What Cookieless Means for Campaigns


According to Google’s latest announcement, the demise of third-party cookies—a backbone of the digital advertising industry—is coming in 2024. As we transition to a cookieless media environment, marketers, publishers, and vendors will face fragmentation. Will the transition wreak havoc on your campaign efficiency? In this post, we’ll explore what cookieless means for campaigns, the implications for campaign efficiency, and advice for marketers preparing for a cookieless landscape. 

What Is 'Going Cookieless’?

Cookieless means one of the internet’s longstanding tracking and targeting technologies is going away. 


Third-party cookies refer to the JavaScript used on websites; they allow advertisers to recognize a person visiting a website as the same individual who visited other websites. The data enables marketers to deliver consistent messaging to users as they browse the internet via advertising techniques such as cross-site tracking or retargeting.


Safari, Firefox, and Mozilla phased out third-party cookies years ago to demonstrate their commitment to consumer privacy. Google, however, is the last company to allow third-party cookies in its Chrome browser; it plans to begin blocking cookies as soon as 2024. 

Since Chrome holds nearly 66% market share of consumer data from desktop users in the US, blocking third-party cookies will have an outsized impact on the digital advertising industry. Marketers will need another way to personalize their ads.

Why Is Cookieless Planning Crucial for Marketers?

Over 80% of advertisers rely on third-party cookies to execute their campaigns. There is no direct replacement for third-party cookies at the moment; however,  tracking the identity of consumers and collecting identifiers as they browse the internet can be done in other ways; just not as easily. Whether you plan to use Google’s Privacy Sandbox (an API-based system) or one-to-one identifiers (email-based IDs), all new solutions will require extensive planning and practice for the desired results.


Since the internet’s architecture makes it possible to universally recognize third-party cookies, their loss will create fragmentation, forcing marketers to deliver their messages more strategically. As each browser releases its plan for the post-cookieless world, one thing is clear: assessing and optimizing campaign efficacy won’t be the same.  


The advertising landscape will change regularly once third-party cookies are replaced. Digital marketers must prepare to adopt new tactics and adjust how they target (or reach) new prospects.

The “post-cookie world” is not entirely cookieless. While users will browse the web without cookies, their behavior will not be unseen.

Tips For Going Cookieless

As the advertising landscape evolves, marketers must choose data as a service partners (DaaS) who understand current (and future) alternatives to third-party tracking. For example, Google’s privacy-centric developments, Universal IDs, and first-party data are crucial to your campaign’s success moving forward. Are your partners helping you transition your marketing today?   


You can choose solutions to reduce the burden of technology and identity fragmentation. Seamlessly integrating with various data platforms and tools will help marketers stitch together a complete picture of campaign efficiency. Ask yourself, is my customer data platform helping you do more with less? If not, now is an excellent time to find a CDP and consolidate your customer profiles in one place. Then, you can align your marketing and advertising streams and see the bigger picture.


In the cookieless world, first-party data rules. Therefore, another strategy is to build and strengthen direct customer relationships, so you can create first-party data pipelines. You’ll need to think about your offer, though; i.e., are you giving porpscts a reason to exchange their data for access to your brand and content? The answer better be an obvious yes. Of course, the right data partner can help with audience targeting for all your omnichannel campaigns. Ahem. You know, like NetWise. Have you seen what an ID Graph can do? Wink wink.

What's Next?

More than ever, marketers must collect customer information transparently and invest in analytics solutions to analyze a campaign’s efficiency. Signals such as ROAS and conversions can give a sense of whether new identity solutions, targeting, or messaging are performing well or not. Your ultimate goal is to combine ads, analytics, and data in one place, your CDP.


Finally, keep an open mind about post-cookie solutions. You will be bombarded with claims that a service can do things no other can do. However, take time to look under the hood and ask yourself if the solution fits your current technology stack or adds more complexity than good.


There’s no one right path to success with cookieless, which makes it all the more important to lean into transparent teams that can help educate marketers and guide them as they navigate this emerging cookieless landscape.  


The more tech-savvy you are, the more functional you will be as a marketer. 

Want to learn more about what cookieless means for campaigns and marketing success? Check out this blog.  And don’t hesitate to contact NetWise with questions or concerns regarding your plans for the cookieless world.

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