Preparing for a cookieless future – Part 2

What can we do now to prepare?

Ben Franklin’s famous phrase “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” is very true now. While Third Party Cookie Deprecation is now scheduled for sometime in 2025 there are steps that need to be taken now to ensure you’re in the best possible position.

Have some form of Consent Management Platform applied to your site. This is usually delivered in the form of an on-site cookie banner that manages the use of all forms of on site tracking. It is a legal requirement to ensure that you are respecting your users’ privacy preferences so this is now a non-negotiable.

Implement Google Consent Mode. This requirement for Google Advertisers in the UK and EU from March 2024 is fundamental to ensuring user consent status is passed on to Google to allow them to track, store and target those users that provide consent. The latest version, enables cookieless tracking of aggregate unconsented users which is used to model missing data in Google Analytics 4.

Experiment with modelled data. You can toggle between ‘observed’ and ‘blended’ reporting identities in Google Analytics. ‘Observed’ data will only report consented deviceid and cookie based data in the UI. Enabling ‘Blended’ data, switches the UI to report modelled data. Switch between the two and observe the differences. N.B. if you make the switch it will show for all users of your GA account, so ensure that others are aware of the change or that you change it back to whatever your default setting is.

Start using features like Enhanced Conversions and Conversion API (for Meta). These augment consented data by combining advertiser first party data with signed in user data in order to fill in gaps. Enhanced conversion data doesn’t backdate, so enabling them sooner, rather than later means that you will get the most benefit from them in the future.

Implementing CAPI, can really help to bolster Meta’s tracking. Reporting up to 70% more conversions versus just using pixel based tracking.

Enrich your data with additional parameters. Passing back offline conversions, margin, profit, to provide your platforms with real-world feedback to feed into your strategic decision making.

Where we are using offline conversion import in Google Ads, we are able to take the guesswork out of understanding the value of each lead that we generate. This allows us to incorporate more detail in our bidding and optimisation including sales value and margin.

These are the 6 steps we’d advise you look at now

1. Check your CMP and consent mode status:

If you don’t have a cookie management platform and the latest version of Consent Mode set up on your site this should be a priority. Without Consent Mode you are likely to be severely restricted in your targeting, that would include retargeting and lookalike campaigns. Anything that uses user behaviour to target ads.

2. Audit your measurement strategy:

The first step is to assess where you are tracking against all the preparations listed above. With Universal Analytics ceasing processing of new data in 2023 you’re probably already using Google Analytics 4.

3. Implement measurement changes:

Use your audit to decide what next steps you need to take. You’ve hopefully already implemented a Consent Management Platform and Consent Mode, so the next step is to improve your measurable data through Enhanced Conversions and CAPI.

4. Audit your targeting strategy:

A secondary audit (but no less important) is to get an understanding of how you are using third-party cookies in your targeting. List out your advertising partners and the tactics you’re using and ask yourself, and them, how each of those lines of targeting works. If they’re using third-party cookies, then there’s likely to be changes. Reach out to your partners or agency to find out what their continuation plans are.

5. Educate your stakeholders:

Once you’ve audited and planned how you’re going to prepare, you can educate all stakeholders in the business about any upcoming changes. The way that we plan, target and measure performance is going to go through a period of change, so it’s often best to head these things off up front and ensure that people are informed.

6. Experiment:

As Third-party cookies go away, it’s likely that some advertising methods will disappear or go through serious changes. Rather than wait for that to happen, use the time we have to identify and evaluate alternatives and start using them before you need to. As with many things, those who move first, learn faster.


Is it judgement day? No. It’s a big change to our industry but we have the skills to facilitate the change. Especially when the cause of the change is going to give users more control over their own data. Follow the 6 steps above and you’ll be in the best possible position to turn what could be a threat into an advantage. But above all, don’t panic!

Need any help?

We hope that you’ve found this article useful. Also check out Part 1 in our Cookieless Preparation Series. Propellernet offers a wide range of Google Analytics Services including Enhanced Ecommerce setup and Google Analytics Training. Please contact us if you need any help.