Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention is messing with your ads

Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention is messing with your ads

When it comes to anti-tracking features, Apple’s forcing everyone’s hand. Yup, the biggest smartphone company is automatically turning on Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) on iPhones and iPads with iOS 14.

Needless to say, this changes the entire digital marketing game. After all, advertisers rely on tracking data to target their ads to the right people.

There’s no time like the present to figure out a game plan. Like it or not, this major shakeup will mess with your digital advertising strategy.

3 things you need to know about Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention:


1. Intelligent Tracking Prevention could be advertisers’ worst nightmare – but only time will tell

Apple’s ITP rollout renders tracking data much less accurate. This could result in major revenue loss for advertisers who rely on hyper-targeted digital ads.

But no one’s sure how this move from Apple will pan out in the long run. For now, many advertisers are resorting to the old “spray and pray” strategy – throwing ads out there and seeing what sticks.

Even social media advertising will be affected by Apple’s ITP – especially Facebook advertising. After all, data collection is kind of Facebook’s thing.

Without access to accurate tracking data, marketers will struggle to make informed advertising decisions. But one thing’s for sure: digital marketers are an extremely adaptable bunch. If anyone can figure out how to thrive in this post-ITP world, it’s marketers!


2. Google Chrome still allows some tracking cookies – but not for long

Google Chrome, the most popular web browser, is still slowly phasing out third-party cookies. Firefox and Safari started blocking third-party cookies years ago.

If you need a refresher, third-party cookies are little snippets of code that function as digital tracking devices. For example, say you just Googled “work from home attire”. Suddenly, Oodie ads start following you everywhere. You can thank cookies for that.

As concerns about online security have increased over the years, ditching third-party cookies has become unavoidable.

“They were the most privacy-invasive technology in the world for a while,” says Bennett Cyphers, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Though Apple seems to be controlling the anti-tracking race, many believe Google’s slow approach is all part of the search engine’s long game.

The Verge sums it up well. “Google is hoping that it can institute a new set of technical solutions for various things that cookies are currently used for. To that end, it has proposed a bunch of new technologies (as have other browser makers) that may be less invasive and annoying than tracking cookies have become.”

intelligent tracking prevention iPhone

3. There are steps you can take to save your digital ad strategy

So what can you do right now to deal with Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention? Here are a few tips:

  • Verify your Facebook business account.
  • Narrow down your conversion events. What actions do you want your audience to perform (like signing up for your virtual event)? Focus on the most crucial ones.
  • Test out and adjust your ads’ audience definitions, bid types and amounts. These days, you’ve got to experiment in order to optimize.
  • Stay informed about social media platform and browser updates.

If you need help managing your digital advertising strategy during these strange times, get in touch with us.

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