laptop showing apple event and phone with iOS 15 logo

When Apple releases a big software update to their iOS devices, they often come with some exciting and/or controversial changes. Their latest update, iOS 15 released only weeks ago in September, is an especially important one for marketers and advertisers. So if you’re in either business, you definitely will want to read on as I break down everything in this update that’s relevant to us. Luckily most of these changes will have a minimal impact, for the time being. Being as mostly the more tech-savvy Apple users will dive into these new features and actually utilize them. But over time, customer education will spread and adoption will grow. Meaning eventually, this update can and will affect your business if you’re not prepared. Having a support system for your marketing efforts like a virtual assistant can help you juggle all of these changes. But knowledge is key! So read on, and brace yourself for the evolution of marketing in a new era of digital privacy.

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More than just a clever name, it’s a set of software and protocols created by Apple that allows marketers to determine and aggregate data from mobile app marketing campaigns. In iOS15, this program specifically allows developers to define an endpoint that will receive copies of “winning” postbacks, sent directly from the network. Before this update, these postbacks went to ad networks first and were then forwarded to devs. This change allows for increased transparency with marketing data for advertisers, giving them ownership from start to finish. A marketing virtual assistant could compile this information and better report and execute on continued marketing campaigns. 


Mail Privacy Protection

The first time an Apple user opens Apple Mail after receiving the iOS 15 update they’ll be presented with a prompt offering new data-sharing options. Users can now elect to hide their IP address and GPS location, and even anonymize email-open trackers. Suffice to say, enabling these privacy features will greatly affect marketing efforts. In these cases, we’ll no longer be able to track open rates for emails and compile data about user locations. This obviously will make it difficult to gauge how successful a marketing campaign is, or grow a database of user knowledge so as to better market to them. 


Hide My Email

This is a new feature that comes with the paid iCloud+ subscription. It’s similar to the mail privacy feature above, in that it adds another layer of privacy for users. This feature allows users to hide or mask their email when completing an online form, such as a survey or promotion sign-up. When activated, the recipient doesn’t get the user’s true email address, and any replies go to the “fake” inbox which forwards to the user’s real email inbox. This helps users keep their email out of spam databases, as well as protects them from unwanted emails. They can simply cancel the “fake email” at any time and stop receiving any more contact. 


App Privacy Report

Another feature bundled with the iCloud+ subscription, this one allows users to record and access network activity from specific apps on their device. Users can record up to 7 days of activity, giving them greater transparency over who exactly the applications on their device are communicating with and potentially sharing data with. This means that marketers should create new communications strategies for their users. It’s important to make clear the reasons for communications between MMP’s and 3rd party tools. So as not to create any concern among users and negatively impact their adoption rate. This is definitely something to get your team along with the marketing virtual assistants working on, right away. Getting ahead of changes like this will go a long way towards solidifying trust among your customer base. 


iCloud Private Relay and IP Blocking

Yet another feature that comes with the paid iCloud+ subscription, the Private Relay part of this feature will come with a future patch. But the IP Blocking feature is live within iOS 15 now. This allows users to redirect specific types of network traffic from Apple devices through Apple servers. This means users can hide their IP address and mask it with a fake one. This greatly increases their privacy when engaging in online activity. For marketers, unfortunately, this means we could no longer see a user’s location or browsing history. Making it difficult to build user profiles, and thus curate marketing campaigns more accurately to their needs and interests. 


Custom Product Pages

Now that we’re past all of those user privacy features, here’s one that really helps marketers. The Custom Product Page feature allows developers, to create multiple custom pages for their products on the App Store. This is a whole new level of customization, that allows companies to have up to 35 differently designed pages. Allowing us to present our product in different ways to different users, based on their interests/demographics. For example, we can tailor a page to appeal to the interests of someone who is a parent by highlighting the child protection features first. That same product could have an alternate page designed to get the attention of gamers, by highlighting cross-promotions associated with trending interactive titles. And all of this can be monitored with Apple’s built-in App Analytics. If you have the bandwidth on your team, put someone to task reviewing user data and creating concept pages to match your top demographics. It’s a perfect job for a virtual assistant.


A New Age of Digital Marketing

As you can see there is a lot to take in with the iOS 15 update. These new features are just as important to users’ privacy as they are to marketer and advertiser jobs. All of this is great news for users who want to protect themselves from malicious marketing practices. However, it does stand to impact how authentic marketers engage with their community. If we don’t begin new efforts to properly navigate these privacy tools users have, we may regret it in the long term. So how do we circumvent these new obstacles? It starts with knowing how all of this works, and the content above should have you already started on the right foot there. Adding extra support to your team, like a marketing virtual assistant, will also prove invaluable going forward. With a new era of digital privacy upon us, you’ll need all hands on deck to keep up. Expect a future write-up from us on that subject, as we too work through these changes. 


If you’re at all curious about how a virtual assistant can help with your marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s free and it’s personal; our expert will get with you for a one-on-one consultation to better understand your specific needs, and discuss a plan for how we might be able to help you. Just hit that link below to schedule it. And we promise your privacy is safe with us!

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