The Elimination of Third-Party Cookies: What We Can Do To Prepare

February 16, 2021

Although we are just at the beginning of 2021, advertisers must start preparing for how the elimination of third-party cookies will affect the marketing world in 2022. Google Chrome has officially announced that they will no longer allow third-party cookies at the end of this year. It is important for us to 1) Identify the implications and challenges of the depletion of third-party cookies, 2) figure out the best solutions to overcome this shift, and 3) start planning in order to have a smooth transition into 2022.

The main implications and challenges that will come from eliminating third-party cookies will be within targeting and measurement. Targeting tactics, such as behavioral targeting, ad retargeting, frequency capping, audience extension, and view-through attribution are just some methods that will no longer be possible. Additionally, marketers will no longer be able to use cross channel measurement, since only third-party cookies can latch on and follow the user journey from platform to platform. Also, since user engagements will no longer be able to be tracked, it will be very challenging to make optimizations and conduct meaningful brand studies.

Here are a couple of solutions-

  1. Shift toward other targeting strategies. Marketing tactics, including contextual targeting, content-based targeting, and call to action/direct response allow targeting without the use of third-party cookies.
  2. Increased use of first-party data. Marketers can turn toward walled gardens, such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, which have immense first-party data. Google is planning on having a “sandbox” where marketers can tap into certain data without revealing individuals’ private and personal information. Additionally, shifting to more direct partnerships with publishers and leveraging their first-party data is also an option.
  3. Creation of personal IDs. It is speculated that users will have to opt in to sharing their data in order to view site content, creating personalized IDs that can be followed and monitored. These IDs will be created by providing an email address, signing up for loyalty programs, or supplying credit card information.
  4. The creation of end-to-end platforms. Once third-party cookies are eliminated, collecting data will be a more complicated process. In return, Vendors are working on creating platforms that simplify this for marketers. These vendors have the ability to tap into walled gardens’ data, partner with third-party DMPs that use data that is not reliant on cookies, and are developing different tools that will still allow tracking and targeting.


The most important thing to do now is prepare. Start with auditing the campaign. Ask, “how big an impact will the elimination of third-party cookies have on the current plan?” Then, start to understand the target audience from a different perspective. Shift your thinking from behavioral to contextual. Finally, make a plan for the future. Start to implement tactics that do not use third-party cookies now to see the potential performance and have data to compare to next year once cookies are gone.


AudienceX Webinar – “Programmatic Advertising without Third-Party Cookies”

Digilant – “Elimination of 3rd Party Cookie Tracking”

Tremor – Google Chrome Cookie Deprecation