Forrester: A Marketer’s Guide To Apple’s Consumer Privacy Features


We may be several years on from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the raft of global privacy legislation that followed, but consumer appetite for increased privacy when it comes to their personal data has yet to abate. Research from our global consumer study – 2022 Digital Consumer Trends Index found consumers are ever-more cognizant of the value of their data, and are taking proactive steps to protect it. 56% of consumers are using a PC cleaner (a 48% increase on 2021), and 38% have turned to ad blocking tech (a 37% uplift on the previous year). 

These changes to the privacy landscape, coupled with tech behemoth’s like Apple implementing stringent privacy features, require B2C marketers to skill-up to understand and mitigate the impact on their marketing plans. In Forrester’s latest report: A Marketer’s Guide To Apple’s Consumer Privacy Features they detail a comprehensive three-point plan that marketers can use to understand the landscape of Apple’s privacy protections and the implications of each feature on marketing.

The state of play

Over the past few years, Apple has implemented privacy features to protect its users from unwanted tracking. First came Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) to iOS 13 blocking the use of third-party cookies across the board. Swiftly followed by the curtailment (of sorts) of the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) which helped deliver targeted ads and measure campaign spend and attribution. By shifting from opt-in to opt-out by default, merely 4% of Apple users are proactively giving permission to tracking for advertisers. 

The solution: a strategy rooted in zero-party data

These privacy protections, coupled with Apple’s dominant market share – particularly in the U.S. and the UK where they have well over half of the market, disrupt marketers’ conventional targeting and measurement tactics. Rather than find new surreptitious ways to track consumers B2C marketers should see this as a unique opportunity to improve relationships and deliver better personalization.

It is entirely possible for marketers to know what their customers intend to do or buy in the future by collecting data that is intentionally and  proactively shared by the consumer. This is called zero-party data.

“Zero-party data is that which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize her.”

Fatemah Khatibloo, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Rather than making inferences and assumptions, you simply ask. If the consumer trusts your brand and you offer the right value exchange, they will willingly and intentionally share their preference data with you. And it needn’t always be a red-letter prize or huge discount. Sure, 93% of consumers are prepared to trade data for a discount, 92% for loyalty points, and 84% for the chance to win a prize. But consumers are actually sharing behavioral and psychographic data for exclusive access (86%), unlocking content (61%), and to feel part of a brand’s community (55%).

The data, insights, and permissions they provide can then be used to power personalized marketing across all stages of the customer lifecycle. Information like purchase intentions and preferences are useful to improve personalization and help build up a picture of who the customer is.

Apple’s pivot to becoming the consummate privacy player in the consumer device space is a headache for those marketers wedded to third-party, but for those committed to building more meaningful relationships between brand and buyer, this time of digital disruption is a time of digital opportunity.


Download our playbook to get the 101 on zero-party data, plus examples of how leading brands are gathering it, differentiating with personalization and driving revenue.

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