’t.

Therefore considering the present situation, it doesn’t matter if you’re a small vendor using Facebook ads to sell products, or an app with a platform that displays advertisements, Facebook argues that this change to iOS will have a significantly negative effect on your business, at least for a while till you figure things out and cause a turn in events.

How to make your way under this policy

The absolute goal for marketers now should be to ensure customer engagement rates and not allow them to fall at any cost. With the new policy in mind, being ready to abide by it is the first step in attaining this. Then, comes tidying up data collection and usage strategies to fit in with the new requirements.

Communication is key to the house of trust.

Open the lock of this policy with the key of communicating and explain to your user why they should consider opting in with the data sharing. Enlighten them of your dedication to your service and let them know about the value of their data and the clarity of your intentions. Make them trust you. The same will apply to location tracking. Brands wishing to preserve precise tracking should be ready to make clear its value to consumers.

Respecting your customer’s privacy

For example, Location-based brands can try reframing their campaigns by making most of the approximate locations, like highlighting stores in a given area a user is, rather than bombarding them with notifications as soon as they enter a particular store, can help restore faith and build confidence about their data. In this way, provide a better experience while showing that you respect how your customers want to use their own data.

Looking ahead

Though Apple controls the way brands influence their mobile platforms, it doesn’t hold much authority in marketing strategies. And brands focusing on building a sustainable and robust relationship with their customers will see much better results in the long run, no matter what new changes the mainstream media, be it Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon announce. Instead of fretting about the policy, brands should spend their energy and time on creating holistic marketing and customer engagement strategies and making sure not to be completely reliant on any one technology or platform. This can guarantee long-term success, even if that means changing course to keep pace with announcements and privacy changes from big tech players such as Apple.