The measurement of aggregated events explained

With the expected update of iOS 14.5 in early March 2021, significant changes regarding the handling of personal data are on the horizon. These changes introduced by Apple will significantly impact advertising performance on Apple-branded devices, which have a market share of 24.7% of mobile devices globally and more specifically 52.7% in Canada, according to StatsCounter.

Let’s overview the upcoming changes:

  • All applications in the Apple App Store will now be forced to request usage permission to have access to the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) thanks to an “alert” style notification upon opening.
  • The IDFA acts as a unique identifier for each mobile device. Several platforms, such as Facebook, use the IDFA to track users across other applications and the web, in order to provide them with personalized advertisements.
  • It is anticipated that a significant portion of users will decline access, greatly reducing the effectiveness of targeted advertisements as well as retargeting.
Data and privacy in iOS 14.5

Now that we have identified the issue, how can advertising platforms address this change?

Platforms like Facebook are adapting by ensuring server-side tracking of website activity instead of relying on client-side tracking using third-party cookies. (3rd party cookie)This way, cookies belong to the owner of the web server. Server-side techniques are not new, but they will become increasingly popular due to significant changes in the handling of confidential data. These solutions have been available since 2020, known as the Conversion API. It was a solution mainly used by developers as a rather niche option chosen by very few of them. Now, Facebook representatives are promoting the use of this API for all advertising users since, hopefully, it will reduce the impact of changes in iOS 14.5.

Where does aggregated event measurement fit into all of this?

The Conversion API itself is not entirely sufficient to solve the problem. Facebook has developed complementary technology that allows its use with the API (along with our friend the pixel, which remains a relevant tool for now). This technology is called aggregated event measurement.

Note: An optimal setup in 2021 includes the Facebook pixel, the Conversion API, and aggregated event measurement. A user could still choose to only use the pixel and aggregated event measurement. However, for best results, we recommend using all three techniques simultaneously.

The official description of aggregated event measurement is as follows: “Facebook’s aggregated event measurement is a protocol that enables event measurement on a website from iOS 14. This measurement limits domains to 8 conversion events used for advertising campaign optimization. ‘Our solution is analogous to Apple’s private click measurement, but aims to address key issues not addressed in Apple’s proposal. Aggregated event measurement will continue to evolve with upcoming changes in search engines.’ – Facebook”

To recap, aggregated event measurement requires having a verified domain with Facebook, as well as reaching the maximum capacity on conversion events with a limit of 8. Take all of this into consideration when planning your 2021 efforts on Facebook. Now, let’s look at how to set up conversion events in your advertising account.

To set up the aggregated event measurement system:

  1. Make sure you have a verified domain with Facebook. To do this, refer to our guide.
  2. Go to the Facebook Events Manager.
  3. Click on the pixel for which you want to set up aggregated event measurement.
  4. Now click on the aggregated measurement tab, then on “Set Up Web Events.”
  5. Click on “Edit Events” in the upper right corner.
  6. Choose your pixel.
  7. Choose the event you want to configure from the “Event Name” section.
  8. If you choose a purchase event, you need to decide if you are optimizing for a certain value. This option allows you to target a specific return on ad spend.
  9. Choose a number of events you want to set up under the Assigned Events section. This column will tell you how many sections each event uses. For purchases with value optimization in place, you will be able to choose how many value ranges you want in the Assigned Events section. The higher this event is, the more important it will be. Value ranges will take up multiple sections, which will reduce the total number of events you can set up.
  10. Repeat these steps for each of the events you want to set up.
  11. Finally, click and drag the events in the desired priority order and click “Done.”

It is important to note that if you currently have campaigns running, this technique may affect them.

  • If you have new events that do not impact your active campaigns, these changes will take place immediately.
  • If you delete events that are in active campaigns, these ads will be disabled and cannot be online again
  • If you modify events (for example change priority order or change value optimization) for events used in active campaigns, the latter will be disabled for a period of 3 days. This pause allows for an event to be assigned after a click within a day, and 24 to 48 hours for the event to be recorded, preventing potential errors. During this time, conversion updates are not available for optimization or reporting. If your ads are paused, you must turn them back on in your advertising manager after the 3-day period. Note that advertisements will not be turned back on automatically.

Congratulations! You have now successfully implemented aggregated event measurement! This is an important step in preparing for the IOS 14.5 update. Now that your domain is verified and your top 8 conversion events are chosen, the next step is to set up the conversion API. Stay tuned for a blog post that will dive into this topic in depth coming soon.

If you need assistance with this process, do not hesitate to contact one of our marketing specialists who will be happy to help you!

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