Apple: The Brand I Love to Hate and Hate to Love

I hate Apple but I love my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro:-) Apple’s technology makes my life easier yet it makes my business life challenging. Tim Cook says that Apple’s privacy focus is designed to protect consumers, but is that really their motive? Does Apple have something to gain where advertisers lose out? Likely!

I feel for all of our readers, members, and partners. You have spent years developing processes, systems, and protocols designed to deal with consumers on their iPhones, iPads, and iMacs. But after today (and last year), you must feel betrayed, frustrated, and angry. It makes me wonder if the “i” in all these product names represents me, the consumer, or Apple themselves.

I like my hair so I won’t pull it out. Instead, today I stop griping and I start planning ways to work around the challenges Apple has created. If you don’t know what I am referring to, please read one or all of the articles below and then read some suggestions that we have to overcome some of the challenges Apple has inflicted on your business. If you know what I am talking about, jump ahead.

3 Good Reads

Apple iOS 15 Has Marketers Poised for Hardship

IOS 15 Is Coming Out On Sept. 20, With The Paint Barely Dry On ATT

Why email marketers are calling Apple’s iOS 15 update ‘a proverbial nail in the coffin’

iOS 15 Solutions

As I sit here waiting for my iOS 15 update to finish, I am pondering ideas to help our members overcome any challenges it presents for their marketing strategies.This takes me back to about a year ago when Apple released iOS 14.5. Back then, some people believed it was the beginning of the end to ad targeting. Cohorts were all the rage, and traditional media channels came into vogue again. Since then, many Marketers have focused on the things they could control, like creative, content targeting, and leveraging old channels that have joined the 21st century. Sometimes, the best solution isn’t the obvious one.

Over the coming days and weeks, you will read headlines and articles about how email marketing is dead because brands can’t measure open rates or leverage geolocation data. I would first remind people that only about half of U.S. consumers use an iPhone and less globally. Sure, they are the move coveted ones because they are willing to shell out $1,000 for a phone but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other customers to be had. I would also note that open rates are just one data point in a litany of data points Marketers and Analysts can look at. In the end, all that matters is engagement and sales.

There are a number of things Marketers can do today that will help them overcome the challenges iOS 15 presents them. Some of these solutions will be directly related to email and some will be indirect but can help achieve the same goals. There are absolutely many more than the ones listed here but hopefully these will get the creative juices flowing. Let us know what you think.

Zembula integrates with your existing ESP and helps brands personalize their email with engaging content tools. Just because you won’t know who and when someone is opening your email, doesn’t mean you can’t personalize it to generate higher engagement. This will make users want to click through to your website and probably buy at a higher rate and higher AOV. Zembula hosted a webinar last week that reviewed 5 tools to boost engagement so check it out here.

FindMine Is a different kind of personalization tool that leverages a brands catalog to create personal experiences in ads, landing pages, email, and PDP’s. Imagine sending a user an email highlighting a outfit that you identified as being on target based on your data. And because your product targeting was so spot on, she clicked through the email and landed on a page with the entire outfit instead on just one product.  Now you have made it easier for the consumer to double her spend with you. All you need to execute something like this is your catalog feed, no pixels, no integration, nothing.

Textual takes your email strategy and moves it over to SMS. We have all seen those pop ups when landing on a website asking for our mobile phone number in exchange for 10% off our next purchase, right? Well instead of just giving away money, why not offer up a value? You can still leverage your website traffic to pop up a message but say something to the effect of, “Be the first to know when our new collection arrives” or “Be the first to know when our sales launch.” Textual then makes SMS a shopping experience instead of an information experience. Brands could push a product of the week with a countdown timer in an SMS and the user can text to buy without ever visiting the site. Textual handles the backend.

PebblePost could be an amazing alternative to email. PebblePost is physical mail that is targeted and delivered via digital data and workflows. PebblePost learns your shoppers behavior and segments users based on their propensity to buy. Then they target the right consumers with messages designed for them. PebblePost helps brands get their message into the home where a decision is likely going to be made. What’s really cool is that they have their own user graph that covers 98% of U.S homes and they measure success via incrementality so you know exactly what their value is from start to finish.

As you read more and more articles about iOS 15, you will hear suggestions that you should further diversify your marketing channels. Those people would be right. Over the last year, consumers have doubled their time on digital channels so you need to be everywhere your customers are. They are driving their cars, shopping in malls, eating in restaurants, listening to music, news, and podcasts. This should lead you to digital out-of-home and audio advertising, both digital and terrestrial. Cogent can help you with these channels and all the ones listed above so please let us know if you want to brainstorm ideas that could be right for you. We know you can’t do everything so we want to help you figure out what you should do and help you navigate those conversations so you can get the best deals possible, knowing that we will hold them accountable.

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