Cookieless FAQs: Overview of Marketing without Third-party Cookies

What is happening and why?

Due to the increased privacy requests from online consumers, Google (among others) have made the decision to remove support for third-party cookies on the Chrome browser by early 2025. Advertisers heavily rely on third-party cookies in order to deliver hyper-targeted, relevant ads to consumers. However, the industry now needs to shift its reliance on third-party cookies to support other modes of targeting.

Sojern has been developing new cookieless ad solutions over the last several years to lead clients through this change. Google aims to implement these changes by early 2025, discontinuing support for third-party cookies on Chrome. The Chrome web browser represents more than 60% of the market, so this change is by far the most significant to date and will completely change ad targeting as we know it today. After this change, third-party cookies will no longer be a viable digital ad tool, which affects targeting, attribution, and reporting for your campaigns.

Back to top

When is this happening?

Google has begun phasing out third-party cookies as of January 4, 2024 for 1% of Chrome users globally, and the full roll-out is anticipated for early 2025.

Back to top

What is Sojern's approach to cookieless?

Sojern has been developing new cookieless ad solutions over the last 3 years to lead clients through this change. Our approach is designed to continue driving performance for our customers by combining all the best available cookieless solutions, starting with cookieless-durable channels like SEM, Metasearch, and 1-to-1 email/SMS marketing. It's more than a technical solution; it's a commitment to advanced, intelligent strategies that empower our customers with effective audience targeting capabilities, measurement, and insights. We're not only following industry trends, but actively leading through innovation and drawing on core strengths. In short, Sojern is developing an industry-backed, future-proof strategy that constructs privacy-compliant audiences for you in the cookieless world.

Back to top

What identifier(s) will be used instead of third-party cookies?

In keeping with the advertising industry and our technology partners, Sojern is employing multiple targetable identifiers (IDs) collected with permission from clients and partners (e.g., hashed emails and IP addresses), IDs securely collected from the tag, and other universally accepted industry IDs. This approach is designed to adeptly navigate the challenges and risks of an ever-changing digital landscape. Without getting too technical, not all demand side platforms (DSPs) work with all types of data, so we're trying to be as flexible as possible to best support customer campaign performance while we build long-term solutions, which we believe is a unified personal ID.

Back to top

What actions do I need to take now to prepare for the cookieless world?

To prepare, you should ensure that you are requesting and receiving permission from your website/booking engine visitors to use first-party data for marketing. You may also need to update your Sojern pixel/s to maximize the use of your 1P data, or to enable tracking and attribution. Rest assured, we will be available to help make this transition as seamless as possible for you. Reach out to your Sojern representative to get started.

In addition to this, we recommend you start testing out ways to explain to users the benefits of providing their email address and/or being logged in - e.g., receiving a more personalized experience or offers.

Back to top

How can Sojern help advertisers effectively engage and target users across domains without relying on traditional third-party cookies?

In a cookieless world, third-party cookies can no longer be stored in browsers, shifting ownership of the user information to the domain and requiring new methods for establishing identity across events. Currently Demand Side Targeting relies on first- and third-party cookie sync between the Demand Side Platform (DSP) and Supply Side Platform (SSP) in order to match an ad call to a targeted user. The deprecation of the third-party cookie will limit the way that advertisers can track user behaviors across various domains and limit the ability to re-engage with users after they have interacted with your brand.

Each ad platform is actively developing its own suite of solutions aimed at replacing capabilities based on third-party cookies. The approaches common across all ad platforms in which we run are:

  • Contextual and 1P Site Visitor Lookalike Targeting: Leveraging contextual cues and first-party data to identify audiences with similar behaviors and interests.
  • Permissioned Identifiers: Utilizing hashed email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, and other Industry Alternative IDs such as UID2.0 as cookieless identifiers.
  • 1P Offline Data Activation: Integrating first-party customer relationship management (CRM) and transactional data to enrich targeting capabilities.
  • Targeting Based on Chrome's Privacy Sandbox: Protected Audiences and Topics

However, it's important to acknowledge that none of these approaches alone will offer a perfect replacement for the cookie in terms of match rates and transparency into performance. Sojern is partnering with advertisers to leverage a combination of the above tactics to best insulate our customers from the impacts of third-party cookie deprecation. While the performance of a single approach will vary between DSPs, the advantage of employing a multi-pronged solution lies in its ability to take advantage of the best features each ad platform has to offer.

Back to top

How is Sojern staying compliant with privacy regulations both internally and when using your customer's first party data for targeting?

Sojern's data governance and privacy program is overseen by an internal data protection officer and privacy counsel. The legal department keeps abreast of current and new privacy regulations, advises business units and operations on privacy program-building, counsels product and engineering on privacy-by-design principles, and maintains independent third-party certifications for data collection, privacy management, and compliance with industry standards such as the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). Sojern's information security department maintains information security policies and implements technical safeguards to protect client data in our systems, following best industry practices to treat client data with the utmost care and secrecy.

Sojern re-certifies annually with the U.S. Department of Commerce to participate in the EU-U.S. Data Protection Framework (DPF), UK Extension to the EU-U.S. DPF, and Swiss-U.S. DPF framework. Sojern cooperates with clients for their internal assessments, ranging from information security questionnaires to data processing impact assessments, to ensure Sojern provides adequate information to clients for its compliance with internal policies, controls, and processes related to privacy and data protection.

Back to top

Does Sojern have a list of any additional privacy measures or industry collaborations relating to privacy and security compliance?

Please see our Privacy Center and Privacy Policy for more information. Internally, Sojern implements internal information security and data use policies. Sojern also participates in the DAA, EDAA and Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC) opt-out platform which offers consumers choices to opt-out from behavioral advertising. In addition, users wishing to opt out, export, or delete any personal data that Sojern may have collected about them can use this tool.

Back to top