< Journal
10th November 2021

The impact of a cookie-less world

The impact of a cookie-less world

What does a cookie-less world mean for your business?

Well, first, we must define what “cookie-less” means. A cookie-less world, is a way of marketing that is less dependent on “cookies” or code placed on users’ browsers when customers visit a website. Typically, this code would be tracked to view user behavior and compile data geared towards subsequently improving the user experience and forming user personas.

Tracking cookies is a vital part of advertising. It’s really not a secret at this point, but those valuable insights into what a user is looking at or interested in on the internet have helped advertisers make ads and target relevant audiences for years now.

That being said, the news of the imminent cookieless tracking crisis has left a lot of businesses and advertisers feeling like they’re backed into a corner. Data privacy laws and regulations are being put into place that will prevent advertisers from viewing and using this user data. With less data, there is a knock-on effect on revenue that comes with successful ad campaigns.


Let’s get back to some basics:

What are first-party cookies?

First-party cookies are created and managed by the publisher of a website, on said website. These cookies are created and used to remember website users’ preferences while visiting a specific website. Settings like language and light/dark modes are good examples of this.


What are second-party cookies?
Second-party cookies are cookies that are simply transferred from one company to another in a collective data partnership. The perfect example of this is when a bank or credit union sells first-party data to a credit card company. The credit card company can then use that data to accurately target audiences, and better understand who qualifies for a credit card, and who doesn’t. Because this data is sold for targeted advertising purposes, it is classified as second-party.


What are third-party cookies? And the area we are moving away from
Third-party cookies are the cookies that are being done away with. These cookies are collected as you travel from website to website, gathering information about your preferences, interests, and habits. For many people, sharing information like this is concerning, which is exactly why the GDPR and CCPA have decided to step in and regulate third-party cookies.

It will affect a company’s ability to target the following fields:

  • Behavioral Targeting
  • Audience Targeting
  • Ad Retargeting
  • Frequency Capping
  • Audience extension
  • View-through Attribution

What does the cookie-less world have in store for us next? The answer is as clear as mud! Right now, we all have to use what we know. So for now, let’s discuss some temporary workarounds.

Quick and long-term fixes to be privacy compliant and gain audience insights.

There are quick fixes and long term fixes that can be implemented to ensure you stay profitable in this new environment.

Quick fixes:

  • Take advantage of first party data, Although it’s not nearly as insightful, first-party data can be used from website forms data capture, CRM tools, web traffic, and generic in-app data. This data is collected primarily from users that have already shown some sort of interest in your specific product, but it is definitely better than nothing, and it will still help with conversions.
  • Ensure high quality branding and purpose to your own website, and make it an attractive user destination, to garner data implementation from your audience first hand. To learn more about this, listen to our webinar –Why Brand Matters in E-commerce
  • With it being your own website and therefore first-hand data, cookies are not excluded by Google. Take advantage of this by prompting users to accept cookies and offer their data.
  • Ramp up your email marketing – Utilize HubSpot or similar to build your email lists to make the campaign efficient and targeted.
  • Encourage users to navigate to a landing page, encouraging a sign up of information.
  • Send surveys to gain further insight.


Long term fixes:

  • Keep your website designed with privacy and performance in mind.
  • Keep up to date on regulation and ensure your website is always compliant. Take advantage of the techniques that are still practicable
  • Chatbots – A marketing tool that saves time and tracks consented data.
  • Utilize Google Tag manager for compliant data tracking
  • Build a strong social media audience following
  • Build brand advocacy and loyalty
  • Become less dependent on third party social media promotion and build your own organic presence. – Businesses who can establish solid ground in the new regulated world of social media will have a huge head start on those who struggle to be self-reliant.

The future of digital.

The changing of the landscape of E-Commerce was greater in the first 5 months of the pandemic than in the previous 10 years.

Some would say it is merely an accelerated introduction of the inevitable, as the world moves online in both a social and business sense. With this move comes innovation, as new ideas sprout from the minds of those seeking to jump aboard the digital ship. As a marketing agency, we must ensure that we are more adaptable than ever, with holistic marketing solutions covering multiple channels, whether search, social or email, it’s vital for us to keep up with the shift. Essentially, as a business, it is important to refrain from focusing your efforts on one channel, as either through regulation or lack of user activity, that channel may stop bringing the desired results. Be flexible, embrace innovation, and your business can thrive in the digital world of the future.

Find out more.

Check your score – are you ready?

By answering 10 quick questions, our cookie-less score card will help you identify how ready you are, both quick and long-term strategies you can implement now to get ready for this change. We designed this readiness test to help alleviate some of the impending worries that a post-cookie landscape is causing to marketers and advertisers like yourself.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you adapt to the changing environment, whether it’s moving away from third party data reliance, or improving your online brand presence, contact the team at Audience Collective today.

Author: Nicole Levings

“The team are a regular supplier to us as they offer impartial and highly credible expertize to our advertising strategies (for digital media based activity) they are also nice people to deal with and are able to respond quickly to our requests for information”
Richard Clough | Talent Collective
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