Why iOS14 Changes Offer An Opportunity to Be Better Marketers & Content Creators

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Let me preface this by saying, I f#{king love data, however big data is like a flashlight. You only see what you directly shine it at.

Of course, being able to track everything from which ads are performing best with different ages or genders, to exactly which creative contributed to a purchase and the dollar value of that purchase is, unsurprisingly, insanely useful.

However, if you’ve ever advertised on Facebook you’ve no doubt seen multiple notices, warnings and guides on how to prepare for iOS14 changes, and what will be a loss of data.

Have I griped about it? Absolutely. But, this also presents an opportunity for us marketers and content creators to shift our focus and be, in a word, better.

What are iOS14 changes and what do they mean for us.

If you aren’t familiar with Apple’s newest update here’s a quick (and very simplified)  breakdown. Where once, iPhone and iPad users were automatically opted IN to data tracking on apps and browsers they are now automatically opted OUT.

This means that marketers and promoters will lose the ability to effectively track from Facebook what a person has done after clicking on an ad, or fully populate audiences to retarget. This will likely lead to conversions being under reported. Of course, there are workarounds with UTMs and other analytic tools to an extent, but we’re losing some insights into the user journey.

Bummer, right?

Well, depends on how you look at it.

What we did before big data

Marketing isn’t new. Heck, there are records of promotional mosaics dating back to Pompeii in 35 B.C.

The concept of using data to determine the efficacy and direction of campaigns though, well, that’s a blink of the eye.

There’s been countless ways to formalise market research prior to your Google Analytics and Pixels, but it all falls under the umbrella of qualitative research. 

And qualitative research is pretty damn powerful.

Ok, so what is qualitative research, and why should I care?

Qualitative research looks into the quality of something (in this case, specific answers of users) rather than the quantity.

It can come in the form of focus groups or senses and much more directly answers questions like, “Why?” or “How?”

Quantitative research can usually only give direct answers and, more importantly, only give those answers to the questions you’re asking.

Say, you’re split-testing 2 campaign creatives to see if one headline outperforms the other. Great. But how do you know there isn’t a third or fourth headline that may more effectively convey your message? How do you know what element of the headline isn’t working for someone, or what pain points you’re not addressing?

We can infer a lot from big data, but it can also be the equivalent to trying to find our lost car keys in the spot we usually put them, and not taking into account they could be somewhere unexpected.

How you can better source qualitative data

This is the part where you might say, “That’s all well and good, but focus groups are time-consuming and not exactly budget-friendly.”

You’re not wrong. BUT there are so many ways you can source information from your audience. Yes, they’re still a little time-consuming, but who knows. Maybe they’ll reveal something that never even crossed your mind.

Instagram “Questions”

Ok, this one is super easy. Literally, just use the ‘Questions’ sticker on your IG stories. It costs nothing and takes almost no time. Just make sure you avoid asking yes or no questions and instead ask more open ended ones. 

Online Surveys 

I feel like sometimes Online Surveys get a bad wrap because it can be hard to get users to actually engage. 

Yeah. It can be a struggle, but things that help include:

  • Keeping your survey as short as possible
  • Anonymising it can help
  • Offering an incentive to complete

I personally like Typeform but honestly, there are so many platforms out there, just take your pick. Like Instagram, where possible ask open ended questions. Pre-populating answers or dropdowns errs more towards quantitative.

Talk to your Ideal Customer

This is by far the most time consuming but if you have a friend, colleague, family member or whatever it may be that you think, “Yeah, you’d love my product or service” ask them.

Ask them what they like about it, what they don’t like. Ask what it would take to get them to purchase or what the barriers to entry are, and get their overall thoughts and feedback.

Try to check in with multiple people as much as possible and remember, sometimes it’s best to ask the people that aren’t closest to you to avoid any bias.

Caveats and words of advice for qualitative research

One thing to consider. 

The value of qualitative research is very much dependent on the questions you ask, or the ability to adapt the conversation to get more value from who you’re talking to. I’ve learned that from many a time of asking the wrong questions in surveys.

As a rule of thumb:

  • I said it before, I’ll say it again: ask open-ended questions. A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question gives you no real insight into why the person responded that way and may cause bias. Instead of “Is the service at X good”, try “What do you most like or dislike about the service at X”
  • Use words like how, what, identify, and outline to engineer and get more in-depth answers from participants
  • Keep questions specific. Instead of “What do you do on your weekends?” you could try “What do you look for when deciding which restaurant to eat at on a Friday night?”

If you have a question, comment, thought or general feedback we’d love to hear it, so drop it below or shoot us a message.

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