How to prepare for a cookieless world

The end of cookies: what is going to happen?

Being coined as the internet space race, big players Apple and Google are doing away with third party cookies. third party cookies are little text files containing user information be it interactions, browser history, browsing patterns and user insights that bestow third parties (not the site you are visiting as that is first party) with that information.

Why are third parties accessing and allowed to access this data I hear you cry?

Well because with advertising, third parties are used as a specific specialist for areas such as understanding TV performance, how we optimise Facebook advertising algorithms or dropping racking on a specific end point of a user journey.

Cookies are not the enemy; they are the main player in optimisation and growth for businesses and websites. Enabling strictly necessary cookies allows a website to function as without them, users would not be able to use certain functions or features.

Google and Apple are moving away from third party cookies because of the ever-changing emergence of data protection laws and the right to not be tracked. There are data concerns with third party cookies as third party data can be sold and businesses, without your knowledge, could utilise this information for their own purposes.

Preparing for a cookieless world

UM View: For UM, the crossover entails larger discussions involving CRM teams and the implementation of other platforms, such as Google Analytics 4. In the existing world, we have third party cookies doing the heavy lifting of giving us that itemised and granular insight on the user. Unfortunately, without the third party cookie, we will be required to utilise first party data that is normally kept in CRM systems.

In the meantime: It is business as usual, we can all continue to move with the heavily embedded third party data and knowledge that there will be a transition period involving first party data and cookieless built platforms such as Google Analytics 4.

What's next? Over the next 6 months, there will be a ramp-up in terms of information from Google and potentially Apple to keep people informed about the change. Discussions will be necessary to “link in” with CRM and 1st party storage systems. There is also a heavy reliance on the utilisation of Google Analytics 4 as that should be used in this transition period to ensure data is not fully lost once the changeover comes.

There is an impact, or I should say, will be an impact on goal tracking and online performance once this migration takes place. Naturally, when it comes to changeovers with platforms or big dynamic shifts of the internet browsing landscape (for example, the privacy policy shift over the last 3 years), we tend to see drop off or shifts in browsing patterns.

The aim is through detailed consultation and a keen eye on performance, alongside a rigid system of testing, it should mitigate those drops. There will be a period of flux on services such as Google Ads and Floodlights through CM360.

For Google-based products, there will be a shift to an algorithmic learning model. Google Ads, however, should be nominally affected given its base model is based on keywords rather than users.

Modelling and services based on audience buying, such as Meta, however, might be a little trickier due to the need to distinguish and identify in order to target. There are a multitude of ways around the banishing of the third party for big social players like Meta (who still haven’t really announced the ins and outs of what will happen), but it’s likely to see a culmination of approaches such as machine learning, algorithmic data and CRM integrations.

Lastly, there are challenges based on cross-device implementation and tracking and also attribution. The good news is that these play into Google’s hand. With Google Analytics 4 (based on a cookieless AI learning methodology), they are making a push on attribution and device tracking. Taking away or changing the dynamics of how CM360 operates means the soul focus on how attribution operates will see Google Analytics 4 as the flagship platform to do this on.

If you need any more information, please contact the Data & Analytics team at