In June, Apple announced their new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature for Safari. Advertisers responded with an open letter expressing their concerns. Apple responded to the letter last Friday saying it’s not going anywhere. So, what do you need to know?
What does Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention do?
Commonly known as an “ad tracking blocker,” the feature’s goal is to inhibit advertisers’ remarketing efforts. It disables the use of third-party cookies 24 hours after someone engages with the site. Apple refers to this as “protecting user privacy.”
Apple’s official diagram is below.
How does it affect advertisers in general?
Remarketing lists will likely shrink. While Safari doesn’t hold a large market share of desktop traffic, it does represent a certain market segment. Since Safari is only available on Apple devices and Apple devices appeal to a more affluent consumer, anyone targeting that type of audience might see greater-than-average implications.
How can I find out if it will affect me?
First, analyze your web traffic and find out how much of your traffic comes from Safari on desktop computers. Then, take a look at your time-to-conversion metrics. Remember, this feature disables cookies after 24 hours of engaging with a site, so you can still remarket to someone within one day of them expressing interest.
This isn’t so bad, if your product has a quick sales cycle. But, unfortunately, higher education does not.
What can you do?
Keep your eyes (and your options) open! Watch your remarketing lists, your site traffic, your key performance indicators… Keep a close watch on everything. Don’t ignore any red flags. If you do start to see results slipping, it’s not the end of the world! There are plenty of alternative platforms to continue remarketing to your site users. And, remarketing is not the only effective tactic to reach individuals in the market for your products/services/programs.
When considering other ways to target your audience, first think about what you know about them. Are they usually in high school? Five years into a career? Are they artists? Etc. Audience profiles will help you to build out highly-detailed if your remarketing needs a supplement.
For remarketing, take a look at social media. These options will particularly be useful if Intelligent Tracking Prevention spreads to mobile browsers, since anyone using any one of these social media sites on a desktop in Safari would still have their cookies disabled. Facebook isn’t likely to deliver such a huge blow to their advertisers, so remarketing will likely continue to be a solid option on Facebook and Instagram (since Facebook Owns Instagram, the remarketing options are very similar). YouTube also has the ability to remarket to your site visitors, if you have a great video to utilize. If you haven’t checked those out yet, take a look at a few of our other blogs:
- Social Media For Graduate Prospects
- Social Media to Reach Gen Z
- The End of Free Social Media
- Mobile Advertising: There’s an App for That!
For now, this feature is only available on Safari on desktop. But this one step could snowball for digital marketers if it expands to Safari on mobile (goodbye, iPhone users!) or if other browsers follow suite. My advice? Of course, keep watching for the spread of Intelligent Tracking Prevention. But also keep your eyes open for the ad tech industry to respond. Innovation is key to advertising, and ad products will continue to evolve in response.