Changes to Apple’s iOS 14 may affect or limit your marketing efforts. Find out how

Each June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Apple shares with the world all the updates and changes it is planning for its suite hardware and software. At the WWDC in June 2020 Apple announced some very important product and policy changes that may affect your business. These changes will affect the sharing of data across the iOS ecosystem which runs Apple iPhones and iPads. For small and medium sized businesses, the limits these change place on advertising have the potential to harm your business growth.

The impact on personalised Ads

The changes proposed by Apple have the potential to limit your ability to more effectively reach, understand and engage people using mobile devices and across the web. The changes may also impact your ability to control who sees your ads, understand ad performance and make informed decisions about your advertising budgets. Over time, as these changes start to take effect, you may see decreases in ad performance and personalisation with an associated increase in cost per action.


Together, these changes will specifically limit your ability to:

  • Measure and report on conversions from particular customers
  • Concisely attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later
  • Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
  • Make sure that your ads reach the most applicable audiences at the right frequency
  • Predict and optimise cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets

For small businesses, Apple’s changes to these policies will make it more challenging to reach their target audience which has the potential to limit growth and their ability to be competitive with bigger companies. Recent studies from Facebook have shown that when running ads on the Facebook group of apps to push sales on their websites, small businesses saw a cut of over 60% in sales, on average, for every dollar they spent when they weren’t able to use their own data to find customers on Facebook. Facebook suggest, for example, that currently, a local book shop could spend $1 NZD on a relevant and personalised ad and may win 5 sales. Without the use of their own data to personalise an ad, that business would spend $1 NZD and may only win two sales. Facebook does not anticipate that the proposed changes to iOS 14 to cause a full loss of personalisation, but rather a move in that direction.