Data privacy was a popular topic in 2020, and rightfully so. What is ethical, or even legal, when it comes to consumer data? This is a question that tech giants, lawmakers, and advertisers are trying to figure out.

Historically, advertisers could build audiences from user data that the app provided, and have their campaigns’ ads populate on their target audience’s feeds. As time has progressed, restrictions on who can have access to what has significantly tightened. 

Fast forward to 2021, and Apple is throwing a wrench in Facebook’s advertising capabilities.

Apple announced that at some unknown point this year, iPhone users on iOS 14 will be asked to update their data privacy permissions in the App Privacy section of the App Store. This section will give you the capabilities of seeing what data is linked to you and what apps are using it.

On a consumer note – this is pretty great! Why wouldn’t consumers want to know what apps have access to their data? Most smartphone users would find this information pretty valuable.

Here is where things get hairy.

Can one company control how another company accesses its users’ information?

We don’t have the answer to that, but one thing we do know is Facebook doesn’t seem too pleased.

The issue that Facebook seems to have with this update is how this software update will affect the viability of Facebook Ad campaigns.

As users opt-out, the audience pool in which advertisers can promote their products, and in our case, the dealer’s inventory, will grow significantly smaller.

This is the exact reason why participating in third-party data is so crucial for car dealers using Facebook advertising in their marketing mix.

Check out our take on the update, direct from our VP of Sales, Jeff Glackin. ⤵️

There is a solution for car dealers.

Dealer Authority has had a partnership with a third-party data provider since 2018 and continues to see tremendous benefits to our dealer’s Facebook campaigns. We are confident that this software update will not have a notable impact on the standard campaigns running with third-party data

What’s more —  we can utilize this data to ensure that our dealers’ Facebook ads are reaching their target audiences, not just “automotive enthusiasts” or “lookalike audiences.”

Let’s use the example of the Honda Odyssey. A Honda dealer is looking to reach in-market shoppers for this car. Not only can our social team target credit scores, make, and model, but we can also build into the mix audiences like “Family Vacations,” “Minivans,” “Soccer Moms,” “New Parents” – the list goes on.

So, what’s the big deal?

There is a workaround for audiences on Facebook through third-party data, but will there be other effects to dealerships’ Facebook advertising? The answer is yes.

The biggest concern to advertisers is how this data privacy change will affect advertisers’ use of the Facebook Pixel. For those of you reading this who aren’t aware of the Facebook Pixel or how it functions, we can break this down for you quickly.

The Facebook Pixel is a handy bit of code applied to your dealership’s website that allows Facebook to see how traffic is converting from ads on the platform to your website. This enables advertisers to see how many click-to-call, lead form fills, and button clicks occur on your site. Facebook calls these conversions events.

How Advertisers can use ‘events’ after the iOS14 update will be different.

Once iOS 14 is live, advertisers will only track eight total events on a dealership’s website. If you are a dealer that hasn’t been using events in your Facebook ads, you will not see any effect from this. However, if you talk to a dealer who uses events in their advertising strategy, they will tell you just how valuable this information is.

In a nutshell – these events help qualify the ROI of an ad.

Advertisers like us can quickly tell our dealers just how well their ads are performing and opportunities to shift the strategy (and the dealer’s budget) to provide the most substantial lead conversions. 

The hitch in this new software update is that what was once a robust reporting tool for advertisers and clients to take a peek behind the scenes of what was happening as potential leads convert from Facebook to the dealer’s website is now significantly limited.

What’s even more frustrating is that if any Facebook advertiser delays updating their top eight events on their website but then decides after the iOS update takes place to go in and make changes, their campaigns will be in a 72-hour holding period.

The reasoning behind this hold period is still unclear to us, but be prepared. It will happen. You’ve been warned.

The key to getting ahead of the iOS14 update is putting in the prep work now.

If you are a dealer who uses Facebook advertising, we highly recommend connecting with your digital marketing provider and finding out how they will be handling this transition process. The key is to get ahead of the software update so that your ads don’t experience any delays.

If you would like to learn more about how Dealer Authority handles Facebook Advertising, contact us. We would be happy to assess your current ads and show you where there is room for improvement.

Article Sources:

Apple | Facebook Pixel | Jon Loomer

Curious how this change will affect your dealership’s Facebook Ads? Contact us.

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