Cookieless Future, Part Two: Strategies for a Privacy-First World
Cookieless 03.28.2024

Cookieless Future, Part Two: Strategies for a Privacy-First World

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This podcast episode of Sunny Side Up discusses the impact of Google’s removal of third-party cookies on digital advertising and marketing strategies. Tom Keefe, a marketing ops expert, provides an overview of third-party cookies and Google’s plans for a “privacy sandbox.” The discussion focuses on how this change will affect account identification, personalization, and B2B marketers. Keefe suggests ways marketing organizations may adapt, including evaluating vendors and implementing first-party cookies. Both speakers emphasize the need to track changes to benchmarks and strategies as the digital landscape evolves in a cookieless world.


04:36 –  Chris asks Tom to explain what's happening as Google removes third-party cookies, kicking off the in-depth discussion.
11:07 –  Tom discusses how the removal of third-party cookies will impact B2B marketers specifically.
13:14 –  Tom shares his perspective that there are also positives that can come from the changes, such as evolving strategies and more precise targeting.
15:42 –  In response to Chris, Tom emphasizes that marketers should look at their historical benchmarks and data as things change over the next 6-12 months.

About the guest

Tom Keefe is the Senior Director, Marketing Operations at Demandbase. As a RevOps leader Tom strives to expand his knowledge outside of the standard Ops role. Whether it’s helping drive business within the revenue org, running trainings/best practice sessions, consulting with prospects and customers around their internal practices or aiding product/engineering; he always put an emphasis being a main contributor across multiple departments within an organization.

Connect with Tom Keefe

Key takeaways

  • Google is removing third-party cookies and introducing a “privacy sandbox” to securely store browsing data for targeted ads while protecting privacy
  • This will impact account identification and website personalization technologies that rely on third-party cookies
  • B2B marketers may not need to change much directly but should assess vendor preparedness for cookieless targeting
  • Marketing organizations should evaluate technology stacks, diversify ad networks, and prepare vendors for questions about cookieless strategies
  • Benchmarks, like reach, conversions, and data identification, may change and need to be tracked over time as cookies are phased out


“I personally want to be advertised to the nth degree, I want you to know that I only ever buy Subaru, I don’t want to see a Ford F-150 truck. But at the same time, I want my data to be safe.” -Tom Keefe

Highlights from this episode

How will the removal of third-party cookies impact B2B marketers and how will it change their day-to-day operations?

Tom explains that the removal of third-party cookies will impact B2B marketers through changes to account identification, which many B2B go-to-market systems rely on to identify website visitors. This could affect tools that use account identification data, like ad targeting and reporting in areas like Google Analytics. He also mentions that website personalization may be impacted. However, Tom believes the changes may not be too significant for most B2B marketers, as they often don’t interact directly with cookies. The main impact could be some tools misidentifying accounts or visitors initially as vendors adapt to the loss of third-party cookies.

What changes do you expect or predict marketing organizations will make due to losing cookies?

Tom predicts that marketing organizations will make the following changes due to losing third-party cookies:

– Implementing first-party cookies on their websites to help with account identification and tracking visitors

– Diversifying their ad networks and digital vendors to work with companies that are prepared for a cookieless future

– Reevaluating their current vendors and technology stacks to ensure they don’t rely too heavily on third-party cookies

– Potentially bringing back forms on websites to help with self-identification if cookies are no longer available for automatic account recognition

– Shifting strategies around tools like ad targeting, personalization, and reporting to adapt to changes in how user data can be collected and used

Do you see any positives coming from the removal of third-party cookies?

Tom mentions that it will force evolution in the industry as strategies have to adapt without cookies. This could lead to new, more innovative targeting approaches using technologies like AI and topics. Tom also believes users may end up being able to control their data and ad preferences more through tools like browser-based topics management. In the long run, advertisers may gain the ability to precisely target buyers based on interests rather than past browsing behavior tracked by cookies. So while challenging initially, the changes could benefit both users and marketers long-term.

If you could advise listeners on something to start doing today to prepare, what would you tell them?

Tom suggests looking at their technology and vendors. Specifically, he would recommend that marketers:

– Look at how much their current strategies and tools depend on account identification and third-party cookies

– Consider diversifying their ad networks or digital vendors to have options that are prepared for a cookieless future

Conducting an audit of their technology stack and vendor relationships would help marketers understand where they may be exposed and need to make changes to prepare for the upcoming deprecation of third-party cookies.

Do you think any benchmarks might change as a result and what data should they pay attention to?

Tom does think some benchmarks may change as a result of the removal of third-party cookies. He specifically mentions that marketers should pay attention to data around reach – how effectively they can reach their target audiences. Conversion rates on the website may also be impacted if identification methods change.

Tom advises marketers to look at the benchmarks and data points they are currently tracking, like website conversions. They should monitor how these metrics may change over the next 6-12 months as cookies are phased out and strategies evolve. This will help them understand how their performance is impacted and if any benchmarks need to be adjusted.

Resource recommendations




The New Automation Mindset: AI + Automation + Integration, a podcast series by Workato.


Michael Fan, Director of Marketing Operations at Workato.

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Sunny Side Up

B2B podcast for, Smarter GTM™

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