It’s that time again: time to ask yourself if your marketing agency is ready for the next iOS update! 

You probably knew an update was coming since Apple updates their iOS 10-15 times a year, but just because updates come regularly doesn’t mean they are minimal or not worth paying attention to. For example, did you know that the next one, a privacy update for iOS 14, is going to have direct implications for agencies? 

Your success as a marketing agency depends on your ability to take user activity and have it inform your messages on various platforms. This means taking advantage of valuable new technological features and being prepared to deal with any potential issues. 

Here’s what you need to know about the latest iOS update.

What Does the iOS Update Mean? 

The most noteworthy items from the iOS update are centered around user privacy. 

With more and more news stories of user data being compromised, people are becoming more protective of what data they share online or through apps. Even if they didn’t care before, people are starting to care now.

One major feature of the new iOS update is that users will now be able to limit the amount of data collected by any third-party sites they visit.

Of course, this feature was always available, but it took some time and effort to locate and turn it off and on. The new version will now have each app ask them if they want to allow the app to collect data during its use. 

Making it easier to prevent data collection may be good for the user, but it prevents the app (and the app’s owners) from tracking them and collecting valuable data for marketing purposes

In addition to giving the user the ability to turn off app data collection, the user can also limit the details of their location. They now have the option to share a general area instead of an exact location.

What Does This Update Mean for Marketing Yourself and Your Clients? 

These new security features will prevent you from collecting detailed data that previously gave you insight into what to market to users. You must learn to adapt as you can no longer rely on app usage combined with exact location details to target a specific ad to a specific user — but this isn’t a major cause for worry. 

If you can’t target data to users, you can develop your marketing to appeal to a larger audience. Advertising a broad message will allow you to reach larger groups of people. From there, you can engage with them through newsletter subscriptions or surveys to understand how to market more specific ads.

Explore New Ways to Reach Your Audience

You can also increase your social media presence and advertising on multiple platforms instead of focusing on just one or two. From there, you can analyze where your audience is typically coming from (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc.) and develop more targeted paid ads for the platforms that are delivering the most engagement. 

In addition to branching out into other social media platforms, agencies should also consider branching into different channels for marketing. For example, advertising spots on certain podcasts could be a great way to get in front of a wider audience. Make sure you research what your audience is interested in and look into which popular podcasts touch on those areas and interests.  

Another channel that’s getting a lot of hype is text messaging. Users are on their phones more, and text messages are an easy way to grab someone’s attention. Whether it’s to remind them about a seasonal sale or promote a new product based on their past purchases, text messaging is a great way to increase engagement

Embrace the Change

These privacy updates are not meant to scare consumers or hurt businesses. User privacy is an important issue, and Apple is doing its part to show it cares about user privacy. These iOS privacy updates won’t dramatically reduce the number of ads users see on pages – they’ll just mean the ads users see could be less relevant to them. 

This generic experience may even cause some users to be willing to share their data/location with apps without any hesitation. If I’m going to see ads regardless, then they might as well be relevant to my interests, right? 

These changes will affect a user’s social media experience, but they don’t change the fact that there are still consumers who will need products. Expanding your marketing presence across other platforms, surveying customers who visit your website/stores, and strengthening your core advertising will ensure you and your clients will stay on top of your audience’s minds. 

Is There Anything Else Agencies Should Do to Help Them Deal with the Aftermath?

Don’t worry. 

Your audience is still out there, and they still need your products. You may not be able to send a push notification when a user is next to your store, but you can develop an eye-catching campaign that will make people want to go to your store, regardless of where they are at the time. 

You just have to put in a little more time to figure out how to reach your audience.