The cookie is going away. What happens next?

Cookies — or third-party tracking codes — have evolved to be a central component of digital advertising. Yet for various reasons, from privacy concerns to ineffectiveness across devices and mobile apps, cookies have outlived their usefulness. Firefox and Safari currently block them and Chrome will do so by 2022.

How will B2B marketers cope without cookies? There are three possibilities:


  • A new identifier, like email address or phone numbers, will be used. Such “people-based advertising” would target actual users rather than their devices.

More of the same

  • Increased reliance on “walled garden” platform companies like Facebook and LinkedIn which control their first-party data.
  • Programmatic guaranteed deals, whereby brands work with publishers directly to get their first-party data, which can be then fine-tuned into audience segments.

What’s old is new

  • Ad networks, which were replaced by supply-side platforms that used cookies to aggregate inventory on small publisher sites, could return and sell inventory on behalf of “the long tail.”
  • Dusting off old school methods, such as research companies that interview users through interviews or online surveys to track audiences.

Movéo insight

One thing will be certain in this coming cookie-less phase of digital advertising — first party data will reign. Where brands acquire it will be up to them, however, getting their own will be the best and (in the long run) least expensive strategy. This will require companies to generate large volumes of quality content and have a high amount of onsite interactions. Site visitors will need to be identified at an individual level, but once this happens their unique business needs and likely intent can be discovered. This means marketing can provide greater personalization and optimized nurture programs, which will lead to a more relevant onsite experience and actionable insights for Sales.