Did Apple’s launch of iOS 14.5 affect Facebook ad spend?
Apple announced changes to its operating system that Facebook anticipated would impact how the company receives and processes conversions.
Data from StitcherAds -- a tech platform that helps retailers run ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat -- found that spend on Facebook reached more than 90% of the year-over-year post-iOS 14.5 rollout. StitcherAds is used by major brands to deliver dynamic advertising across social media platforms.
The study was conducted with large brands in the sectors of apparel, discount, and department stores. The company defined “large brands” as accounts that consistently spent a minimum $300,000 monthly in the past year. The majority are household names and are publicly traded companies.
Did brands spend more to reach the same amount of consumers?
StitcherAds examined nearly 46 retailers’ spend on Facebook between April 3 and April 30, 2021, comparing year-over-year and month-over-month shifts in spending.
The analysis found that shifts in spend rose 135.74% between April 3 and April 30, compared with the same time period a year ago.
Month-over-month (MoM) spend rose 19% between March 6 and April 2, 2020, driven by bigger increases beginning April 27 -- the day after the iOS 14.5 update rolled out.
Since the update, MoM and year-over-year (YoY) spend increases have remained above 90%.
The data suggests that brands now spend more on advertising following the update to maintain their share of voice.
The data shows an increase in spend for the time analyzed, but can analysts accurately attribute the YoY shift to a year of uncertainty during a pandemic when brands reduced or stopped their advertising spend?
“We checked this first and saw the YoY increases were during a gradual increase in 2020, when brands began to ramp up for ecommerce coverage due to loss of in-store sales,” said Bryan Cano, director of media strategy at StitcherAds.
Brands have been expecting the update and learning about the impacts since November," Cano said, and “they may see increases in the cost per acquisition.” He added that “to maintain the volume of purchases, brands are leaning into the update by increasing spend levels allowing them to reach more audiences and maintain a target volume of sales.”
Retailers focus on maintaining their share of voice through advertising, Cano said. With an anticipated increase in costs, and to maintain YoY growth, StitcherAds sees brands planning and triggering incremental budgets.