Online privacy is no joke, and people are increasingly aware of this. The implementation of strict consumer-protection privacy laws and tracking disabling features send a clear message: we’re headed towards a cookieless online world. Undoubtedly, this has huge implications for advertisers. Marketing leaders are on high alert as they work to develop a future-proof strategy focused on consent-based advertising, but how do you prepare for the demise of third-party cookies?

Let’s start with the basics – what are cookies?

Cookies are a snippet of code within a web page that are stored on the user’s browser when they visit your online site. It’s important to highlight that there are two types of cookies: first-party and third-party cookies.

First-party cookies allow website owners to store basic user information, like usernames, passwords, and language settings. They usually can’t be used to track user’s activity on other sites and primarily focus on streamlining the browsing experience. Without first-party cookies, you wouldn’t be able to add multiple items to your shopping cart or would have to log in every time you enter a website. 

Third-party cookies contain the same code but are generated by third-party websites. Their purpose is to track behavior across different websites and enable building user profiles that are leveraged for remarketing purposes and generating lookalike audience targeting. 

What does the demise of third-party cookies mean?

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act  (CCPA) in the US has placed prominent restrictions on the use of user data. This has led to a complete revamp of the entire digital targeting footprint, which is causing web browsing companies to phase out third-party cookies. For Apple Safari and Firefox, this is a change come true, and as for the giant Google Chrome, the change is expected for 2023

Here are three actions you can take to solidify your first-party data capture strategy:

Assess your current approach

First-party data is the most important asset to develop a full understanding of customer data. The challenge of implementing and utilizing it will only become more pressing as regulations on third-party use increase. However, before diving straight into accelerating data collection, make sure you evaluate your organizational structure and capabilities. Marketers need to understand their most effective data collection processes and benchmark these against industry best practices.

Generate additional touchpoints to help build the bigger picture

Persuading consumers to share information about themselves requires a compelling value proposition. 

Loyalty programs that offer rewards or discounts in exchange for data are a popular choice amongst advertisers, however, there are other opportunities to incentivize data capture outside of loyalty programs.

Often overlooked, an opportunity to capture data happens during the post-purchase phase. Requesting feedback, offering returns and exchanges is an opportunity to use the data provided to improve the product and re-engage customers. This enables a two-fold strategy that secures higher consumer lifetime value. 

Ultimately, you need to get more sophisticated with how they use data from additional touchpoints. Ensure you are leveraging data from loyalty programs to deepen engagement and smooth points of friction within the post-purchase experience to gather valuable feedback to re-engage with consumers. 

Automate your processes

Stop relying on third-party cookies and focus on user-based targeting. 

Be sure to consolidate your data to a single source for a singular view of the consumer and automate your approach across channels and devices. Not only will this streamline your processes, but will unlock the biggest asset in your hands; time. 

In the Gartner 2020 Marketing Data and Analytics Survey, 64% of respondents said that data management, integration, and formatting were among their top three most time-consuming activities.

It is therefore critical to identify all first-party data sources that exist across your organization and unify it into a powerful automated marketing tool that will allow you to focus on making meaningful strategic choices. 
Brainlab’s Audience Sync tool is a piece of proprietary tech which was developed specifically for this purpose. It allows advertisers to upload first-party data onto any advertising platform in real-time, in a fully automated way. Contact us at for more information.