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Apple and Google Both Announce End of Target Marketing

Chris Nault, Mar 4, 2021 10:27:56 AM

Google and Apple have made huge announcements that have huge implications for marketers who rely on aggressive outbound marketing tactics such as industry favorite targeted ads. Simply put, digital marketing just became a whole lot more difficult. Or did it?

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Google throws cookies out of the marketing cookie jar 

In 2020, Google made the first huge announcement stating they were beginning a two-year plan to end support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. While the signal provoked a positive PR response, many veteran marketers knew it would not be long before an alternative cookie replacement would be in the works, aka advanced targeting would still be a primary tool in the outbound marketers’ playbook. 

March 2021 - Cookies are set to be extinct 

On March 3, 2021, Google went further, with David Temkin (Google’s Director of Product Management for ads privacy and trust) writing in a blog post that “once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”

June 2021 - Apple flips the switch on target marketing 

Back in September of 2020, Apple made the biggest news in the digital marketing and communications world. The end of target marketing to iOS14 users. Users will have to accept tracking tools in order to be targeted. The message will need to be specific and clear. It is expected that over 70% of iOS14 users will choose not to accept tracking. That is terrible news to Facebook (and Google’s) ad platforms which currently bring in close to 1 trillion in annual revenue in targeted ads. 

“Specifically, Apple will begin to require that apps in the App Store that engage in what Apple defines as "tracking" to show a prompt to iOS 14 users, in accordance with their AppTrackingTransparency framework. Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14 devices via the prompt. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ad personalization and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.” - Facebook Help Center


What this means for marketing

Outbound targeting was already a mad dash methodology used as an alternative to building a long-term marketing strategy. Whether companies were new to digital marketing or had a quick ROI predisposition about how marketing online should work, overcoming the “I want it now” objection has been difficult. Even as an established agency, there are times we fall victim to the urge to “do things the easy way”.

Those days are numbered. It is time to focus on building helpful organic relationships with potential customers through inbound marketing methodology. Attract the right customers by offering value through content and giving customers the ability to interact with your brand on and offline. Nurture relationships with engagement and support. Serve existing customers to deliver delight and turn those happy customers into champions of your business, in turn, completing the full circle of inbound marketing. 

Nervous and not quite sure where to start?

We have an inbound marketing toolkit designed to help you get started. It contains not one, but five of our go-to tools that have helped marketing and communications individuals and teams jumpstart their path to success. 

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