Home The Big Story The Big Story: The Cookieless Expanse Ahead

The Big Story: The Cookieless Expanse Ahead


Ad tech faces the biggest change in its existence: the end of third-party cookies. How much should marketers care?

On the one hand, many marketers see value in making the media ecosystem sustainable and competitive. That’s why big marketing leaders create industry task forces or urge the industry to clean up its act. On the other hand, marketers have a short period of time to prove themselves; one bad quarter can send them to the door. And testing cookieless solutions (with their inferior results) isn’t necessarily a winning strategy for self-preservation.

With the end of cookies upon us, AdExchanger Senior Editor James Hercher looked into how the ad tech ecosystem is doing. Did everyone make the most of their last year of cookies? And how much are companies leaning into replacements like the Privacy Sandbox?

Meanwhile, agencies are less interested in third-party-cookie talking points than they are in guiding clients through their first-party data initiatives and efforts in retail media, which is experiencing a massive growth spurt. Over the past few years, agencies have launched commerce arms, acquired key commerce and retail media assets (like Flywheel Digital and CitrusAd), and they also snapped up first-party data platforms like Epsilon and Acxiom. We talk about how these trends – the end of cookies, the rise of first-party data and growing retail media businesses – will continue to intersect in 2024.

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