It’s surprising that there hasn’t been more discussion in the media about a change that Apple may soon force with its forthcoming IOS14.5 operating system rollout. Apple claims to be all about user privacy, and whilst it seems to be content using user data for its own use, it is making access to user data a little harder for everyone else in the future.
Before getting into more detail, it’s important to reassert that Digital Marketing beyond the traditional property portals is more important than ever – and our products will continue to work exceptionally well and deliver results for you and your customers.
The process of ordering AIM will not change, you won’t need to do anything at ‘your end’. But some things will change, and some things are as-yet, unknown. Some of the smartest people and biggest companies on the planet are working with us (and the industry in general) on ways to ensure digital marketing is still highly attractive.
We may need to change the reporting for AIM as there are going to be fewer things we can ‘see’ on your property’s landing page. This means we may roll-up all significant interactions like form-submits, email and phone reveals and add-to-calendars into a single combined total. Reporting will still be valuable, but its level of detail may need to change. Its also possible that we won’t get as much demographic information (age, gender, location) to display – but both Google and Facebook say they have plans to use AI forecasting to still provide some good guidance data. In most instances, this data is merely ‘interesting’ but doesn’t ultimately change anything about how you sell and market a property.
Our AIM ads are designed to optimise how they deliver by tapping into Google and Facebook’s conversion optimisation technology. What this means is these platforms see who is clicking on the important things like click-to-call, form-submit, etc and they try to find more people who share many attributes with them (and show those people your ads). Since this data is not being shared, we are led to believe that this will still work because this data (about the people clicking) is something they get directly from their platforms, and therefore it’s not being directly shared with any 3rd party.
But the digital marketing industry is having to change quickly, to avoid apps like Facebook being removed from the App Store. So… what does all this mean and how will it affect you?
Apple will soon require apps like Facebook and even web browser apps to ask users if they are ok with data being shared with 3rd parties – which means advertisers. This will affect every digital marketing solution on the planet, not just AIM users. Android phone users are not being asked these same question, but the overall impact will affect – to varying degrees – how ads work and are measured on both IOS and Android. Nobody knows how many people will opt-out of being tracked, nor how many will opt-back-in if they realise that it’s better to have relevant ads targeting them than less-relevant ads. Initially, the opt-out rate may be higher, but platforms like Facebook may encourage users to opt-back in willingly, or even reduce their free functionality for people who decline to help them monetise their otherwise free platforms.
At Campaigntrack, our AIM solutions team has been working closely with our partners Google and Facebook to ensure we adapt as quickly as possible and, where possible, even improve our product further.
Interestingly, where something happens entirely within Facebook, Apple’s opt-out has no effect because Facebook isn’t sharing that data with a 3rd party website. Accordingly, we are adapting our remarketing audience building in Facebook to use a different approach that will likely lead to an increase, not a decrease in Facebook audience sizes. We will soon be natively supporting Facebook Lead generation ad types, which capture the data in Facebook natively and may lead to even more leads than before. You can, and should, load your database list into Campaigntrack to match on Facebook so that we can more actively target your email list including people who have come to your open homes.
What may be affected is the size of your overall remarketing audience (across both Google and Facebook platforms), as people who click on an ad that takes them to your property’s website may not be added to remarketing if they have opted out. However, if they are clicking from Facebook we believe we can add them regardless. Your remarketing audience, even if it might not grow as fast, is still a powerful tool.
If you are a client using AIM Direct-to-Web (where clicking on an AIM ad, takes the person to the listing on your website and not a UPW), then there will be some work to be done to ensure the least amount of impact, and this will assist not just how your site works with AIM but how it works with any and all digital marketing that you do.
In summary, you should not be alarmed and you should not stop using digital marketing. Its as important as ever that you have a strong digital presence in your business – and we can deliver that in spades.
It’s important you get buyer and seller leads from other sources, not just the property portals. It’s important you promote your personal and business brand in your local areas – and nothing does this better than Digital Marketing done well.
It is early days, and because Apple is largely silent on how the industry should adapt (and even when), this is also an evolving situation. But we will say this – the smartest and largest companies in the world (Google & Facebook) have their best and brightest working on this, as do we. Digital Marketing is essential in any modern property marketing campaign and we are highly confident that AIM remains your best choice that will only improve over time.
Watch this space, and expect frequent updates from us.