What Does Apple’s Advertising Uproar Mean to SMBs?

09/22/2017

Apple has earned the ire of advertisers lately with its plans to alter the cookie policy for its Safari browser on mobile. The main change is that Apple will delete all cookie data after 24 hours, where in the past marketers and ad tech providers could access cookie data for 30 days.
 
Six major advertising trade groups have joined together to oppose this plan, because, as Ad Age puts it, Apple’s new policy is “likely to cause havoc for marketers trying to determine the results of their mobile advertising ads.”
 
There are ramifications here for advertisers of all sizes because Safari holds more than a 51%  market share, according to StatCounter data from August. The traditional audience targeting tactics and technologies that many advertisers have become reliant upon are suddenly no longer viable on half of the browsers across the mobile web. But that doesn’t mean that SMB advertisers should abandon mobile. There are many other options.
 
To begin with, mobile opens up a new world of opportunity beyond the traditional cookie-based targeting of desktops. While cookies rely on web-surfing habits, mobile offers other data signals, including geographic data. SMB advertisers can leverage this for geo-fenced campaigns which target consumers on a hyperlocal level. This is especially important to small businesses, who don’t want to spend on consumers who live too far away to ever become customers. Combined with other capabilities such as contextual targeting, where the ads are delivered based on the fit with content and tone on the website pages being viewed, mobile allows SMB advertisers to deliver relevant offers even with Apple’s changes.

Many advertisers with a mobile focus may turn to apps. In light of Apple’s move, Facebook and Google certainly look more appealing, because they will maintain their own proprietary targeting capabilities. Here at AffinityX, we’ve written about how Facebook can’t serve as an SMBs only advertising avenues. This remains true and also applicable to Google even with Apple’s changes. If SMBs really want to reach their audience wherever they are, they need to invest across multiple channels and media options.
 
As with all changes to the advertising technology landscape, AffinityX will continue to monitor Apple’s moves and the impact they will have on SMB advertisers, as well as the marketing services providers that partner with us and guide these SMBs. We keep up with the latest mobile advertising strategies and technology, ensuring providers leverage these on behalf of their SMB audiences and maintain pace with the industry.