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Podcast: IOS 14 vs Facebook. Everything you need to know for Advertising.

iOS14 vs Facebook: Everything you need to know.

Dave Granfield:

Hey, mate. How are you going?

Jay Janus:

Good. How are you going?

Dave Granfield:

Probably better than you. How’s your week been?

Jay Janus:

Been busy. It’s been good. A lot of things are happening in the industry at the moment, so working hard to keep on top of it and ahead of it. So, yeah. Good.

Dave Granfield:

So today, this is going to be a twofold conversation. So anyone listening welcome back to another podcast episode. Obviously, you know Jay, who’s on the screen, and I’m Dave Granfield. Today’s twofold, so this message, or what Jay and I are talking about today we’re going to, first of all, our customers are going to be hearing from this before anyone else.

Dave Granfield:

Dear customers, we’re having a chat. There are some things happening, there are some things you need to know about, and Jay’s the man to tell you those things. If anyone knows, and I don’t think even Facebook knows a lot of these answers right now. If anyone’s going to know in Australia, Jay’s been on the ground talking to Facebook a lot. This thing sounds scary, but what we’re going to talk about today is putting your mind at ease about what’s going on right now with a little bit of a fluctuation in advertising online. And for those that aren’t customers, you’re going to hear this a little bit later, once we actually edit this up and get it out for the podcast. So, Jay, what is this beast? What is this thing I’m talking about that is going to concern a few people?

Jay Janus:

Yeah, iOS 14 update is really the name of it. So in essence, what it is, trying to boil it down and keep it nice and simple is, as Apple always has, they update all their products and the software that they’re running on their devices. In one of the latest updates that they are still rolling out, is in iOS 14. And other than being just a general, normal, everyday update, there’s one little feature in that, which is bringing to light a few of the concerns and things you need to be aware of. And what that little change does is it provides, for any advertiser, any app, any platform that is sold or installed via the App Store, in order to remain compliant with Apple’s policies, that platform or app, and in this case, we’ll mainly be talking about is the Facebook app, it requires that app to give the user a prompt, and that prompts is something along the lines of, “Do you permit Facebook to track you across multiple websites?” Loosely worded.

Dave Granfield:

Stop there for a second.

So iOS, Facebook’s operating system, iPhones, iPads?

Jay Janus:

Yeah.

Dave Granfield:

I’ve already got iOS 14.1, and I haven’t seen these yet. So it’s something Apple is going to introduce in turn, along with one of the versions of iOS 14, right?

Jay Janus:

Correct.

Dave Granfield:

I think you said you’ve already got the iOS 14, so it will be the latest version on Apple’s phones operating system. Now, who’s it going to affect? I think you just said there, it’s not just Facebook, right? It’s any app on the App Store coming under this new privacy thing with Apple, right? And it’s Apple coming out to the market and saying, “General public, we care about your privacy. We’re going to start taking steps to limit the data apps that you use and love gather from you.”

Dave Granfield:

So it’s actually a really good thing that Apple’s doing for the general public and the general community and consumers of their products. It just so happens that we’re a Facebook advertising agency primarily, and the data that Facebook collects when people use an Apple phone or an Apple device, is the data that we use to run this and make decisions on our advertising. Are those correct in layman’s terms?

Jay Janus:

Yeah, pretty much. You’re right. It will affect many, many platforms. I think we’re hearing about it, partly for us because we’re in the industry, but also Facebook being the size that Facebook is, they’re also in a position to throw a bit of weight around and make it known. And that’s what they’re doing at the moment. They publicly have disagreed with Apple on their stance, and that’s all through the tech news. But you’re right, on one side, that can affect advertisers, but on the other side, it’s worldwide. Everyone is in the same boat and it’s a way that it does give the users the opportunity to opt-in and continue things as relatively as normal.

Dave Granfield:

So it’s not Apple isolating Facebook. It’s not Facebook being… They’re being quite vocal about it, but as you said, they’re big enough to be vocal. Every app’s going through this privacy thing, right? Candy Crush is going to have limitations on what information they can gather off you on Candy Crush. It just so happens that Facebook’s speaking the loudest about this and disagreeing with it most. And I think there’s a bit of fear-mongering going on. Definitely, you and I have seen in the agency world, in Facebook ad buying groups and circles online, People are starting to discuss this more and more and more. But there’s still a lot unknown about it. So what’re the knowns and what’s the unknowns? What is Jay Janus happy to say on a recorded podcast? Or, hang on, let’s back roll. What’s the last two weeks being for you and how have you been chatting with Facebook? And talk about your process and even Facebook and what they maybe know about this right now.

Jay Janus:

Yeah, sure. So I’ve been spending obviously, a considerable amount of time, whether it’s webinars with Facebook, speaking with our Facebook reps directly, other tech partners that we have and work with, just to get as much insight and information as possible because really, it’s changing all the time. From the webinar that I went to yesterday, or over the last couple of days, it also seems that Facebook still doesn’t quite understand what this means. And like we said before, it’s not just Facebook. YouTube will be similar, Snapchat, Pinterest. All of those things can possibly be affected.

Jay Janus:

Largely, it boils down to the difference between first-party data and third-party data. And how that plays out, to explain it in a little bit more detail is first-party data is data that you, as the business owner collects and hold and maintain, and you’re not relying on a third party. And it’s also the difference where you’re not necessarily leveraging the data that another company has learned using other websites and their partners, and then collating it all, and then you using it to your advantage.

Jay Janus:

And what this will mean moving into the future is the need to really have a centralized focus on getting that first-party data, having an amazing customer experience for your brand and for your business. So the people, they resonate with you and with your brand and business, and they want to know more about you and they want to stay in touch with you and create that for the entire user experience. Those sorts of things are really going to benefit any business moving forward.

Dave Granfield:

So Facebook’s data, when we’re using tracking for audiences, retargeting, that’s third-party data, right? I think you and I briefly discussed Klaviyo. There’s possibly going to be workarounds of things like passing Klaviyo data that you know through to Facebook as an audience. What’s the first-party data? It generally allows data you’re collecting yourself, but can we go back door, through Klaviyo, passing audiences through, or through other apps that pass audiences through? Do you know if that’s possible?

Jay Janus:

Yes and no. Mostly it is possible to some degree, as long as those users accept and they opt into that via things such as that Facebook prompt. From what I’ve been looking at so far, we’re expecting some gurus and people to come out with the magic wand. There is no magic wand. This is just as the whole industry shifts and changes and moves, as we’ve all seen it happen, especially last year with the pandemic and COVID, and the mass adaptation of online sales and online business and moving from bricks and mortar to online, this is just another step and another shift that we’re working through.

Dave Granfield:

Yeah, cool.

Jay Janus:

Yeah. No, you’re all right.

Dave Granfield:

I love interrupting you, man.

Jay Janus:

Me too.

Dave Granfield:

If what you were about to say is more important than this, ignore me, but what does it mean for top-of-funnel brand awareness, interest-based, behaviour-based targeting in advertising?

Jay Janus:

Yeah. So at the moment, currently, it’s not affecting Android devices or anything like that. It’s primarily Apple devices and iOS devices.

Dave Granfield:

Like Chrome using your computer? Chrome? Safari is the operating system. I don’t know. You don’t have to answer this if you’re not sure, but I don’t know if Safari on a MacBook is included. But Chrome, Android, they’d be fine, still.

Jay Janus:

Yeah.

Dave Granfield:

All right. So the brand awareness, audience consideration, all that sort of stuff, it’s still fine. It’s just going to take a percentage of the actual audiences, anyone who’s using an iOS device who opts out is potentially not going to be as targetable as someone who opts in.

Jay Janus:

So in essence, what happens, if someone decides to opt-out via that prompt, from allowing Facebook to track them across multiple websites, that means that that person, that the data signals that they’re sending to Facebook decrease, and therefore they’re a lot more difficult to target because the signals aren’t there. Facebook begins to have less of an understanding of who that person might be. And that can be whether it’s on a complete interest base. Say, for example, Dave, you decide to, next month, take up badminton, and in that time between now and then you opt-out. The ability for Facebook to learn more about this upcoming interest that you’re going to develop becomes a lot less likely or a lot harder.

Dave Granfield:

Sure.

Jay Janus:

So if in two months’ time, one of our clients wants to sell badminton gear, you’re less likely to be included in that audience because those signals around you have not been included and Facebook doesn’t have that information about you.

Dave Granfield:

Yeah, sure. So that’s like your top-of-funnel interest and behaviour-based targeting. I’ve been looking at camera gear at the moment and I would usually expect my newsfeed to be flooded with camera gear advertisements. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s something that’s top of mind for me, it’s something that I do want to consider purchasing. And if I can find another retailer with better reviews or cheaper products and a better-looking customer experience, that ad would probably serve its purpose. So we’re going to see somewhat less of that, right? I’ve been viewing on my Chrome browser today, camera gear. But if I was viewing on my iOS device and I chose to opt-out of tracking, I possibly won’t see the same ad experience as I used to.

Jay Janus:

Yeah, possibly. Again, the hard thing with all this is-

Dave Granfield:

It’s unknown, right?

Jay Janus:

… it is possibly out of the number of webinars I’ve been to the last few weeks from Facebook, the information, in some cases, it’s getting updated daily. So these are things that we’re looking at. Same with remarketing. Remarketing, the same could potentially hold true.

Dave Granfield:

So attribution windows, remarketing, a thing of the past. Potentially, if I’m laying in bed at 10 o’clock at night on my iPhone, looking at camera gear, thing of the past. Almost like if I’ve opted out, and we need to keep on coming back to if the user has opted out of that, the sharing of data, that remarketing experience is potentially going to be different.

Jay Janus:

Yeah. At this stage, that is how it seems, and there are two ways to look at it. And I guess one is that can obviously if you’ve got a certain number of people in your remarketing audiences, that let’s say people have been to your website, they might have added to cart and they’ve left, and we want to serve ads back to them because they’ve clearly shown intent and an interest in your product. If those people have opted out, we’re just not able to get ads back in front of them.

Dave Granfield:

Yeah, sure.

Jay Janus:

Which can seem concerning. The reality is, that affects everybody.

Dave Granfield:

So what’s the workaround? I think, and I don’t know if I’m out of line here, but someone, if they actually add to cart, Klaviyo has tracking on their platform based on email views. They have to track on the website that we can install a view product and add to cart, we can add them to an audience or a segment if they’re known to us. So I guess they have to get to the checkout page and put in their email and phone number or email details, and then we can pass that data to Facebook anyway. So there’s going to be workarounds?

Jay Janus:

No.

Dave Granfield:

No?

Jay Janus:

No. So if they do that, there are options too, because it’s first-party data, you can then go through to, and potentially use Klaviyo and build out great EDM strategies, which we do. But getting it back into Facebook, if that person has opted out, even if they’ve added their details via Shopify, being that it’s Facebook, there is highly unlikely that if say, we were to upload that database to Facebook servers, Facebook would say they see Dave Granfield in that list, but then in their servers, they know Dave Granfield has opted out, they won’t match that user.

Dave Granfield:

So Facebook still knows who you are, regardless if you’ve opted in or opted out, right? It’s just how they use your data after they know who you are.

Jay Janus:

Yeah. Yes. So we’re still waiting to have clarification on this. There are a few things that will definitely be shifting, that Facebook has said, and they’re probably things to focus on for businesses. One thing, in particular, is that Facebook has now stated that they require all businesses using their platform to register their domains or verify their domains in their business manager. So what that means is just telling Facebook that you are the rightful owner of the domain, whether it’s domain abc123.com, that you own that. And there’s two, possibly three main ways to verify that domain.

Jay Janus:

The only way to do that is on the actual business manager account of that business. As an agency, we can’t verify your domain for you. We can jump on and help you through that, and it needs to be done by your business manager. So that’s one of the big things. And that’s just to make sure that there are no hiccups on the systems and platforms and that everything keeps working the way that it should. So that’s the first thing.

Dave Granfield:

Now, no one website is the same, no one’s DNS settings are the same. We can’t do a blanket tutorial for you, but if you are going to have problems with that, we’re happy to talk you through it, we’re happy to help you out with that domain verification, just to let Facebook know that your domain is attached to that business manager. And as Jay said, we can’t do it without your help. We’d need to be dialled into your business manager. And we also need to be able to access your domain name registrar, or wherever your DNS, your name servers are hosted. So you’re going to have to come prepared with a few login details and a few passwords if we are going to be able to help you out with that.

Jay Janus:

Yeah. And also, in the letter that you’ll get, it’s just a quick email, there’ll be a link in there for some more information as well on that. So that’s one thing that Facebook is definitely asking business owners to do, anyone who advertises on the platform to do that. And then moving forward, Facebook is releasing an Aggregated Events Management tool, which will allow us… So stepping back, Apple will be limiting the number of pixel events that will be allowed to be tracked on-

Dave Granfield:

What’s a pixel event, mate?

Jay Janus:

So a pixel event, if we’re talking e-commerce, that could be whenever somebody views a page, the pixel fires and sends that data back to Facebook. And that’s for every single page. Potentially, if they view a product, a view content will fire, if they add something to cart, that will fire. So the main ones for e-commerce are page view, view content, add to cart, initiate checkout, and purchase. So five main events. There’s also, if you’re a service-based industry and you’re looking for leads, as some of our clients, they might be builders or whatnot, a lead event might be one where you’re capturing the details and pushing that back to Facebook.

Dave Granfield:

Sure.

Jay Janus:

So that’s what a pixel event is. So Apple is limiting the number of events to eight, moving forward. So what that’ll mean is that, and what they’re doing is they’re opening up the opportunity or the ability to prioritize those eight events and the highest priority obviously gets the priority. There’s still the discussion around if they opt-out, is that still one event able to be tracked, or is it the full eight? Or is it none? More than likely, it will be one event, but quite, possibly not identifiable, back to that user, just for metrics and for attribution reasons.

Dave Granfield:

So that’s a very important thing, and I know you don’t understand it completely yet. But I think it was on a webinar yesterday with Facebook, they had something flash up on the screen at the end, which I think you said they didn’t really cover it off. So maybe, they’re not sure about it, but there is possibly that little inkling that there’s one event that you can track, right? If you’re an e-comm business, you could track a page view, or view content or an add to cart or purchase.

Jay Janus:

Yeah.

Dave Granfield:

Right?

Jay Janus:

Yeah.

Dave Granfield:

I know you don’t know enough about that right now to speak confidently on it, but customers and viewers and podcasts listeners, that’s something that Jay will get back to you soon as we learn more about that.

Jay Janus:

Yeah, absolutely. So that’s one thing. And the other thing is the major shift will be the way ad accounts are reported and attributed over time. So historically, Facebook’s operated on somewhat of a 30-minute reporting period. So every 30 minutes, the data typically gets refreshed, give or take the day and what’s going on. More than likely, this looks like it’s moving to potentially a 24-hour window, and then any optimization. So if you’re changing the order of any of those events that have been prioritized, it could be three days. So the ability to look in a virtual, real-time event of, “This many clicks and this many et cetera happened over the last hour,” is going to get increasingly difficult, if not impossible, moving forward.

Dave Granfield:

So don’t micromanage your data, don’t micromanage your agency, your freelancer, your internal person, right? A lot of our customers love to look at daily data, even smaller now. Let some time elapse before we start really aggregating information?

Jay Janus:

Yeah, absolutely. And the great thing for our clients, for all of you, is the way that we typically manage accounts. We’re not necessarily relying on the hour-by-hour data. We look at it, we analyze it, we’re always aware of what’s going on. But the way that there’ll be work and where we’ve seen success in the past, there are not too many different changes there. The drop shipping industry, where people have extremely minimal margins moving forward and optimizing every 15 minutes is going to, I think at this stage, have a really big shakeup.

Dave Granfield:

Product launches. If you’re launching a new product or a new brand, and you’re expecting a flood of sales, if you’ve spent months and months building databases of email clients, and you’re going to slump traffic to your site, and you really want to get where you’re hyper-targeting those people, that’s going to be affected, right? It’s going to slow the process down.

Jay Janus:

Yeah. Some of the things, not so much, but more if you’re dropshipping from AliExpress or whatever, and you’re trying to flog off 100 products with four cents profit margin, and you really need to watch that return on investment return on ad spend every 15 minutes, and your day party and you’re doing some of that in order to really protect extremely small margins, you lose a bit of that fluidity. Whereas, we’ll establish-

Dave Granfield:

Sort of like that old method of surfing your ad spend throughout the day and increasing, decreasing, that sort of stuff, that is going to get harder to do, right? Hands are going to be tied.

Jay Janus:

It seems so. And keeping in mind that this is for iOS at the moment. It’s an iOS update.

Dave Granfield:

Yeah, sure.

Jay Janus:

Android, desktop, it seems typical, reasonably operating the same way. But that data across the board, because Facebook, they’ve got one platform, that one platform is affected holistically, as are all the others. So there’s a few changes with that. We’re keeping our fingers on the pulse, we’re working with Facebook extremely closely. But the reality is it’s not just affecting one or two clients or one or two businesses, Apple is releasing this worldwide. We don’t even know the date yet. That’s how little information is coming out. We are expecting it to be this month, and from what Facebook is saying, and even what Apple is saying, it looks like it’s more than likely this week. But we don’t know.

Dave Granfield:

Right. So as the end-user, our customers, people listening to the podcast who run their own advertising, is this Armageddon, doom and gloom, pull all your ad spend on Facebook and Instagram and go to Google Search Campaigns instead?

Jay Janus:

Absolutely. Absolutely not.

Dave Granfield:

Absolutely not? 

Jay Janus:

No, absolutely not. And the reason being is it, if Facebook’s not going anywhere, it’s not like this prompt gets turned on and people stop using Facebook. That’s not going to happen, or any of the other apps. It’s still all about that social interaction and moving and growing, keeping up to date with what your friends or family or kids, uncles, aunties, grandparents are doing. That won’t change. And Facebook is huge, it’s a behemoth of a company, it’s not going anywhere. As are the others. There will be a shift. There’s no doubt about that, but it’s a complete global shift of digital marketing in general.

Dave Granfield:

Yeah, sure.

Jay Janus:

Yeah.

Dave Granfield:

So in 2020, we saw the pandemic. It’s still playing out in a lot of regions around the country or around the world. 2020 saw a massive shift of the pandemic to online retailing. Retail, as we know, big-box retailers, the consumer sees that differently now. The online space of retailing through Shopify and WooCommerce, however you’re selling, advertising on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, wherever you’ve got that presence is not going anywhere. 

Consumers are getting more and more accustomed to this version of online shopping or this online shopping experience. This will be a blip. Apple is, in one way, securing the safety of its consumers. But there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always algorithm updates, there’s always changes to Facebook’s ads platform. There have been things over the years, that we go, “The sky is falling,” but if you listen to the platforms, work out what the yeses and the nos are, there are ways around it, right? Will results change? So, our dear customer, are you going to see a different result in your business manager as this pans out?

Jay Janus:

Honestly, I can’t give a 100% answer, yes or no. There’s definitely a likelihood that the report of the results might be different. And we’ll talk to all of our customers and the clients, one-on-one about navigating that. And that’s just the way things are attributed. It’s the attribution that will change. So Facebook will be doing aggregated event management and probabilistic modelling and things like that, that they’ve said so far. They’ve got their teams on it. Is it doom and gloom, and Armageddon? No.

Dave Granfield:

No.

Jay Janus:

Not at all.

Dave Granfield:

Stick in your lane, be good at what you do. Don’t fret right now, everyone is in the same boat. Jumping ship and going to another agency that promises that they can fix it, it’s not going to change. Everyone’s in the same boat, right? Everyone worldwide is dealing with exactly this, right? Everyone’s results are probably going to do whatever your results do. Adjust, re-adjust. BidPixel‘s customers, make sure our account managers will be talking to you as frequently as you need to. Our customers, in the email that comes out, there is a direct link of how to book into Jay’s calendar and have some one-on-one time with Jay, if you do want to discuss what this means for your business.

Dave Granfield:

But yeah, it’s business as usual on BidPixel’s end. We are striving forward, we’re focusing heavily on creative content, we’re focusing heavily on user experience. We’re making sure that those consumers that are seeing your ads are seeing your ads and are compelled to do something based on those ads. Yeah, it probably is going to change a bit, but we’re going to just make sure that your brand has the loudest voice, the best voice and the best market the products fit so that it keeps on carrying on as normal.

Jay Janus:

Yeah, that’s right.

Dave Granfield:

Anything else, mate?

Jay Janus:

No, that’s all at the moment.

Dave Granfield:

Okay. So we don’t know when this is rolling out. Jay’s had three webinars with Facebook last week. He’s had three again this week where, as he said, we’re in constant contact with our agency rep, so direct contact with Facebook. We will update you when we need to update you. To the Bid clients, we might send you emails. You’re going to have a link to talk to Jay if you ever want to just reach out to him and find out what’s going on. He is talking to Facebook on a daily basis at the moment.

Dave Granfield:

Guys, hold on. This isn’t the worst thing that’s ever going to happen to your business. Shopify, last year, said that there’s going to be a 300% growth in their online platform. There’s going to be three times more people starting online stores. And they said that before the pandemic happened, right? So the direct-to-consumer model is changing, and the online role is not going anywhere. We’ll get to the end of 2021 and this won’t even be a topic of conversation. This will be fine. This will be business as usual. Let’s just keep on going on, and we’ll keep in contact if we need to about iOS 14 and Apple, and whatever the heck they want to do.

Jay Janus:

Sounds good.

Dave Granfield:

Jay, by the way, can you send a memo out to the team that we’re actually throwing all our Apple devices in the bin? So all those MacBooks that we got for everyone, can you just get them to return them to the office? Because we’re going to move to HP or Lenovo or something. I just feel like we should support HP a little bit more lately.

Jay Janus:

Sounds good.

Dave Granfield:

Brofie, do you want to use a Lenovo? We’ve got a couple of Lenovos. Do you want to stay with an Apple? Okay, you can stay with an Apple. Jay, is there anything else that you need to add?

Jay Janus:

No, not at this stage. I will as we get more information.

Dave Granfield:

Awesome. Thanks, Jay. I appreciate your time, mate, and sorry for putting you in the hot seat on this. We don’t have all the answers. Facebook doesn’t even have all the answers, but I appreciate your time, mate.

Jay Janus:

No worries.

Dave Granfield:

Welcome to 2021.

Jay Janus:

Absolutely. Cool. Thanks, Dave.

Dave Granfield:

Thanks, mate, see you.

Jay Janus:

Cheers. Bye.