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Who moved my Cookie?

Picture credit: Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash
Picture credit: Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash

Every single day

Every word you say

Every game you play

Every night you stay

I'll be watching you

The 1983 hit ‘Every breath you take’ by British rock band The Police seems to be prophetic about the role of cookies in our web life. Cookies are watching every click, every keystroke, every choice, every move night and day.

The recent announcement of the demise of third party cookie by Google has been a big concern for the digital ecosystem-marketers and publishers alike. For over 2 decades, the advertising dollars has moved gradually from traditional to the digital media. This has been possible due to the user data captured over a long period of time, which has resulted in precision targeting, and higher returns for businesses. The user data is of utmost’s a goldmine. Organisations who have invested in collection and analysis of their first party user data will have an edge over the others and will benefit hugely now and for years to come.

So, how would the removal of third party cookies impact the 3 strong pillars of the digital ecosystem-advertisers, marketers and publishers?


For publishers, the importance of the first party data is going to be extremely crucial now. They have to invest in capturing and managing the 1st party data, processing and building data, analytical tools and tech solutions. Dependency on the big gatekeeper has to reduce.

I presume lesser would mean more – a more UI UX friendly website, having fewer ad spots but impactful ones would become more meaningful for advertisers and users.High volume first party data should be bucketed to build relevant user cohorts.

Potential prospecting campaigns with direct advertisers will have to be more efficient and perform, basis the first party data.


Digital has become extremely crucial for marketers and how. The pace of digital innovation has never been so fast and COVID-19 has accentuated this by manifold.

Brands have to take control of building their own data and tech ownership. This will help them to have visibility and control of it.

Marketers have to ensure their presence on all digital platforms. Strong and seamless touchpoint needs to be created across own assets, social and search.

Investment in good creative and marketing agencies would be the need of the hour.

Hard hitting creatives and strong CTAs would clearly need to be focused on by businesses to attract the right audience.


Consumer is the KING and will have control on where, why and to whom he is giving his data. Hidden data collection will reduce. However, due to lack of targeting precision the ads thrown at a user might become irrelevant due to lack of third party data and absence of retargeting.

The industry is still debating and getting ready for the outcome and overall impact of the cookie less world. I strongly feel this is the time when all stakeholders need to re-strategise and remodel, prioritising the users and putting their experiences in the forefront. This will help power the future marketing initiatives and create a digital advertising environment the consumer will choose to support.

Though Google is shutting down third party cookies, it will continue to use first party cookies in its own ecosystem, which is more or less everything. In a nutshell, Google will have the cake and eat it too.

About the Author: Ranjita Sehgal, works with Network18.She is a digital media expert and has worked with marquee digital/media brands. She has led Digital Business, monetization/revenue.


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