Privacy Is King: Life After 3rd Party Cookies

Kalle Tiihonen May 14 2020 10 AM | 4 min read

Privacy has become one of the hottest topics in the advertising industry. To protect users' privacy and data, Google Chrome recently announced that it would block 3rd party tracking cookies within two years. Other browsers, such as Safari and Firefox, have already taken a similar approach by blocking 3rd party cookies.

A third-party cookie is a bit of information saved to users' web browsers by an external website (like an ad tech vendor) and commonly used, e.g., for retargeting social ads.

The Importance of High-Quality CRM Data

Removing third party cookies will minimize the number of players who don't respect the end-users and their right to stay anonymous online. Thus, the change will highlight the importance of players who value privacy and allow end-users to decide what data they wish to share with advertisers. As marketers might get less detailed targeting information to use in ad campaigns, it is more critical than ever to have high-quality 1st party data (such as CRM data) for targeting and attribution purposes.

The future is all about contextual advertising, privacy budgets, and CRM data usage - and as for advertisers, the Middle Way is the way to go: personalized ad campaigns that respect users' privacy rights. Make sure users know the data you're collecting to your CRM and let them opt-out easily if they wish to do so. Google has already introduced privacy budgets that allow a certain degree of personalization while respecting users' privacy.

The Future of the Cookie-less World

The biggest players like Google and Facebook are driving the change through Coalition for Better Ads and are well prepared for the change in terms of their technology, business, and fair terms and conditions. But how should marketers prepare for the cookie-less world? 

The removal of 3rd party cookies makes it a bit more challenging for marketers to collect information about website visitors. Thus, the importance of having other data sources such as high-quality CRM data matters more than ever - enabling advanced matching improves data accuracy without relying on 3rd party cookies. Server-Side APIs don’t require 3rd party cookies either but rely on passing hashed email address or phone number to match users.

Make sure to update your CRM, enable advanced matching, implement Server-Side APIs, and be prepared to invest more in prospecting and brand advertising. 

The importance of brand advertising and prospecting will only increase in the cookie-less world since they are not targeted in the same accuracy as, for example, direct response focused dynamic retargeting ads. We at are also prepared for the change and can help you  with the transition into the cookie-less world.

Value of Your Data = Quality * Quantity

Today, the quality and quantity of your CRM data are crucial - just as custom audiences and lookalikes on Facebook, Pinterest, Google, and other ad platforms will continue to grow in the future. As APIs help you update custom and lookalike audiences on different platforms automatically, remember to automate the process.

Some of the most critical attributes to store in your CRM are full name, email address, phone number, date of birth, gender, location, LTV, unique ID, App User ID, Apple's Advertising Identifier (IDFA), and Android Advertising ID.

The most common user identifier across channels is email - users enter their emails when purchasing a product on a website. Brands can also ask users' emails with newsletter programs, discount codes, or other perks. 

Another common user identifier is a phone number - start proactively collecting email addresses and phone numbers to your CRM system already today. Having both an email and a phone number will radically improve your marketing success in the post 3rd party cookie era, not just in email marketing but also in social advertising.

Also, make sure you have enabled pixel's advanced matching features on Facebook and other platforms. If you need help with the setup, we're more than happy to help you.

Only the most trustworthy companies will win in the long term. We at are here to help you in implementing the newest technologies such as advanced matching features, value-based lookalikes, lookalike expansion audiences, and API based CRM integrations while respecting users’ privacy.

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Kalle Tiihonen

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