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Unprepared Ep 52 - How Apple’s iOS 14 May Change Your Facebook Ads with Kurt Bullock


  • [00:00] - Sponsor: Rewind
  • [00:40] - Intro
  • [01:40] - Changes with iOS 14 
  • [02:30] - Adjustments on Facebook's attribution window
  • [04:10] - FB returns, sales trends, and ad accounts
  • [05:00] - How to make sure you're making sales 
  • [05:40] - Considerations for campaigns and channels
  • [07:00] - Be flexible with your ad spend
  • [10:38] - Where to find Kurt


Key Points:

  • The Produce Department focuses on paid traffic especially on Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
  • Apple has announced changes with iOS 14 which will affect tools like the Facebook pixel. It will be blocking Pixel events from the Facebook app on iPhones.
  • It will also impact how iOS 14 is interacting with how websites can track users.
  • Apple will be delaying the data that comes back to Facebook in terms of conversions. Users can opt-out from being tracked, thereby limiting the data that comes back to Facebook. 
  • The attribution window on Facebook will change. This is what most people look at when they're talking about return on ad spend. 
  • Most advertising on the back-end of Facebook uses the 28-day attribution which Facebook will remove. 
  • Now, it will be a 7-day click but you can still set it to a 7-day view one day click if you want. However, some of that view data may not be coming through in the same quantities it was before.
  • Everyone's metrics will become askew with whomever you're using your ads.
  • Facebook is still seeing returns, although it is harder to track than before. 
  • There isn’t a huge dip in the performance, it’s mostly on the reporting side so far.
  • People are retooling what KPIs they find important in their data/reports. 
  • Look at your sales to your ad spend and use it to help you move forward to ensure that you are still making sales.
  • Don't put your eggs in one basket. Set up other channels and owned channels like email. You can also have a flagship channel and a secondary channel. 
  • If you are investing in paid media, you have to have at least email set up and going. In Ecommerce, SMS is doing well and also push notification is another option.
  • Build those insights and data so you can switch where your spend is going to have the predictability of what's going to happen.
  • The Produce Department has been split testing their clients pop up and email capture forms to ensure that we're capturing as many emails as they can.


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    Chase Clymer  

    Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Unprepared. I'm your host, Chase Clymer. Today, welcome to the show, my go-to guy when I have Facebook advertising questions, Kurt Bullock. How are you doing today?

    Kurt Bullock  

    Doing all right, how are you doing today, Chase?

    Chase Clymer  

    Doing fantastic. I'm sure that you're having fun. So this is Thursday, January 28, is when we're recording this. And the internet is full of memes about the stock market. So it's been fun to watch today. 

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yeah, it's been entertaining, and terrifying too. (laughs)

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, it depends on your perspective, I guess. But also in the news lately is what we're going to talk about today, which is the advent of iOS 14, and how that interacts with not only just Facebook, but Facebook's the one that's getting the big issues with it. They're, you know, they're up in arms about it. 

    But essentially, how iOS 14 is interacting with how websites can track users and how that affects advertising. So you know, what, what are your thoughts? What have you seen? What have you read? How's that happening?

    Kurt Bullock  

    So the super, super high-level view then not going to detail, right? iOS 14 is coming out, they're gonna be blocking pixel events from the Facebook app on iPhones. 

    And so as of response, Facebook has made a bunch of changes. They're going to be doing things like. they're going to get, well, Apple is going to be delaying the data that comes back to Facebook in terms of conversions. 

    People can opt-out of being tracked and that's gonna also limit the data that comes back. So basically, the three words like I was listening to all the webinars that Facebook gave about this, and they were talking about restricting, and you know, aggregating the data, so and delaying. 

    Those are the three words that are coming in there. So we're gonna have to learn to work with different data.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, I've read a lot that one of the main things that are gonna be coming from an advertiser side is they're just getting rid of, on the Facebook side, they're getting rid of the 28-day view, just in general, which was the default view for most advertising on the back end of Facebook. Now, it's going down to the default is 7 day I believe.

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yep. So now it's 7-day click. Down from 28-day, click 1-day view down to 7-day is where they're defaulting it but you can still set it to 7-day view 1-day, click if you want to. 

    Although some of that view data may not be coming through in the same quantity as it was before. So yeah, attribution window's changing.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah. And that's usually what most people are looking at when you're talking about return on ad spend. 

    So, you know, just everyone out there, your metrics are going to be wonky with whomever you're using to do your ads, whether it's internally, you're doing it yourself, you know, you have a team member, or you're working with a partner - ride the wave, because they're experiencing it just as you are. 

    And literally, they didn't warn anybody really. They said this is happening. And then it happened like two weeks later without releasing any information,

    Kurt Bullock  

    Right. We hear like, Oh, it's gonna happen in Q1. And at the end of Q1, and then it's February, and then it's, well, it might happen in the next two weeks is kind of the last thing. And then, by the way, we're gonna change all of your stuff this week, all your, you know, reporting.

    So everybody's making adjustments and trying to figure out how to determine if things are working or not, and how to optimize their campaigns. And that's what people are figuring out, are going to be figuring out in these next couple weeks.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, the one thing I do want to point out though is it's Facebook still spending money and people are still seeing returns. It's just harder to track it right now. 

    And people are retooling what KPIs they find important in their data and in their reports, but we still have clients spending exactly what they were spending and the trend lines for where their sales are looking the same.

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yeah, that's a very good point. And I, I would say the same thing, in terms of our ad accounts. I mean, we haven't seen a huge dip in performance. It's mostly on the reporting side so far. 

    Now, iOS 14.4 is just barely being pushed out like today and maybe yesterday or something to some phones. So we'll see what happens as this goes out. 

    But that's a good point. You know, you mentioned looking at sales. That's something that we're looking at in all of our client accounts. 

    Just, you know, we went back historically and calculated, alright, what's our ad spend to like total sales ratio? And people call it different things, right blended ROAS or MER media efficiency ratio, all these different names for it. 

    But essentially, look at your sales to your spend. And historically, and then you can use that to help you moving forward to make sure that you are making sales and you're not tanking without knowing it because your reporting is weird.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, I think that you know, in the next couple of weeks, there'll be something that comes out that the community will latch on to as kind of like the new standard. So that's something that we definitely want to keep our eyes peeled for. 

    But this does go back to something I always like to harp on. And I'd love to hear your insights is, you know, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Look, what just happened and this has happened before with Facebook.

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yeah, totally agree. So that's something that we're focusing on with all of our clients. Like when we look at a client, now, a potential client, one of the things that we're looking for is some resilience in terms of their willingness or if they're already spending in other channels, other platforms, and a focus on email, you know, and these other sorts of owned channels is super important.

    Chase Clymer  

    Absolutely. So I would say if you are investing in paid media, you have to have at least email set up and going, or you are burnt, you're literally wasting money. I would even double down as far as to say, especially in Ecommerce SMS is doing really well. For some SMS isn't an option, and push notifications make more sense. 

    Those are considerations that you need to have. And then on the paid media side, you can obviously have your flagship channel, oftentimes, that's Facebook and Instagram. But you need a secondary channel too. Just in case something like this happens. 

    You need to be kind of building those insights, building that data. And, you know, if there's something weird that happens, you need to be able to kind of switch where your spend is going and at least have the predictability of what's going to happen.

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yeah. I mean, we've been along those lines, with a number of our clients doing things like split testing their pop-ups, their email, capture forms, to make sure that, hey, we're spending money and sending people to the site, let's make sure that we're capturing as many of those email addresses as we can. 

    In some client accounts for focusing more on actually running email capture campaigns, lead gen campaigns, but yeah, totally agree. You got to have your email flows set up otherwise, you're just leaving money on the table, and everything you're doing is less efficient. 

    Chase Clymer  

    Oh, absolutely. I mean, email is something where you build it all out. You get all these automations, get all these touchpoints built out. And then you know, you're prospecting with Facebook and Instagram, and you're bringing people into the funnel. 

    And once that flywheel starts to work around, like month three, you'll see this, you know, bump where the flywheel starts to kick in. And it's bringing in the people that need that long tail, they need those extra touches to convert, and it just starts working, and it starts building upon itself.

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yeah. And one interesting thing, you know, we have a furniture client and their sales sort of cycle is longer. And we're not going to see all that stuff in Facebook like we used to, with the 28-day click. Their sales cycle would extend beyond that 28 days in many cases. 

    But so yeah, now we're really putting a focus on email, and also synchronizing some of those lists from Klaviyo to Facebook, so we can keep those multiple touchpoints, but focusing on welcome flows just to really nurture prospects, after they have that those first encounters with the brand, probably through paid traffic.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, I mean I saw an awesome article yesterday that I shared with Ryan, our media buyer, and I'll actually put, I'll try to make sure it's in the show notes here. But it was just kind of insights from about a dozen brands or so and they were spending just a lot of money. Millions of dollars. 

    And it kind of just was like showing what happens when you go from a 28 day click down to like a seven day click and insights like that. But one of the things that they brought up there was like, if you're talking about anything that is more of a luxury item, that's not an impulse buy, and that the example they use was couches, which you know, furniture, they're like, that's not going to show up in any of these windows. 

    You know what I mean? So it's like, while these things are going to affect everybody, they're going to affect them differently and if you've got a direct response type impulse product versus a long term luxury product. Those are two different strategies.

    Kurt Bullock  

    Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, do your conversion, you know, the time period is one thing you look at. Also, just like we have different mixes of Android to iOS with our different clients, too. It's interesting. 

    We've got clients in auto space, and a lot of them are running Android devices, at least there's a higher ratio, you know, of them that are compared to our clients that are in other spaces. So some of our clients, iOS is like a really small part and it's gonna affect them less. 

    So anyway, it's good to run stats on all of your own campaigns and your customer base and see how much this might affect you. And you have to have context is the point right? For your individual campaign.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah. Now, if somebody is getting into paid ads or they kind of want to pick your brain about stuff, how do they get ahold of you? What are you guys good at?

    Kurt Bullock  

    So yeah, we focus on paid traffic primarily on Facebook and Instagram and Google. And so you can reach me at Twitter. It's just @kurtbullock, or website producedept.co. It's spelt D-E-P-T producedept.co, which is not optimal.

    At any rate, yeah. And so happy to bat around ideas on Twitter or however you want to reach out to me if I can be of help.

    Chase Clymer  

    Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on and sharing.

    Kurt Bullock

    Right on. Good to talk with you.