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A Cookieless World Conclusion

blogSeptember 16, 2021

As 87% of people now believe data privacy is a right, not a privilege,[1]we, as marketers, should do better to address their growing concerns around how their information is collected and used. It is not only a matter of legal compliance, but also a matter of trust. 

In that context, although the recent evolution in the cookies landscape has triggered legitimate concerns around the potential consequences on advertising efficiency and on market dynamics, we should all welcome any change promoting user privacy as a collective, meaningful progress. 

Of course, these changes come with their own set of challenges and uncertainties, and the industry will probably have to make do with less - but better - data. 

What does Cookieless Advertising look like?

  • The leading web browsers are moving away from third-party cookies, creating a fresh paradigm for the digital marketing industry. In 2023, we consider using third-party cookies for advertising purposes should be a relic of the past. Apple is going even further, requiring apps to explicitly obtain consent to keep tracking users.[2]
  • Some digital marketing activities are impacted, such as data management, audience activation, and performance measurement. 
  • Marketers must reconsider how they manage data. This means questioning their current value exchange, improving communications around data privacy, and revisiting their technology needs. 
  • To keep engaging consumers, marketers should investigate the possibilities offered by contextual targeting and cookieless audience targeting alternatives such as persistent IDs. 
  • To measure future performance, marketers will have to combine multiple techniques, from in-platform attribution to incrementality measurement to media mix modelling. A solid testing roadmap will be more important than ever. 

There is no silver bullet for this evolution, instead, each brand must develop its unique combination of responses. It is fine if your organisation has not figured out the best option yet. You are not running behind as there is still time to adapt – but you should not wait any longer to plan your transition to a new model. 


Privacy will still be a Concern in a Cookieless Future

We expect discussions around privacy and identity to stay at the forefront of the debate even after we have pivoted to the cookieless world. 

This is why at dentsu we constantly monitor the martech landscape and are committed to working alongside our clients and partners to imagine and implement solutions that work for all. As a global leader in search marketing, we have implemented advanced cookieless strategies for the world’s largest brands for the last 10+ years. We are using this know-how to help our clients not only thrive in a world free of third-party cookies but do so with speed. 

Digital advertising has always been one of the most dynamic and exciting marketing spaces - and we are confident the best is yet to come. 


For more, download the full report on navigating advertising in The Cookieless World.

[1] Microsoft Advertising in partnership with iProspect, 2020 Consumer Privacy and Brand Trust Survey, Dec 2019 – Mar 2020, as featured in the report In Brands We Trust, published in April 2020 

[2] Apple Developer, App Store, User Privacy and Data Use, as accessed on May 4, 2020