Data Privacy & Regulations

Cookie-resilient channels you need to test ASAP

When Google fully eliminates third-party cookies in late 2024, will your team already have a smooth, cookie-less operation in place? Or will you be floundering?

You probably are already beefing up your first-party data by incentivizing users to provide their information, cleaning up your house lists, and working on strategies to personalize your content as much as possible. Now you need to look into engaging with cookie-resilient channels.

What does a cookie-resilient channel look like? Well, in the post-cookie future, channels should present a platform where each consumer’s personal data is anonymized, but where advertisers can access users’ browsing habits and platform-specific identity markers. Then, marketers can load their first-party data in and target audience segments within that platform that they’ve identified previously.

However, without third-party cookies, first-party transactional data and browsing history won’t paint a full picture of your customer. Marketers are missing out on important opportunities to fully understand and target their audience with personalized messaging if they don’t enrich and enhance their first-party data. Third-party data that is based on cookie-less sources will accelerate the mileage your first-party data can get in these new channel forms. With third-party data appended to your first-party data, you can:

  • Achieve higher match rates
  • See a 360 degree customer view and identity resolution
  • Improve the quality of your lists by cleaning and enriching files
  • Fill in the gaps of first-party data for better tracking, measurement and targeting

The shift to a cookie-less future is coming; it’s imminent. Google intends to replace the third-party cookie soon – they’re on track to shift their users over to their privacy sandbox by late 2024.1 Work with your data provider to ensure you have data and digital strategies in place. Think about what channels you’re using and how you can prepare.

Cookie-Resilient Channels

If your goal is to sail gracefully into a cookie-less future, explore new options like CTV, retail media networks, or email marketing.


Connected TV delivers hand picked ads to the right people based on their browsing and watch habits. The media industry is currently racing to implement new tech to stabilize the future of streaming, offer a better customer experience, and make their offerings more attractive to advertisers.

Warner Bros. just signed on to Unified ID 2.0, an open-source framework that brings together advertisers, publishers and digital ad platforms that can establish identity without cookies. The executive Vice President of Digital Advertising Sales said, “Offering new capabilities such as Unified ID 2.0 within our inventory means that our advertisers will be able to leverage their first-party data to target the audiences they want.” With something like Unified ID 2.0, advertisers can see individual browsing habits, but they can’t know who that individual is.

CTV offers opportunities like this–where your first-party data needs to be as strong as possible to preserve addressability. Third-party data, appended to your first-party data, can put you in the best spot possible to take advantage of this new landscape. Getting in the door on solutions like this now, when prices are lower, means you’ll have that much more time to test things out and find your optimal strategy before everyone else jumps on board.

Retail Media Networks

Retail media gives marketers a way to drive growth through advertising that is safe and simple, and abides by privacy laws. It also gives consumers relevant ads and a friendly user experience.

Amazon, CVS, Lowes, Target, HomeDepot, Kohl’s, Walmart, Walgreens, Macy’s and Kroger all have their own websites they’ve transformed into retail media networks. When you shop on Amazon, for instance, or Walmart, they will use the data they collect from your customer purchase history and shopping experience to decide which customers are most likely to be interested in or qualify for certain products. When the customer clicks on those ads, it takes them to the brand’s landing page so the customer can add that item to their cart. This promotion gives the brand access to detailed information about how a shopper interacted with their ad.

Commerce data includes:

  • Ad clicks
  • Page and product views
  • Products purchased (online and offline)
  • Products added to cart
  • Product info like categories, SKUs, prices, descriptions
  • Contextual data from publishers such as URLs, contextual categories, and keywords
  • Identifiers such as hashed emails, hashed phone numbers, and visitor IDs (such as random IDs stored in first-party cookies)

But as you can probably tell, someone who clicks and looks through gardening supplies may not actually have a garden themselves–in fact, they may live on a 5th floor apartment without a balcony and are planning on giving a gift to their mother-in-law. So relying on first-party data alone can really mess with a marketer’s expectations. If you’re able to amp up your first-party data, you’ll be able to close the gaps that cookies used to fill.

Email Marketing

A dependable option that you should already be investing in – if you’re not, you’re missing out. Email allows you to get highly personal–if you have the right information you can really have a conversation with each individual. Dynamic and personalized periodic newsletters are a highly effective way to communicate, for instance. Email templates are easy to create with dynamic blocks, so you can scale your communications but remain highly personalized.

For instance: Marriott hotels, boosted their email performance by using newsletters and specially curated content for their members. With third-party data you can create content based on what each user has or hasn’t purchased, what their intent to purchase is, their interests and their persona.

With email, and without cookies, it is more important than ever to incentivize logins and registrations to capture those email addresses and phone numbers. Then, with your list of valid emails, third-party data can append more information to make your job easier. Not only will third-party data check to make sure everything is spelled right and that there are no duplicates or broken links (a constant hazard) but can supply you with matched information. If you have someone’s work email, third-party data providers can offer their personal email and their home address as well. The lines between personal and professional are blurring, with people working from home more and more. For instance, Data Axle offers our B2C Link, which enhances identity resolution and lets you see the whole person in and out of work.

New Channels

Mobile gaming, CTV digital billboards, immersive virtual reality and even social media filters can be new places to invest your ad spend to reach people. Explore these new formats and new options.

How should you prepare?

To prepare for the phasing out of cookies, advertisers should bulk up their first-party data so that it’s up to the task.

You should make sure that your first-party data strategy:

  • Incentivizes customers to provide their email and contact information
  • Is cleaned and checked on a rolling basis so you know your insights are sound
  • Is well rounded, with third-party data filling in the gaps
  • Offers clear opt-out mechanisms on owned properties and at every advertising touchpoint

Third-party data comes in as an accelerant to take your first-party data to the places you’ll need to go. It enriches and cleanses your first-party data by checking your list against ours and filling in the blanks, connecting email and delivery addresses, and providing information about the whole individual, not just their professional or personal lives individually.

As a third-party data provider, Data Axle can work with you to create future-proof omnichannel solutions to ensure you are getting in front of your target audience, regardless of channel, while adhering to strict privacy standards. Data Axle’s core offline data has always been sourced and operated entirely independent of cookies. By leveraging a vast network of 100+ identity and media partnerships, Data Axle can help you seamlessly transition into the post-cookie media landscape without sacrificing one-on-one communications with the people that matter most.

Contact us to learn more about how Data Axle can help you create a future-proof marketing strategy.


Natasia Langfelder
Content Marketing Manager

As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.