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In the dynamic landscape of programmatic marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success – and with third-party cookies officially going away, navigating cookie deprecation is one of the key focus areas for marketers in 2024.

One of the recent seismic shifts in the industry is Google’s announcement regarding the deprecation of third-party cookies. This change has far-reaching implications for advertisers and demands a strategic reevaluation of marketing approaches.

In this blog post, you’ll explore what cookies are, delve into Google’s recent move, and discover strategies we’re executing at ROI Revolution to ensure businesses continue to have success amid the change happening in the industry.

Understanding Cookies: The Backbone of Online Advertising

Cookies are small pieces of data stored on users’ devices by websites they visit. These data snippets serve various purposes, such as remembering login information, personalizing user experiences, and, crucially for advertisers, tracking user behavior.

Advertisers leverage third-party cookies to create targeted advertising campaigns, analyze user preferences, and optimize marketing strategies.

However, the use of cookies has raised privacy concerns since their introduction. Other top browsers like Safari and Firefox have blocked third-party cookies since 2013, but Google has been slower to make this move due in large part to their presence as one of the largest players in the advertising industry and development delays for their own cookieless solutions.

Google’s Decisive Move: A Paradigm Shift in Online Tracking

Google made waves by rolling out tracking protection for 1% of users in January 2024. This protection prevents websites from accessing third-party cookies. The tech giant plans to gradually increase the percentage of users with this protection throughout the year, contingent on the success of tests within its new Privacy Sandbox.

Legal hurdles from regulatory bodies and the advertising industry also play a role in determining the pace of these changes. Google would like to move to full cookie deprecation by the end of the year, but it’s possible that we’ll see that bumped to 2025.

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Implications for Your Programmatic Campaigns

As things change in how ads reach people online, it’s important to understand how you group audiences. With third-party cookies going away, advertisers are using different kinds of info to understand audiences better. Let’s explore more about these changes together!

3P Audience Segments

Third-party audience segments draw on a variety of data sources, including (but not limited to) third-party cookies.

As third-party cookies face limitations, behavioral data segments that utilize third-party cookie data will slowly be phased out. However, behavioral segments that utilize other types of data like retail purchases, loyalty card information, or demographic information will still be available.

Some data companies have already made significant strides in utilizing alternative identification methods for behavioral targeting – but even those segments may see reduced audience sizes. The rise of AI and contextual technology is expected to help soften the blow from the loss of audience segments that rely on cookies.

Site Remarketing

DSP partners are crucial in understanding the impact on pixels due to these changes.

With some DSPs already rolling out alternate cookieless solutions for site remarketing that will help make the transition easier, marketers should start to expect a potential reduction in the size of remarketing audiences. This will affect the efficacy of lookalike audiences built from these audiences.


Most of the talk around cookie deprecation in the programmatic industry is around targeting. However, the largest impact may be in how we measure success. Third-party cookies have played a significant role in helping advertisers measure metrics like conversions and ad frequency, which play vital roles in determining success.

The ad tech industry is actively developing solutions for cross-device measurement independent of cookies. Some DSPs have already developed proprietary identification systems that ensure no disruption in measurement capabilities. If you have campaigns currently running, check with your DSP(s) about their current solution for cookieless measurement. If they don’t have a plan in place, it may be time to switch to one that does.

1P Data

First-party (1P) data will become paramount for programmatic campaigns. It not only strengthens remarketing efforts but is essential for creating lookalike audiences in the absence of third-party cookies.

Gathering first-party “opt-in” data like email and membership sign-ups via incentives and lead gen campaigns will be important for brands that want to ensure they’re prepared for full cookie deprecation in the future.

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Navigating the Future: Alternate Targeting Solutions

In response to the changing landscape, marketers must explore alternative targeting solutions. Here are some options.

Contextual Targeting

Embrace content-based targeting strategies to reach audiences based on the context of the content they engage with. Rather than the focus being on past user behavior, contextual targeting matches your brand’s ad with content that has similar themes.

First-Party Data Activation

Leverage the power of client-specific data to enhance targeting precision and campaign effectiveness. Utilize segmentation to create audiences from your current customer pool with different attributes. This can be used to upsell new customers, bring back lapsed customers, or keep your most loyal clientele in the know on upcoming sales and events.

Inventory Targeting (Whitelists/PMPs)

Utilize private marketplaces and whitelists to maintain control over the quality and context of ad placements. Like with contextual targeting, focusing your ads on a shortlist of approved websites or categories can help control where your message is received. You can still utilize demographic targeting on top of your inventory targeting to keep your audience specific.

Connected TV (CTV)

CTV is one of the rising stars, if not the rising star, in the programmatic landscape. CTV ads, served to those watching content on a smart TV, have become more popular as the general population has moved away from traditional cable towards streaming.

US CTV ad spend is projected to surpass $34 billion in 2025, a nearly $10 billion increase over 2023.

CTV is perfect for brands that want to boost their awareness in their target market while maintaining control over the audience that views their ads. With cross-device cookieless tracking, you can also measure how your ads are impacting consumer behavior and your bottom line.

As the programmatic marketing landscape evolves, marketers must stay agile and proactive. By understanding the implications of Google’s cookie deprecation and adopting alternative targeting solutions, you can not only weather the storm but also uncover new opportunities for innovation and growth.

Ready to conquer the world of online marketing with confidence? Let ROI Revolution be your trusted guide! As we journey through the twists and turns of evolving advertising landscapes, make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge and strategies to thrive.

Don’t let cookie changes slow you down. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together! To explore how we can supercharge your cookieless campaigns and lead you to programmatic victory, book a meeting with our team today.