The rise and death of third-party cookies, to be phased out from 2022, is well-documented, but advice as to what brands and marketers can do next is less so.

To help overcome this challenge, our Global Head of Media Brittany Wickerson has shared her five key watch-outs, and recommendations, for brands looking to adjust.

  • First, the end of the third-party cookie – precipitated by privacy campaigners and the rise of ad blockers used to avoid less scrupulous advertisers’ worst excesses – has created a climate in which today’s consumers have never been more knowledgeable about how their data is used. As a result, brand owners that overlook this maturity will end up damaging their reputation.
  • Second, those same customers have never previously demanded so loudly and insistently a fair, clear, honest, and open value exchange for what data they do choose to share. While this is a challenge for brands it is also a major opportunity.
  • Third, in the future, brand owners will need to depend primarily on their own first-party data, or on data from trusted publishers and platforms that own first-party data. Both offer significant opportunities to understand customers better and improve the customer experiences.
  • Fourth, to respond adequately, brand owners must acknowledge the bigger picture and take time and effort to prepare. As historical data cannot be changed, they must put in place a new customer data strategy as soon as possible. And getting that strategy right from the get-go is a must.
  • Finally, if a brand owner gets this right – including settling on the right value exchange proposition – there will be a positive impact across the whole operation of their business, not just marketing

Read more about how to plan for a post-third-party cookie world in Brittany's full piece, available on WARC.