With all the hype about Apple’s brand new iPhone 5 and the excitable iOS 6, many marketers are bombarded with potential new marketing prospects, opinions, and numbers that vary back and forth. There are so many things that marketers can be excited about with Apple’s new innovations, and everyone is trying to report them all at once. However, there is one aspect of iOS 6 that advertisers may see as a big speed bump in their mobile advertising campaign with Apple. A feature that has come with iOS 6 that is being reported all over the web is one that gives users the ability to block advertising tracking.
Essentially, the information that advertisers used to be able to use to target certain iPhone users can now be switched on or off by choice of the iPhone user. When users use the new anti-tracking feature, their behavior cannot be tracked by advertisers, therefore making targeting them nearly impossible.
CNet reports this statement from Apple;
“iOS 6 introduces the Advertising Identifier, a nonpermanent, nonpersonal, device identifier, that advertising networks will use to give you more control over advertisers’ ability to use tracking methods. If you choose to limit ad tracking, advertising networks using the Advertising Identifier may no longer gather information to serve you targeted ads. In the future all advertising networks will be required to use the Advertising Identifier. However, until advertising networks transition to using the Advertising Identifier you may still receive targeted ads from other networks.”
So, as of now, targeting iPhone users will not be completely out of the control of advertisers, but eventually every marketer with an advertising campaign on Apple devices will have to abide by the restrictions of the feature.
Since a huge number of mobile users strive to avoid advertising on their phones, there is a very good chance that the feature will be well used. Of course, this only hurts targeted ads on Apple devices, but those seem to be popping up more and more on mobile devices these days.
The transition from Apple’s older ad tracking settings to the new optional tracking switch may take a while but Apple has not released an actual timeline for it. This will give advertisers time to assess the impact that the new feature will have on their Apple mobile campaigns.
The opinions of how this new feature will affect the popularity of marketing with Apple are fluctuating, still. Some say it will have very little impact, but others see it as a significant mistake from iOS 6 developers. Either way, the feature will be here soon, and smartphone users will start to use it. We will just have to wait and see how Apple advertising performs after people start switching off the option of ad tracking. I say that Apple will be fine, because of all of the other forms of marketing that are available on mobile devices today.