Apple vs Facebook Privacy Changes – how it affects Marketing & Advertising for small businesses

Apple vs Facebook

Apple has always been about customer privacy. In the latest IOS update, users will have to accept whether they want their activity tracked by Apps like Facebook that collect their data.

Why is this change in transparency important?

Because surveys suggest, and Facebook acknowledges, that up to 80% of users will say no. (


80% of Facebook’s Ad Revenue comes from small and medium-sized businesses ( only 20% of ad revenue comes from the top 20% of advertisers like Starbucks.

How does this affect small and medium-sized companies that use Facebook advertising?

Large companies – like Starbucks, often use advertising on social platforms as a ‘brand awareness’  technique. It’s not about chasing ‘Latte’ lovers around the internet with targetted ads, more about just making everyone aware Starbucks exists ( although even Starbucks would ensure they don’t target anyone that is flagged as a ‘coffee hater’)

Small and Medium-sized companies use adverts to promote certain products. For a Travel Agent, that might be targetting all Facebook users in a certain area that like cruises for an advert on the launch of a new ship.

The new rules simply mean that more people won’t allow tracking and so the adverts will be less targeted which in the end means it will cost more money to get a new lead from an advert as that advert can’t target certain demographics.

Facebook claims Apple’s changes will be “devastating to small businesses” that rely on its ad network to generate sales. The newspaper ads direct small businesses to Facebook’s “ speak up for small business ” site, where a series of business owners speak out about Apple’s changes. “Small businesses deserve to be heard,” Facebook writes. “We hear your concerns, and we stand with you.” While Apple hasn’t responded directly to today’s newspaper ads, the company did respond to similar Facebook claims last month. The iPhone maker accused Facebook of a “disregard for user privacy.” Apple is adamant that its iOS 14 privacy policies will be enforced in early 2021, and has previously said it’s “committed to ensuring users can choose whether or not they allow an app to track them.” new App Store Privacy labels this week, shining a light on how iOS apps use your data. Notably, the privacy label on Facebook’s iOS app expands across several pages, listing all the data that can be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies. (

Whatever Facebook says – and a pot of what they say is correct and small businesses are reliant on then, it is likely Apple will win the day. There has been too much ‘invasion of privacy’ data issues and giving consumers an easy way to opt-out of tracking will mean the vast majority of users will opt out.

What can you do in your advertising and marketing to protect your business from these changes?

Permission Marketing – a term coined by Seth Godin is all about having ‘relationships with consumers. Businesses need to have permission to talk to them. Apple’s update is all about Permission Marketing.

The purest form of this is email marketing. For email marketing to work, you need permission to send emails to people and they can opt-out easily.

Good permission marketing vs. bad permission marketing

It’s easy to see why permission-based marketing comes with so many benefits. People don’t like irrelevant ads , and they don’t like being interrupted when they’re trying to watch a video, read an article, or play a game. When you use interruptive marketing methods, you degrade the user experience.

The same goes for using implicit marketing methods. When you hide your intentions to send promotional content in your terms of service, or you make visitors uncheck boxes, or you track them without their consent on your website, you’re not obtaining permission from them. This is bad permission marketing.

When people give your brand permission to contact them, they expect to hear from you. So when they see your emails in their inbox, or they get a call from you, they don’t feel like their personal space has been invaded. When permission marketing is done wrong, users will wonder how you got their information when they see your promotional messages.



The world has changed. Building a strong repeat client list as a Travel Agent is not about chasing random potential customers around the internet with cookie adverts. It’s about offering something of value to them – such as a Free Report / White Paper / Consultation and in return, being able to use email marketing to inform them of inspirational trips ( the same trips you might have historically used in an advert). 

Segmenting your email list into types of holidays they like further enhances your ability to connect with them.

And the upside? You control your subscriber list – it’s your list and when you send an email, all subscribers are notified, not only the ones that some algorithm Facebook has developed says should see it.

For a CRM that enables automatic subscribing of enquirers to your email list – see here >

For an integrated Email Marketing Platform that enables your sales staff to update customer preferences in real-time – click here >

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