One Year into Apple’s iOS 14.5 Update: What Has Changed for Advertisers?

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In a world of constant change, nothing has rocked the social media industry more than the iOS 14.5 update. Impacting how personalized ads are delivered on social platforms and how users’ personal data is collected. As a result, a lot has happened one year into the update; CPMs have increased, performance has changed, audience targeting is tricky, and data acquisition has shifted. 

Advertisers have pivoted their strategies to comply with the new changes, to varying results. We’re sharing some common industry challenges, with solutions and trends across audiences and how you can best manage your ROAS (return on ad spend). 

Advertising Challenges

Here are some common challenges that have impacted digital advertising following Apple’s iOS 14.5 update and the great cookie crumble:

  • Cost: CPR (Cost per reach) increased with more users opting out of marketing tactics.
  • Retargeting: With fewer opt-ins, audience sizing has declined.
  • Prolonged learning phase: With conversion events limited in tracking, reporting and opt-outs, it takes a little longer to get into an efficient spending mode
  • ROAS Attribution: Identifying ROAS has been more difficult due to the challenges with attribution and conversion reporting.

How to Stay Agile

Adaptability has been the name of the game. We’ve put together a few suggestions to help keep your social campaigns on track.

  • Evaluate attribution and trends by channel. For example, if a spike in your Google Adwords campaign accompanies a drop in Facebook, they could be related. 
  • Execute Market Lift Tests to better understand the impact of your Facebook advertising
  • Test 3rd party data to offset signal loss within FB – Quorum, Alliant, Wiland, or go “all in” with LiveRamp.
  • Work with a partner like Fluent to connect with your best customers and build customizable first-party data assets.
  • Set up retargeting campaign on Facebook and optimize towards LPV (Landing Page View).

Audience Trends

One of the most significant effects of Apple’s iOS 14 update is the impact on how advertisers reach their audiences. These are some of the crucial trends we have noticed:

  • Retargeting: Despite an increase in LCTRs (Link click-through rates), the overall audience size when retargeting those who are engaging in content has reduced.
  • Cost: CRM and 1st party Data may be a high-value audience, but it comes with a rising cost.
  • Value-based customers: Lookalike audiences may expand your reach but have also seen an increase in cost per reach

Audience Solution: 1st-Party Data

The cookie will continue to crumble, much to advertisers’ disappointment, making first-party data a valuable asset for brands. First-party data helps marketers better understand their audience’s preferences, which brands can leverage for personalization, relationship building, and more successful direct response ads. 

Creating your own first-party data asset can be challenging, especially if you don’t have direct relationships with your customers. Our friends at Fluent can help! They can leverage their strong survey capabilities to help advertisers cultivate first-party, permission-based datasets, that are inclusive of custom attributes and addressable across all major marketing channels.

Additional Tips & Tricks:

  • Conversion Window: Try to optimize your Facebook campaign to a shorter conversion window, 1 day click vs 7 day click. This means purchases made within 1 day of clicking your ad will be attributed vs. 7 days later.
  • Optimize for Value: When you optimize for Value vs Conversion Optimizations on Facebook, the algorithm focuses on finding a person who is likely to spend more, to help ensure you are maximizing the ROAS for your campaign
  • User Experience: Create a seamless checkout experience for your customer with the least amount of steps towards a purchase – Try Facebook’s Checkout experience.
  • Platform diversification – Reach a broader audience with a cross-platform approach.

There’s no doubt that Apple’s iOS 14.5 update has changed the way brands advertise. It has encouraged us as advertisers to become savvier in how we target customers, generate leads and measure conversions. Testing and reporting are more important than ever and partnering with the right agency is pivotal in navigating through the challenges.

Click here to learn more about how AdParlor continues to identify, engage, and acquire audiences to deliver results through the disrupted digital marketing landscape.


Are you looking to scale your social media campaigns? AdParlor offers a unique full-funnel and cross-platform expertise to help brands like yours scale their paid media strategy. Let’s chat! 

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