Apple has created the App Tracking Transparency framework, and they’re asking all apps to request consent for data collection. Moving forwards, app store apps must ask users for permissions to use data from third party apps and websites. As Facebook is predominantly accessed via an app, this has huge implications for Facebook paid social campaigns, and means a fundamental shift in how conversions are recorded.
What is the impact on campaigns?
Facebook’s updates to its tracking means that one conversion will be tracked per user, and this will be the event that happened that had the higher priority. Therefore, in an ecommerce example, if a user purchases, then a purchase conversion will be recorded but the add to cart conversion point passed through will not record. If a user adds to cart but goes no further, then an add to cart conversion will be recorded. This means a partial loss of data, and as such, custom web lists for retargeting will reduce in size and become less effective.
Only 8 conversion events can be tracked per pixel, and if you’re an ecommerce store utilising value sets, then a minimum of 4 of those, up to the maximum 8, will be taken in order for Facebook to work effectively. Value sets are AOV brackets automatically set that help the algorithms optimise for Return On Ad Spend, so the opportunity cost is that you may not be able to track all of the events you want.
Each conversion that is tracked may take up to 72 hours to appear within the Facebook reporting, meaning that daily reporting is not possible.
Multiple pixels can no longer be assigned across subdomains – e.g. example.com/UK and example.com/US must now work from the same pixel, and 8 hierarchied events. Alternatively, separate parent domains must be used e.g. example.co.uk, example.com.
At the same time, Facebook has changed its default conversion tracking to record at the time of the conversion, previously the time of the impression, and has reduced the attribution window from 28 click, 1 day view to 7 day click and 1 day view. Both these changes further throw reporting into flux, with additional data also now not being reported on.
Please note that the attribution comparison tool has now been removed, so it’s not possible to compare the impact of the reduction in click window.
6 top tips to implement now to help navigate IOS14.5
1. Break out your top volume campaigns to target Android, IOS14 and previous versions, and IOS14.5.
This will enable you to identify the drop-off in conversions as a result of Apple’s recent changes. Identifying the trends will help understand the difference between performance, and the impact of IOS14.5. Identifying the impact is the first step in understanding the changes.
2. Consolidate your remarketing lists
As website audience list sizes reduce, notifications will appear with the resource centre to warn you that the list sizes are getting too small, and will stop serving. To combat this, consolidate some of your audience lists together e.g. 30 day and 60 day. Whilst this isn’t ideal, it will mean that you have more data to deliver against, and will keep campaigns live.
3. Structure your CRM data to enable richer list segmentation
As custom website audiences reduce in size, CRM data will become more valuable, and will be the go-to method of targeting. As such, make sure your CRM is able to provide you with segmented email lists e.g. high average order customers, converters last 30 days, purchasers of certain products or product categories, and certain lead types.
4. Lookalike off these segmented CRM lists
Combine CRM lists with audience lists in adsets so campaigns can still harness the power of website lookalikes, but are bolstered by CRM lookalikes. As the website lists reduce, the CRM data will take-over.
5. Change your reporting day
As the new tracking methods deployed by Facebook mean that there will be a delay in conversions recorded by up to 72 hours, reporting on a Monday for the previous Monday-Sunday will no longer be possible. Consider moving your reports to the back end of the week, or at least understand that the week will only have part data, and will need to be updated the following week.
6. Understand that new benchmarks are being set
Whatever way it’s looked at, the landscape has changed, and some data has been lost with no way of back filling it with 100% accuracy. This means that conversions being recorded and subsequent CPAs and ROAS will have changed, and will continue to change until the new IOS is fully rolled out. Conversions are still happening, but visibility has been reduced. Understand that the industry is resetting benchmarks, and note that direct comparisons between time periods is not possible, and that new benchmarks are being set.
If you need any more information on IOS 14 and how you can prepare for this, please get in touch today!