21 Sep What does iOS 11 Mean for Marketers?
Apple’s iOS 11 operating system was released yesterday. This update is not only important to keep your phone secure, but it offers a plethora of new features. it’s definitely exciting.
In this article, we’ll be exploring what these amazing technological features mean for marketers, clients marketing strategies. Warning: after this update, you may need to check your mobile marketing strategy.
QR Codes make a comeback
Remember when QR codes were really popular in the UK? Us neither. However, the pre-cursor to augmented reality could be set to rise from the flames like a black and white phoenix. iOS 11 means that you can scan QR codes with your camera to access the hidden content instead of having to download a 3rd party QR reader.
Making them slightly more convenient could lead to them becoming a valid guerilla marketing tactic. When we saw this we immediately had visions of putting them near drains to promote the IT movie. Brands could organise a treasure hunt around a city with QR codes leading to the next clue.
However, all of this depends on your target audience having the financial and technological clout to have a device capable of running iOS 11.
Pay your debts by text
A feature that may have slipped under a lot of people’s radars is the fact that users will be able to pay money via the iMessaging service. Although it was announced that this feature won’t be appearing in the initial launch, it will be introduced in an update ‘later this fall.’ Apple is looking to challenge Paypal, Venmo and Squarecash in the money transferring game.
Payment via iMessage can reduce transactions to a simple text message. We’ve seen this technology being tested on Facebook messenger, but on smartphones and tablets, it opens a whole new avenue of convenience and popularity. With iPhones comprising 40% of the UK smartphone market, that’s a lot of potential people for brands to speak to.
We’ve been banging the chatbot drum for a while now. However iOS 11 will allow customers to chat with brands across iMessage. This is an exciting development, as brands can market specific offers to targeted consumers and be confident that their messages will reach them. We imagine that initially, brands will only be able to respond to users that have messaged them first, due to opt-in and privacy restrictions. Brands may be able to contact consumers that have provided their details voluntarily and consented to be contacted via SMS. We are sure that as brands’ contact databases grow, personalised iMessaging to target segments will become an increasingly important element of marketing strategies to up-sell, cross-sell and ensure continued brand loyalty.
Using the text payments feature we outlined above, users could purchase products and services via message. Could this be a big blow to Facebook and it’s messenger bots? Combined with cookies and location restrictions that we’ll mention later, iOS 11 can arguably be seen as a declaration of war on Apple’s major rivals. Google is already making changes to get around restrictions, but it will be interesting to see what actions Facebook et al. undertake.
‘Where are you?’-Your apps
All that lovely location data that apps collect could soon be a thing of the past. iOS 11 no longer means that users only have the polar options of always and never sharing their location with the app. iOS 11 introduces a third option-only when I’m using the app.’
Obviously, this will significantly reduce the amount of data that the apps generate. Which isn’t ideal, although it isn’t the most problematic feature. Wait ’til you see what’s next.
As part of its ongoing war against Google, Apple’s latest offensive is to stop third-party cookies from tracking your internet activity for more than 24 hours from the Safari browser. Given that a significant proportion of users, especially in the US, use Safari as their default browser, this is a huge deal for major data and analytics businesses (like Google). If they don’t make a couple of changes to get around Apple’s new rules, they are facing a big hit to their revenue streams.
This means that remarketing campaigns that are mobile-centric may need to be rethought as their efficacy could potentially have a fairly severe impact on ROI. Be warned.
Google has already responded by moving AdWords and cookies from a third-party source (Google analytics) to the first party or domain (the site itself). Google would be in effect, injecting analytics and AdWords into the actual site. Thereby meeting the new Apple rules. Whether these words, we’ll have to wait and see. However, we do advise that you review your Adwords, remarketing and analytics policies asap.
Things AR(e) looking up
After the bad news about cookies and location tracking, it’s time to bring a bit of positivity back to the post. We’re really excited about Apple’s ARKit augmented reality tools for software developers that will allow them to bring the magic of AR without special sensors or multiple cameras. The technology will allow devices from the iPhone 6s to augment their reality.
New tools for software developers will allow them to bring augmented reality apps to iPhones and iPads. Remarkably, Apple’s first stab at AR doesn’t require special sensors or multiple cameras and will work with devices going back to the iPhone 6s.
This has set the scene for AR to be huge on Apple products over the next couple of years. Think Pokemon Go but for multiple brands. We’ve got so many AR ideas for brands that we’re itching to get started. If you’re wondering how to incorporate AR into your marketing mix, we’d love to share some of ‘AR’ passion with you (FYI we also enjoy bad puns).
This iOS update certainly gives marketers something to think about. Our advice is that if your brand hasn’t considered mobile marketing as part of your marketing strategy, you probably should look into it. If Toys ‘R’ Us has taught us anything this week, it’s that brands must keep up with technology or face the consequences.