How the cookie crumbles


In 1992, a company called Netspace made history and invented the cookie. This invention enabled websites to remember user information and preferences, sparking a digital advertising revolution. Now, 30 years later, the cookie is dying, posing significant challenges for marketers. In this blog post, C7EVEN breaks down recent and upcoming changes for companies using digital advertising to prepare for. 


What has sparked the phasing out of cookies? 

You might be wondering, why are these changes happening when cookies have been crucial in developing the digital advertising and overall ecosystem as we know it?  

While cookies themselves cannot research your information or computer, they do often store personal information in at least two ways – from information you enter on a website and ad tracking. Ad tracking especially has inspired controversy amongst consumer privacy groups and other concerned parties and individuals. In addition, privacy regulations are making it harder and harder for companies to collect and use personal data without the users permission.  


The slow death of Third-Party Cookies 

On the back of the controversy and discussions about privacy, several big players have announced changes in how they will handle cookies going forward. 

Importantly for advertisers, Google Chrome, which is the most popular browser, will phase out ThirdParty Cookies in 2024. This will cause significant challenges for digital advertisers measuring their conversion tracking as part of their digital advertising activity.  

A conversion is an action a digital marketer wants an audience user to undertake once their advertisement has led the consumer onto their campaign landing page. This can be the completion of an enquiry form, product purchase, click to call, or download of material. 

But what specifically are ThirdParty Cookies and how do they help with advertising? ThirdParty Cookies are generated and placed on a user’s device when visiting a website by a website other than the website the user is visiting, for example by an advertiser. 

Third-Party cookies play a crucial role in “attributing” conversions, so giving a certain website or platform the “credit” for the conversion event happening. Attributing conversions is key for marketers to measure the success of campaigns and to optimise the campaign against to further improve campaigns.  

Google is currently developing a more privacy-conscious approach as part of their project “Privacy Sandbox” in preparation for phasing out Third-Party Cookies in stages in 2024.  


How recent changes have impacted the digital advertising space 

A prime example of a major challenge digital advertisers has recently faced is the update of all iOS devices to iOS 14. This upgrade meant, everyone was automatically opted out of tracking, unless they specifically opted back into tracking. Tracking is important as advertisers attempt to target their ads to specific groups of people that are appropriate audiences for their products or offering.  

Statistics in April 2022 have shown that only 25% of iOS devices opted back into tracking. This means the reported conversions of a campaign were lower than what was actually happening behind the scenes, making it harder to accurately optimise efforts towards the well performing platforms and tactics.  


How can digital advertisers adapt?  

It is now more important than ever to collect and make use of “Zero-party data”. Zero-party data is the data your users voluntarily share with your business. This can include things like interests, preferences, and contact information. This data is collected from users directly, for example through surveys, polls, quizzes.  

Zero-party data is often also more valuable to businesses, as it is more accurate, reliable, and collected with the user’s consent, which means there will be no privacy concerns about the collection of the data.  

As the digital advertising landscape keeps rapidly evolving, our team of digital marketing experts is at C7EVEN is at the forefront of the latest changes and opportunities globally. Reach out to us today to discuss your digital advertising strategy needs. 


Michaela Achilles

Senior Account Manager