Adapt or Die: Tips to Navigate a Cookieless Future

As we approach the threshold of a cookieless future, the digital marketing realm is set for a significant transformation. The imminent decline of third-party cookies, fueled by escalating privacy apprehensions and evolving regulations, serves as a wake-up call for businesses to reassess their approaches to customer engagement.

Yesterday, our Ardent HQ became a hotbed for cookieless futureproofing with our ‘Adapt or Die in Today’s Cookieless Internet’ event. We walked our partners through a series of actionable strategies to stay head of the curve in this new era.

With a sweet tooth for digital trends, this was a pivotal chance for our agency experts to weigh in on an important conversation on third-party cookies whilst educating our partners about how they can best approach the upcoming changes.

Our very own digital dynamo Jorge Garrido Diez, (Head of Digital at Ardent), alongside Giuseppe Arena (Head of Sales at Criteo) and Andrew Lyons (Senior Account Executive at Criteo), delivered a freshly baked presentation to help unravel the mystery of ‘what comes next?’

We’ve rounded up a highlight reel of key topics and insights in this article so you too can take a bite out of an enhanced cookieless strategy.

So, let’s start with the basics. What are cookies?

No, we’re not talking about the delicious baked goods… in the digital world cookies are small files sent to user computers during web visits which aid in user recognition on subsequent visits for a tailored browsing experience. They are stored on the user’s browser to remember things like preferences and login details.

Privacy concerns around the data banked by cookies have prompted a shift away from their use. Tech giants such as Firefox and Safari have already begun blocking third-party cookies by default, and Google Chrome will follow suit this year by phasing out third-party cookies.

What’s lead to this change?

A combination of factors have led to the shift to phasing out cookies entirely, including:

  • The growing discomfort around tracking the online behaviour of web users without their explicit consent.
  • Legislative changes such as GDPR and CCPA which protect user data privacy.
  • Increased user demand for transparency and a choice in how personal data is used.

For marketers not ahead of the changes, the inability to continue tracking user behaviour for targeted ads could spell the end for the glory days of performance. With no choice but to adapt to this new digital landscape, marketers can also look to the immense opportunity for innovation in a cookieless world.

No more half-baked ideas, it’s time to evolve our marketing approach, focus on real customer insights as part of a more human and natural approach that will bring new resonance to audiences.

So, what valuable insights did our panel of industry experts have to help stay ahead of the game?

Zero-Party Data Collection

Zero-party data refers to information that customers intentionally and proactively share with a brand. This form of collection directly involves users in their data sharing, enhancing personalisation and trust.

In a cookieless world, brands must proactively encourage this direct data sharing in exchange for value. It’s more important than ever to utilise analytics and CRM for audience insights, segmentation and targeting. You can also gather valuable data such as email addresses, phone numbers and additional information to help in your marketing process


Head of Digital

Second-Party Data Partnerships

Second-party data enables businesses to broaden their data insight through strategic partnerships. It is data shared between partners or trusted entities that you can use to expand your audience.

To increase collaboration and marketing performance in a cookieless world, Ardent will soon launching our Ardent Partnership Hub. The hub will provide our partners with direct access to a network of secure second party-data. The benefit to our hub is that brands can opt in, choose which data to share to ensure the highest level of privacy, and gain access to new insights to enhance campaign targeting.

Contextual Advertising

Contextual targeting allows you to reach your desired niche audience while they are in a receptive frame of mind without processing additional information.

If you aren’t already doing so, place your advertisements based on web page content or user interest and invest in understanding target audience environments. Its about aligning your ads with content topics, not past behaviour.

Customer Engagement

More than ever before it’s critical to reach every consumer touchpoint, it’s about ensuring your customers have a 360-view of your brand not just receiving your targeted ads. Tweak your digital strategy and update your channels to communicate with users on multiple platforms.

For email marketing success, build segmented email lists for tailored content delivery and lead nurturing. Communication is key, so explore webchat tools to communicate live with your costumers, or use asynchronous chat tools such as SMS and messenger to reach users pockets


Head of Digital

SEO Focus

A fundamental way to increase organic visibility is through enhanced SEO. Content quality should become a priority along with an exemplary user experience.

Leverage Social Media

For targeted advertising, use platform data. Make a strong effort to engage in community building and direct messaging for data collection and incorporate lead generation campaigns for data collection and nurturing.

Educate and Building Trust

A key part of moving away from cookies is informing customers about data privacy measures. Be transparent about your data practices and offer control to users. Always implement the latest privacy recommendations

If you’re looking for further advice on how your business can best navigate a cookieless future, contact our team of marketing experts today.

After all, that’s the way the cookie crumbles and we must adapt or die!

By Team Ardent

Ardent is one of the fastest growing boutique full-service agencies in Australia and one of the best places to work in Sydney. Each and every day we challenge ourselves and our clients for more, we deliver and are measured by excellent results, and most importantly we evolve ourselves and our partners.

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