For those in the know about digital marketing, the April release of Apple iOS 14.5 might have seemed a lot like anvils were dropping from the sky.

With Apple’s new AppTracking Transparency framework now available, iOS 14.5 made the significant change of demanding that all App Store apps obtain explicit user consent to monitor their data.

Whether you’ve encountered the user prompt yourself or have seen its influence on your campaign performance, it’s easy to see why digital marketers are in a tizzy. But there’s no need to be concerned; with a thorough knowledge of the update and the appropriate procedures for adjusting, you can still flourish in this new situation.

What does the Apple privacy prompt do to your data?

The news isn’t all good, though. According to projections, worldwide opt-in rates for data collection are expected to be about 10% – with actual opt-in rates as low as 6% in the United States – iOS 14.5 will dramatically change the digital marketing tools accessible to you.

graph showing opt-in rate after iOS 14.5 in U.S.

No opt-in means no access to a user’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) if an opt-in is not chosen, which allows advertisers to fully utilize key components of a campaign like targeting, attribution, and optimization. It is no longer a viable marketing tool owing to the fact that it is now only available for a tiny percentage of Apple device

To compensate for the gap, advertising platforms have had to modify their measurement processes to match Apple’s internal SKAdNetwork’s API standards, restricting when and how reporting data is available.

For your campaigns, this indicates that the results will be limited, aggregated (rather than user-specific), and delayed (up to 72 hours for web users, and up to 5 days for app users).

The impact on your campaigns, as well as how to change it

The app’s use of ad targeting, which allows advertisers to target users based on their devices and operating system software version, has been praised by many tech writers as a step forward for mobile privacy. For example, in the case of Facebook advertising (and the Audience Network), it’s no surprise that Facebook is one of the most vocal critics of Apple’s new restrictions-they are likely to be severely impacted by iOS 14.5.

Here are some of the most significant changes and tactics for adapting that you should know about:

Tracking Limitations

With increasing admin overhead, you must check each client’s brand domains for accuracy, and campaign event tracking will be severely restricted on a per-domain basis. That means that all Pixels connected to a domain have a firm 8 conversion events tracked.

Your campaign’s goals and tracking are now restricted to only the top 8 priority happenings. This implies that it’s critical to focus on which events are most important to clients’ objectives, and approach them with a laser-like intensity.

This is one of the first discussions you should have, since campaigns that utilize non-priority events will be halted. Planning which events to prioritize can not only help you avoid these interruptions, but it may also help you level-set with your clients. Given the new limitations, evaluate and redefine what success means on each channel as you continue forward.

Attribution issues

Cross-domain tracking, which is a significant barrier to campaign attribution, has also been restricted in iOS 14.5. It will be difficult to attribute sales for any clients whose eCommerce storefront isn’t integrated into the main domain of their website. If feasible, offering developer assistance to make that structural change is more beneficial for customers than ever.

The number of days for attributions has been reduced, with Facebook now allowing only seven days. Other advertising platforms will most likely follow. This makes life more difficult for businesses with longer or more complex sales funnels, and it might necessitate significant strategic rethinking.

By being upfront about the influence this has on campaign performance rather than scrambling to explain problems later, you’ll enhance client confidence.

Audience limitations

There are several limitations with these rules. Without opt-ins, marketers may no longer create age, gender, or platform categories in their targeting. There has also been a big drop in tracked users, which means your campaigns’ targeting and optimization possibilities have been severely impacted.

Other strategic solutions

You may justifiably have your clients concerned by these restrictions. There are a few more strategic adjustments you might make in the future to help.

Branding’s first-party data has never been more essential to marketing campaigns. Working with your clients to create effective tools for growing internal lists, inviting customers, and ensuring that they’re receiving the correct information will help them begin building a strong internal dataset. You can use these internal customer databases instead of pixel-based audience lists to generate lookalike audiences and expand a client’s reach more effectively.


It may also be beneficial to focus on prospecting advertising and traffic/conversion objectives in future campaigns. This implies a less personalized approach, which is more essential than ever to understand clients’ customer personas and journeys in order to successfully convert users into customers.

As more businesses vie for a larger audience, which will be increasingly clogged with this sort of prospecting outreach, creative inspiration and willpower will become more vital than ever.

Preparing your campaigns for the future – and iOS 15

That’s not all. When it comes to privacy and marketing on their devices, Apple has just begun with iOS 14.5.

With iOS 15 now revealing even more stringent privacy rules covering email marketing – and a potential release just in time for the fall holiday window – marketers can’t afford to dwell on what they could do before.