I’m not going to lie, when I first heard about the iOS14 update at the end of last year, I didn’t want to hear it. I decided it could firmly stay in the too hard basket until the mad dash to Christmas that every agency is probably familiar with was done.
Coming back to work at the beginning of Jan though, I knew it was time to dust off those articles flagged as ‘to read’ in my inbox. Despite my personal feelings of trepidation, I wanted to put my most confident foot forward to guide not only our team but also our clients through these changes that were on the way whether I liked it or not.
This hasn’t been the easiest six or so months in my time time at TDP but it’s been incredibly rewarding in a number of ways so in case you’re interested I thought I’d share how I went about showing the iOS14 update who was boss. [Hint: it me 😉]
The first step was making myself the expert
I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with data as a digital marketer but I’ve also kept it pretty surface level mainly based on reporting and interpreting rather than understanding the mechanics behind how it’s captured.
This needed to change [and FAST] so as quickly as I could I consumed everything I could find about what the changes actually meant, how we could prepare and what they would mean for the work we do with our clients.
I sought to share this info with our team as much as possible to empower them in the process but also acknowledged that we were in another busy period as we started to kick back into swing again for the year after the Christmas break and didn’t want every member of our team to feel burdened by what was ahead.
I hoped that telling them I had it all under control and had a plan so there was no cause to panic would take the personal impetus off each of them so they could focus on their immediate tasks at hand.
As for if that worked, well… you’d have to ask them 😉 but our general vibes at this point were pretty calm in light of the situation at hand.
Next up, we prepared early and confidently
As soon as we had all the deets, we acted as swiftly as possible to share this info with not only our clients but also our beautiful community.
Rather than waiting for all of our clients who were starting to hear whispers of the changes to come to us with their questions, we set up an information session to address the changes and what was needed to make sure the impacts would be as minimised as possible.
Our entire strategy team also attended along with our clients to make sure we were all in alignment and having the conversation proactively at scale as opposed to in isolation.
I must admit I was very chuffed after talking through our strategy with our Facebook Agency Account Manager to be told we seemed to be leading the way among agencies in preparing for the change. Nothing like feeling in control to make you feel invincible!
Internally, we set up processes to track what needed to be done, how we were progressing and what was still outstanding.
No one in our team had much experience with domains, DNS settings and meta-tags but we learned the essentials and guided our clients to get these changes implemented in the most straightforward way possible.
Within 3 days of kicking off this action plan we were about 60% done across our portfolio in implementing and that gave us all a great sense of accomplishment for tackling something so unfamiliar and also the relief of knowing we were well on the path.
By reacting quickly, we knew we were giving ourselves the best chance at feeling good about what was to come and this was a big factor in the whole team’s growing comfort with the new playing field.
We prioritised honesty
Something that always has been and always will be important to us at TDP in our client relationships is honesty and transparency.
The iOS14 changes gave us an amazing opportunity to live into these values as individuals and as a team.
These changes were going to and have caused great impacts to the Facebook Ads Manager platform and we wanted our clients to understand exactly what we anticipated that to look like.
We’ve leaned into empathy as much as we possibly can through the tricky conversations and tough questions because we know it’s hard for both agency and business owner alike to see such sweeping impacts to reported returns from their investment.
Sometimes it can feel like iOS14 is a bit of an excuse for decreasing results but it’s also impossible for us to have any discussions about results on the platform since Jan without honestly acknowledging that we’re now on a different playing field.
Every member of our team was encouraged to communicate this as openly as possible and they absolutely nailed it! We were trying to make our clients feel similarly empowered with a deeper understanding of what we were seeing in real time and based on the feedback we received, this was much appreciated.
We focused on what really matters
Now to address the elephant in the room…
As digital marketers, the iOS14 changes and eventual launch of iOS14.5 kind of sucked. Actually, I’d go so far as to say they totally sucked.
We were watching a platform we knew and loved transform before our eyes and knowing that times were-a-changing in terms of what we were going to be able to report.
There was a part of me that wanted to feel sad about that and mourn for what were losing but that wasn’t going to help anyone.
Instead of lamenting and resisting, I made a very conscious decision that we would keep our heads up and look forward and each and every member of our team did an amazing job doing that!
Part of this has been reframing our understanding of where our greatest value lies for our clients. We’ve never been that agency promising results but we’re a very naturally caring and performance driven bunch so have always been hyper-focused on helping the businesses we work with grow and thrive.
With ROAS no longer an adequate representation of how well we’re serving each month, it’s been a brilliant reminder to us all that the reason someone would want to work with TDP goes beyond what the monthly report says.
We’re strategic, we’re open communicators, we lighten mental loads, we’ll always give 100% and we’re agile enough to guide any business through this changing landscape.
I try to remind the team of this at every opportunity because it’s important and it’s why someone would choose us over the many other options available for outsourcing.
Now more than ever, we all need a bit of hype-girling. So we dust off those pom-poms at TDP and make sure every member of this team knows just how amazing and talented they are, come what may.
What a wild ride it’s been for all of us these past 8 months and the fun is definitely not going to stop with rumours of iOS15 already leaking and the deprecation of third-party cookies lying ahead of us.
Yes there’ll be more pivots ahead, yes there’ll be more upskilling required and yes there’ll be more challenges to come for our team as the landscape continues to evolve, but we’re not worried, because we’ve got a pretty awesome example of how well we can adapt that we can keep referring to!