For most marketers, third-party identifier deprecation is now old news. But here's something that may be new news to you. Brands that run their digital campaigns exclusively on third-party cookies (3PCs) are missing out on 50% of consumers using cookie-free browsers, including Apple Safari, according to analytics and reporting company Demand Sage. In fact, Apple users tend to spend more than non-Apple users and make up 70% of in-market customers—a pretty big miss if you can't connect with them.
And now for the good news: Adopting a first-party data strategy and activating with the right digital media partner can help you reach the right customers on any device. How do you like them apples?
Apple's privacy approach
Ongoing privacy changes and regulations have posed challenges for digital marketers that prevent accurate and effective targeting of Apple users. Apple users cannot be reached through 3PC-dependent messaging methods. Why?
For one: Safari blocks 3PC tracking by default and has since 2016. Users have to opt-in to allow third-party cookies. They've also introduced several different privacy measures since 2020, including App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and Mail Privacy Protections (MPP), which limits brands who use IP addresses and other non-consent based identifiers for targeting, activation and measurement. These changes are designed to increase consumer privacy protections, but critics say Apple is using these mechanisms to bolster its own digital advertising services while shutting others out.
This isn't just an Apple problem. Around half of consumers prefer using Safari, Firefox, and various in-app environments—all cookie-free browsers. For marketers, this signals a potential disconnect from a substantial segment of the market.
Consumers prefer the taste of Apple
The presence of Apple device users across the web is undeniable. An estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide use iPhones and it's popularity is expected to grow in the years ahead since nearly 90% of teenagers own an iPhone. Further, according to Epsilon data, an impressive 70% of consumers can be reached on an Apple device, emphasizing the importance of engaging these devices to interact with potential customers.
However, these numbers don’t tell the full story. Apple users aren’t just abundant – they’re affluent. In the U.S. the median iPhone app user earns 40% more than the median Android user. Epsilon research discovered that a retailer with a strong Apple customer base experienced 26% higher revenue per customer with Apple users compared to their non-Apple user customers.
So what's a marketer to do?
Getting a bigger slice of Apple users
Fortunately, this situation isn’t entirely bleak. A strong identity solution and first-party data strategy can lay the groundwork for better media activation that reaches Apple users and beyond. For many brands, this may seem like a pipe dream. Whether they have a lot of first-party data or a little, many aren't activating it effectively to maximize it's use. They need to ask themselves: "What is the status of our first-party data, and are we using it to its highest potential?"
This is where a strong adtech partner can come into play. Reaching the right in-market customers—including those on Apple devices—is possible when a media activation partner uses identity resolution that relies on resilient, privacy-safe, person-level consented identifiers. When brands do so, they aren't limited to cookie-based marketing that results in not only missed customers, but also missed attributed outcomes when a customer does convert. Identity resolution solutions that include data enhancements take it even a step further, giving brand's clearer insights into their customers, their preferred devices and their behaviors outside of a brand's limited scope of them. Ultimately this leads to more efficient ad spend, better measurement and attribution for conversions and a reduction in unintended oversaturation.
At Epsilon, we use CORE ID, the industry's most accurate, stable and scalable identity resolution solution, as part of our Epsilon Digital media activation platform. This empowers marketers to reach Apple device users and those in cookie-free environments to deliver personalized messages and measurable outcomes.
Reaching more in-market customers: A thing of beauty
So how does all of this play out in the marketplace? Here's a strong example from one of our clients. A beauty retailer found that reaching customers on cookieless environments was important because it accounted for half their site traffic. Additionally, their Apple and Safari convertors spend almost 20% more than their non-Apple and Safari customers. In a head-to-head test against a global DSP competitor, Epsilon reached 2.5x more customers, whereas the competitor lost reach to customers, especially in those cookie-less environments where it was harder to unify multiple customer profiles as one individual.
Epsilon Digital offers advanced solutions that boost both engagement and revenue. Eager to learn more? Visit our website here.