Before the (Third) Party’s Over: Most Marketers Still Relying On Third-Party Cookies

← Back to blogPublishing

Just because we keep creeping closer to the unclear end of third-party cookies doesn’t mean they aren’t still a valuable tool. 

Just ask the 75% of marketers who still rely on them.

An Adobe study of more than 2,600 marketing and customer-experience professionals worldwide found that “many marketers aren’t taking the necessary steps to evolve their data strategies, despite serious near- and long-term impacts on their businesses.”

Not only are three-quarters of respondents relying heavily on third-party cookies, but 45% are spending at least half of their budgets on cookie-based activations (and 64% are planning on increasing their spending this year). Interestingly, respondents are aware of what Adobe calls their “overdependence” and what 51% of respondents said is a “necessary evil.”

“Over three-quarters of leaders expect the end of third-party cookies will hurt their businesses, in some cases profoundly,” says Adobe’s Ryan Fleisch. “16 percent said it will ‘devastate’ their businesses, 23 percent anticipate significant harm, and 37 percent predict a moderate negative impact.”

Adobe did find that 59% of respondents are readying for a cookieless future (“or keeping it a high priority”), and that customer data platforms are helping in that preparation. 97% of companies using CDPs report positive results. 

“47 percent say they’ve already gained more direct relationships with customers, 40 percent note a rise in customer loyalty, and 33 percent increased the number and value of completed transactions,” the report says. “CDPs also improve internal workflows: 42 percent said CDPs enabled better and faster work across marketing and IT, and 32 percent are realizing more efficient production of ROI.”

The adoption of CDPs speaks to Adobe’s overarching message to marketers: “move forward now or get left behind.” The reliance of third-party cookies will eventually subside, and customers may move to those platforms before many of the marketers who are struggling to reach them.

“Brands that ignore this trend are leaving money on the table today and putting their businesses in jeopardy in the longer term.”


The Magazine Manager is a web-based CRM solution designed to help digital and print publishers manage sales, production, and marketing in a centralized platform.

Request a Demo

Schedule a free demo with an experienced software consultant to help make your publishing efforts successful.

Related Articles