Is your strategy prepared for the third-party cookieless future? Vibhor Kapoor, President of AdRoll and Chief Business Officer, NextRolll, shares the important role attribution will play in future-proofing your performance, and 4 tips for strengthening your strategy.

The use of third-party cookies (3PCs) has long been essential for marketers to target and track internet users’ behavior. However, with Google planning to phase out 3PCs in the near future, many are uncertain about what changes to expect and how to adjust.

It’s important to note that while attribution can report on the performance of cookie-driven advertising, cookies themselves are separate from attribution. Rather, without being able to target people using third-party cookies, you’ll need to have a much better understanding of what drives customer behaviors and conversions. Let’s examine four steps to prepare your attribution strategy for a world without third party cookies.

Re-Evaluate Your Model

Savvy marketers should use the phasing out of 3PCs to develop more holistic approaches that rely less on intrusive tracking methods and prioritize user privacy. Part of this strategy overhaul should also include revisiting your attribution practices to ensure your models are tracking engagement throughout a customer’s entire journey, not just their point of conversion.

To ease this process, work to centralize performance metrics from their data sources, including pixel-based Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) tracking data and non-attributed data from platforms and channels such as Facebook, Klaviyo, Pinterest, etc. Don’t be afraid to also switch between different attribution models based on your specific objectives, such as filtering by first touch to identify the platforms that are contributing to top-of-funnel engagement, or using a linear model to analyze the entire customer journey.

Rethink Targeting and Objectives

Understanding a target audience—demographics, preferences, and behaviors—is just the starting point. You should also examine motivations and visualize the marketing funnel to track user interactions and actions across channels. Understanding how each advertisement contributes to different stages of the customer journey can help you determine how to measure each campaign’s success.

Consider using cookies and pixels in conjunction with UTMs to monitor user interactions and attribute them to specific touchpoints. Eventually, you’ll be able to define clear and compelling calls to action informed by attributed insights.

Explore New Channels

As marketers adapt to the changing landscape, you must reassess and expand our strategies for audience targeting and engagement. Options like Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) and Connected TV (CTV) are becoming increasingly important, as they offer opportunities for contextually relevant messaging and precise targeting while still supporting evolving privacy measures.

Evaluating message content, ad frequency, and budget allocation across channels is crucial for creating a strong attribution strategy. This involves optimizing resource distribution among platforms like TV, online channels, and radio to maximize impact and reach. Analyzing channel performance and reallocating budget based on attribution maximizes campaign impact, integrating data-driven insights for effective optimization.

Expand Your Advertising Strategies

In preparation for Google’s 3PC deprecation, marketers need to evolve their approaches by exploring other avenues, such as contextual advertising and AI-driven targeting. By embracing these avenues, you can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences. This helps you attribute conversions accurately and make informed decisions about your marketing strategies, ensuring optimal allocation of resources and maximizing return on investment.


When marketers lose the ability to target individuals using 3PCs, robust attribution practices become crucial. You can gain valuable insights into their audience's preferences and actions by accurately attributing customer interactions and conversions to specific touchpoints. This allows you to refine your strategies effectively, ensuring continued success in reaching and engaging your target audience.

Read Vibhor’s original article “Navigating The Future Of Attribution: Beyond Third-Party Cookies” in Forbes.

Learn more about how to prepare your marketing strategy for a third-party cookieless future by attending Vibhor’s MAD//Fest Session “Cleaning up the crumbs: Achieving growth in a post-third-party cookie world” on 2 July on the DigiAds Stage.