How Apple's Changes to Privacy Impact Advertising on Facebook and Instagram

How Apple's Changes to Privacy Impact Advertising on Facebook and Instagram

(US and Canada) Direct-to-consumer businesses that previously relied heavily on Facebook as a way to target and advertise on the social media giant are now starting to realize the perils that resulted from privacy policy changes instituted by Apple. These changes have upended the digital advertising strategy for hundreds of thousands of businesses and have forced these companies to find a new path to their coveted customers.

Some brands have remained loyal to Facebook and also Instagram, but many others are making sharp pivots to embrace more zero-party data and first-party data – information a customer freely and intentionally shares with a brand they trust – while leveraging new social platforms for marketing based on one-to-one connections, such as TikTok. 

Apple Privacy Changes

Apple, maker of the iPhone and iPad, has made changes to the way it handles privacy for its users. Specifically, they now give customers enhanced control over privacy settings that empower them to have more say over which of their personal data is provided to brands.

Driven by contextual data, these ads have helped companies target people on social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, which in the past had the ability to deliver messages to those with characteristics indicating the messages and offers are likely to be of interest.

Of course, big data is the process of purchasing data from a third-party provider, collecting online activity, purchase history, social media content and more to identify people that are potentially interested in what companies have to offer – all driven by social companies like Facebook and Instagram.

How Brands Are Changing Their Marketing

But today, Apple’s privacy changes have made this process more difficult, driving more companies to seek alternate channels for delivering their marketing messages. Aside from privacy, this pivot is not all bad news for companies since these big data-driven ads were based on outdated or inaccurate data.

As a result, a growing cadre of brands are taking a more community-driven approach to building relationships and producing their own content on social platforms and blogs, while also working with smaller-scale influencers and returning to other more traditional forms of marketing, such as direct mail and email. These brands feel that engaging more with consumers on social media through direct messages is almost the opposite of the large-scale targeting of consumers they had previously employed via third-party lists. By taking a more one-on-one approach to each individual customer, they can make a more lasting impression.

This pivot has helped companies leverage zero-party data. It can include personal insights like preferences, feedback, profile information, interests, consent, and purchase intent.

The Result is More Trust, Empowerment & Data Control

This step is in the right direction in that customers should be more in control of their data. The benefit of using zero-party data is that it is:

  • unique to the brand, and no other brand has the same data.

  • the ultimate source of truth in that the customer offers up their own insight, rather than making assumptions based on big data.

  • relationship based so it relies on a higher level of trust with the customer, which means the company must be transparent about their use of the data and the relationship must be mutually beneficial.

Every communication across the customer life cycle (e.g., prospect, purchase, registration, customer service) creates a wealth of potential regarding the collection of zero-party data. For example, you can send customers a survey to better understand their unique perspectives on the company, products or services. There are also opportunities to build a quiz into your welcome email, which can be both engaging and insightful. You can also send a text message shortly after a customer makes a purchase, and be a little creative to entice consumers to share data and to set yourself apart from others. Many companies today are also leveraging pop-ups on their website that ask a few engaging questions, with the promise of providing something of value in return for their time.

Even business-to-business focused companies are seeing changes in the way they have been leveraging marketing. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is currently reviewing whether to continue its Telemarketing Sales Rule business-to-business exception. If it is discontinued, those companies would no longer be able to leverage telemarketing as the government cracks down on telemarketing abuse. This changInstagram e would mean business-to-business companies would also need to identify new ways of marketing, such as zero-party data approaches.

With the changes implemented by Apple, Facebook and have become less appealing as marketing channels. This has made the focus of zero-party data, and new social platforms and engagement through blogs and traditional marketing, even more valuable. Brands that head in this direction and embrace new opportunities for marketing and consumer engagement will see great benefits in the years ahead.

About The Author

Scott Frey is the Founder of PossibleNOW formed in 2000. Today, he serves as the President and CEO for PossibleNOW, Inc., and PossibleNOW’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CompliancePoint. Frey is responsible for the business growth and acquisition strategy, product development initiatives, and all sales and marketing strategy for both companies. He specializes in designing technology and professional services solutions to solve complex business challenges related to marketing and compliance operations.

Under Frey’s tenure as CEO, the company has evolved from a marketing compliance solution provider, solving privacy and compliance issues, to a more diverse organization that helps companies leverage PossibleNOW’s Zero-Party Data solutions to deliver relevant, targeted, personalized communications to their customers and prospects, increasing profitability and customer loyalty.

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