iOS 11 has been here for under a month, and advertisers and publishers are still waiting to see exactly how its changes are going to affect their revenues. Many fear that without the ability to utilize third-party cookies, the ads that they serve will become less targeted and therefore less effective, meaning they are ultimately less valuable.
But it seems that the duopoly might have pulled an ace out of their sleeve to combat Apple’s recent change: digital ads that are informed by real-world experiences.
It is no coincidence that since the launch of iOS 11, both Facebook and Alphabet have announced new tools that alter the way ads work on their platforms. Facebook will now give brands the option to target users who have recently visited a physical, real-world location. Likewise, YouTube will help advertisers to leverage data from Google Maps to target potential customers.
Google says Custom Affinity Audiences—using these intent-based audiences—can be more powerful than campaigns based on demographic. In fact, Google estimate that running these campaigns on mobile can help with ad recall (20% lift) and brand awareness (50% higher). The data was based on early results from over 1,000 advertisers.
Of course, users have the option to turn off location tracking if they are uncomfortable, but these new tools represent an attempt to keep delivering ads that are specific and targeted—despite Apple’s recent changes.