As Principal Solutions Architect for Aqfer, I spend a lot of time speaking with MadTech companies and helping to solve their problems. As the future of cookie technologies evolve, including advancements in cookie partitioning, the digital marketing and advertising landscape is scrambling to shift away from reliance on third-party cookies.

Based on these conversations and my own observations of the MadTech landscape, here are 9 predictions for the future of cookies and identity resolution. 


9 Predictions Around the Role of First-party Data and Tagging in MadTech

With the advent of cookie partitioning, first-party data will become even more crucial as it ensures data integrity and privacy across different websites, strengthening its role as the cornerstone of marketing strategies. Brands will invest in building direct relationships with customers and collecting consented first-party data through various touchpoints.

Tagging and event-driven data collection aligned with cookie partitioning best practices will become more essential for capturing granular user interactions and building rich data profiles. Companies need to invest in robust tagging frameworks and data governance practices to ensure data quality and compliance.

Brands will focus on building and resolving first-party identities across devices and channels. Deterministic and probabilistic identity resolution techniques will be used to create a unified view of the customer and enable seamless experiences.

CDPs will become even more essential to help companies unify, manage, and activate their first-party data with the rest of the organization. They enable brands to create a single view of the customer, segment audiences, and orchestrate personalized experiences across channels.  Many of these companies do not have the resources to successfully accomplish this while balancing cost and scale and will require the use of a partner like Aqfer to take advantage of the latest technologies, move these projects along more quickly – without breaking the bank.

Some companies will attempt to develop DIY first-party tagging and identity resolution solutions and will fail miserably.  Many companies are already going down this path of destruction but are unaware.

First-party data collaboration will most likely increase: Companies will collaborate with and share first-party data with trusted partners as long as it can be privacy compliant.  Clean rooms and data-sharing platforms will facilitate secure data partnerships, enabling brands to expand their audience reach and insights.

Managing user consent will be critical. Companies must implement transparent consent management platforms (CMPs) to obtain and manage user consent for data collection and usage.

Measurement and attribution will evolve. Traditional measurement and attribution models that rely on third-party cookies will be replaced by privacy-compliant methods. Companies will leverage first-party data, statistical modeling, machine learning and generative AI to measure campaign effectiveness and optimize marketing spend.

The MadTech ecosystem will prioritize integration and interoperability between various platforms and tools. Seamless data flow and activation across the stack will be crucial for delivering cohesive and personalized customer experiences.

Not a Prediction – a Reality

Many companies have decided to wait because they heard that third party cookies are not going away this year and the time frame has shifted to 2025.  That being said, modern browsers are already adopting cookie partitioning to address privacy concerns and comply with stringent data protection regulations. For example, Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) automatically partition cookies for third-party content, effectively preventing trackers from following users across different sites. Google Chrome has also announced plans to implement a similar approach with its Privacy Sandbox initiative.  

Prepare for a First-Party Future

If any of these predictions sound similar to conversations at your organization, you’re in good company. It reminds me of the saying: “The best time to plant a tree was a while ago. The second best time is now.” Reach out to discuss your first-party and identity resolution use cases and discover how Aqfer can help your company prepare for and prosper in this ever changing landscape.

About the Author

Robert MacInnis

Principal Solutions Architect

Robert MacInnis a seasoned technology executive and solutions architect with over 15 years of experience driving digital transformations for startups and established companies. As a Principal Solutions Architect at Aqfer, he lead the deployment of cutting-edge technology and empowers channel partners and clients to achieve success. Previously, Robert served as a Consultant/Advisor and held Chief Technology Officer positions at QuickPivot, e-Dialog, Wired Empire, and Be-Now. He is passionate about data engineering, solution architecture, and leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver exceptional results.