Is iOS15 Actually An Opportunity For Marketers?

It is, especially for marketers who have a transparent relationship with their audience. Here’s why.

What is iOS15 and why is it important for marketers

iOS 15 is the upcoming release from Apple, and it’s the latest in tech companies’ collective response to consumers’ privacy requirements. According to Apple, iOS15 will launch in the autumn of 2021 so there’s time to start updating how you engage your audience.

This will impact marketers — earlier this year, Apple reported that there are 1 billion active iPhones worldwide. In addition, email viewed on mobile accounts for at least 50% of open rates.

What’s changing?

  • Until now, email marketing has always been a great way to interact with your audience. In fact, a study by DMA (Data & Marketing Association) found that for every £1, the expected ROI (return on investment) is £35.  But once iOS15 comes into play, one of the key areas it will restrict is cookie tracking on emails opened in Apple’s Mail app. According to Apple, Mail Privacy Protection will prevent pixel tracking, which means email senders will not see whether an email has been opened and hide both location and IP address. The analytics and/or insights a marketer is able to glean from their email broadcast tools/marketing automation platforms will be further limited.
  • The second significant change that will impact marketers is the hidden email feature called Hide My Email, where Apple users will never have to share their real email address unless they want to, reports Wired magazine. This will give users the ability to use a spoof/fake email address and further protect their data.

  • These changes will put even more back power into the hands of consumers and allow them to choose what information they share with brands. This has been a slow but sure process for years, with browsers removing third-party cookies.

How iOS15 and the privacy update will impact marketers

With this upcoming update, there will soon be a question mark on email open rate, software used by the audience, and their location. Going forward, marketers will need to ask for this information — and other details — directly from the source. 

For brands that have relied solely on information from third-party cookies and pixel tracking, it will be difficult to adjust to the new normal. However for brands looking to create an equitable value exchange, this can and will be a positive shift. 

Especially for brands that use gamification as part of their engagement strategy, they are already accustomed to providing a memorable experience in exchange for information. Gamification campaigns use game mechanics to activate the brain and in doing so, chemicals we crave like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins are released into our brains. 

By using game mechanics to engage their audience, brands can provide rewards and experiences that consumers actually want. Gamification is the trigger that will get your target audience to interact with you.

Why it’s an opportunity for you from Playable’s point of view

iOS15 is just the latest in a series of updates and changing policies — from GDPR to Google Chrome removing third-party cookie tracking. What was once seen as a radical move has now just become mainstream and meant to protect consumers by putting them back in the driver’s seat and giving them more control of their data.  

We see this as a chance to build up your own trusted database by asking for data directly from your audience. And gamification can help to alleviate challenges marketers face with acquisition and building trust, because by changing the relationship, brands can encourage consumers to share their details because they want to. 

Businesses and brands shouldn’t want to ‘trick’ their audiences into giving them data. But by upping their game and demonstrating a clear value exchange by creating engaging content, and engaging with their audience differently, brands can see a positive impact with these changing policies from Apple, Google, and others. 

Perhaps you’re thinking, can it really be this easy? Well, with a platform that does the hard work for you — making the game — it can be that simple for brands to inject gamification into their marketing strategy. That’s because game mechanics appeal to us on a fundamental level and by asking us to compete, to get rewarded for that, and to have fun, well those are three very good reasons for brands to associate your brand or business with these positive emotions. 

Even if you aren’t ready to use a gamification platform, you can begin by using game mechanics and thinking as you design communication and experiences for your target audience. It starts with a single step. Are you game?