The Impact of iOS 14.5 on Digital Marketing


With the release of iOS 14.5 in April 2021, Apple made significant changes to its privacy policies that have had a significant impact on digital marketing. The new update has left marketers struggling to adapt to the new changes, as they now have to grapple with a lack of access to user data that was previously available to them.

One of the most significant changes in iOS 14.5 is the introduction of App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This feature requires apps to explicitly ask for a user’s permission before they can collect data about them. As a result, users are given the option to either allow or deny an app access to their data.

This change has a direct impact on digital marketing because it makes it more challenging for advertisers to track users across apps and websites. It has effectively limited the amount of data available to them, which in turn makes it more difficult to deliver targeted advertising.

The introduction of ATT means that users are now in control of their data, and they have the power to decide whether they want to share their information with third-party advertisers or not. This change has been welcomed by privacy advocates who argue that users should have control over their data.

However, for digital marketers, this means that they have to find new ways to collect user data, as they can no longer rely on traditional methods such as tracking pixels, cookies, and device IDs. This is particularly challenging for small businesses that may not have the resources to develop sophisticated data collection techniques.

Campaign Measurement & Reporting

The impact of iOS 14.5 on digital marketing is not limited to data collection. The new update also affects how advertisers measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. With the new update, Apple has introduced a new framework called SKAdNetwork, which measures the effectiveness of advertising campaigns without compromising user privacy.

SKAdNetwork provides advertisers with limited data about the performance of their campaigns, including the number of clicks, installs, and post-install events. However, it does not provide any information about the individual users who interacted with the ads.

This has significant implications for advertisers who are used to measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns based on user-level data. With the new update, they will have to rely on aggregated data and statistical modeling to assess the performance of their campaigns. This is likely to lead to more uncertainty and lower accuracy in their measurement efforts.


In addition to these changes, iOS 14.5 has also made it more difficult for advertisers to target specific audiences. The update has limited the amount of data available for targeting, which means that advertisers have to rely on contextual targeting methods, such as targeting based on the content of the app or website that the user is interacting with.

This change is particularly challenging for advertisers who rely on specific audience segments for their campaigns. For example, advertisers who target users based on their location, age, or interests may find it more difficult to reach their intended audience.


Despite the challenges posed by iOS 14.5, there are still some opportunities for digital marketers. One potential area for growth is the use of first-party data. With the new update, businesses that have a direct relationship with their customers can still collect data with their consent.

By developing a relationship with their customers and encouraging them to opt-in to data collection, businesses can still collect valuable insights that can be used to deliver targeted advertising. This requires businesses to invest in building relationships with their customers and providing them with a compelling reason to share their data.

Another potential opportunity for digital marketers is the use of contextual targeting. With the new update, advertisers are forced to focus on the content of the app or website that the user is interacting with, rather than relying on individual user data. This can be a powerful way to reach users who are engaged with specific types of content.

For example, an advertiser that sells running shoes can target users who are interacting with fitness apps or websites, rather than relying on user data. This can result in more relevant and effective advertising for the user, and potentially higher engagement rates for the advertiser.

In addition to these opportunities, digital marketers can also focus on building stronger relationships with their customers. By providing valuable content, personalised experiences, and excellent customer service, businesses can build trust and loyalty with their customers.

This can lead to increased engagement, more positive reviews, and ultimately, more sales. By focusing on building long-term relationships with their customers, businesses can create a sustainable marketing strategy that is not reliant on third-party data or advertising platforms.


Overall, the impact of iOS 14.5 on digital marketing has been significant. The new update has made it more challenging for advertisers to collect user data, measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, and target specific audiences.

However, there are still opportunities for digital marketers who are willing to adapt and find new ways to engage with their customers. By focusing on first-party data, contextual targeting, and building stronger relationships with their customers, businesses can still create effective marketing campaigns in the post-iOS 14.5 era.

In conclusion, the impact of iOS 14.5 on digital marketing has been significant, but not insurmountable. By embracing new strategies and technologies, businesses can still succeed in the digital landscape, even in the face of changing privacy policies and user behaviour. The key is to stay flexible, stay informed, and be willing to experiment with new approaches to marketing.

Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

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