While there is no direct replacement of the third-party cookie, we believe that marketers can proactively plan for the future based on the information and alternatives we have. Planning ahead and putting the right partnerships in place now will be key to delivering value to clients later. The 90 team has developed our own perspective on how to navigate these uncharted waters. Here are some steps to take:

Rely on first-party data 

Use clients’ first-party data to inform marketing strategy. First-party data is the information that companies collect from their online and offline sources. The most common types of first-party data is obtained with explicit user consent from a company’s website, app, CRM, social media, or surveys. Working within a privacy-first environment, it is important for companies to uphold privacy standards to maintain consumer trust and sustain consumer engagement overtime to maintain database growth.

Foster strategic partnerships 

Establish new partnerships with publishers who have privacy-first solutions in place that maximize the value of data without risk

Develop and adopt strategies for channels and ad formats that are inherently cookie-less.

Tribe audience building: Shift towards characteristic-based targeting (vs. demographics-based targeting) to target users based on online behavior and interests as opposed to age, income, etc. This also allows marketers to develop smarter messaging strategies that resonate with a greater customer group.

Offline moments: Don’t focus solely on customers’ online behaviors; look to offline moments that may be influencing their decisions. Then, use those moments to predict which marketing initiatives will be the most engaging to your audiences in the current environment.


Partner with Google to stay updated on discussions around specific changes. Actively ingest new forms of data to supplement cookie data including CRM data, cross-device data, and email lists. And, proactively prepare audience lists for a simple translation into Google IDs.

What Our Media Partners are Saying

We’ve had the opportunity to survey some of our most trusted media partners on how they’re preparing for the shift. While no one knows for certain what the future holds, these partners are prepared to use this change to their advantage.

When asked about the demise of cookies one partner said, “We believe that the move away from cookies will actually be a positive change for online advertising. Cookies are a somewhat antiquated technology, and while it will require some extra work and re-engineering of our systems, we think the post-cookie world will open the door for better solutions than exist now.” Another partner spoke to the issue of simultaneously providing consumer privacy and attribution tracking as a top concern moving forward. They believe that “advertisers and ad tech partners need to be dynamic and build solutions to still support measurement, attribution, and smart media buying while still respecting the privacy of consumers. Tailored digital advertising isn’t going away – but the mechanisms users to deliver it are changing to incorporate better privacy and choices for consumers.”

When asked about future-proofing, many partners spoke to the importance of leveraging first-party data and taking preemptive measures to secure and organize this data. Outside of first-party lists, one publisher spoke to current strategies that are completely non-reliant on cookies: “Outside of our rich predictive contextual strategies, we have invested heavily in channels and data sets that are non-cookie-reliant; digital out of home, mobile, connected TV, audio, macro data sets like weather, financial, social, location data, linear TV data, etc.” Another partner has already begun leveraging first-party data as follows: “We utilize what we call a direct match with other first-party data, where we match with the registration data from companies like IRI, Mastercard, Experian, and over 40 others. This allows us to identify the same person in our registered data as in theirs. We can then target that individual based on all of the attributes that we have them directly match to without the need for any cookies or modeling of data.”

Across all channels, partners believe reliance on device ID-level data is a logical next step for marketers, stating, “although CRM data has shown to be effective, we think that the new “post-cookie” world will basically have a new identifier (probably device-level) that enables us to match past online behavioral patterns with targeted ads – much like the cookie used to, but in a more secure and improved environment.”

Advertisers and ad tech companies alike agree that the prioritization of consumer privacy will ultimately allow for more precise targeting to consumers who desire to see relevant advertising. No one is certain what is in store for the landscape of digital marketing, but we believe this change is for the best.

Interested in learning more? Let’s talk!

“Planning ahead and putting the right partnerships in place now will be key to delivering value to clients later.”