Sure, Google spent the better part of two years delaying the Cookiepocalypse, but as of January 2024, the process has officially begun.  Your company has likely already started implementing an identity strategy… and if not, we’ll get you caught up with some common approaches, outlined down below.

As you know by now, the development of an identity strategy built to stand the test of time isn’t as simple as waving a magic wand, selecting an identity vendor, and hoping for the best. This is especially true for Marketing Service Providers (MSPs) whose businesses have become reliant on third-party tracking. 

MSPs – prepare to take notes; this article outlines everything you should consider when developing and activating an identity strategy to ensure Cookiepocalypse survival. 


Approaches to Identity Resolution

Without cookies, it becomes incredibly difficult to identify online users and understand their behavior and motivations so brands can better serve them. Thus the goals of identity resolution are clear: companies need a better way to capture information about desired audiences for targeting and analytics while maintaining service levels, accuracy, and value.

Brands and marketing service providers alike have started to invest in various strategies to combat the Cookiepocalypse. These include implementing first-party data strategies, stitching together data sets, leveraging universal IDs, or a combination of these approaches. 


  • First-Party Identity Strategy: The collection of first-party data readily shared by online users. First-party data includes a mix of demographic and behavioral data collected when a user interacts with a brand’s digital touchpoints.
  • Stitching Together Data Sets: The marriage of multiple data points from multiple sources (including first- and third-party).  Knitting these data sets together offers a fuller picture of user behavior.
  • Universal IDs: A single, persistent identifier used to track and target users across various online platforms and devices, eliminating reliance on third-party cookies. 

Allocating Resources to Develop an Identity Strategy

Developing and implementing an identity strategy isn’t as simple as selecting a method from the list (very briefly) described above and running with it. Developing the right strategy built to last requires time, money, and resources. Because user behavior can’t be truly understood based on just a handful of interactions. Building the right identity strategy means collecting more, better data and having the right mechanisms to process and activate that data. 

Companies must allocate sufficient resources for setting up integrations, testing data partners, licensing data, and managing additional data feeds. Engineers will need to manage more feeds, schemas, and jobs to evaluate and make use of additional data. All of this can incur significant costs.

With the urgency to solve cookie depreciation, many MSPs are balancing resource deployment and budget to meet their goals. To be successful, companies should consider offloading the table stakes work of building ingestion pipelines and optimizing data processing. This allows scarce technical resources to focus on understanding which data sets will be most valuable for achieving business objectives.

Testing, Activation, and Ongoing Improvement

Testing different data processing options for quality, coverage, and overall value versus cost is crucial when embarking on a new data strategy. After all, you can’t create a reliable identity strategy if you don’t have reliable data. Many MSPs speed through this testing phase. They often overlook the fact that the test phase is no different from the production phase in terms of data processing requirements. Data ingestion, standardization, and matching are essential steps in both the testing and production phases.

Developing an identity strategy is an ongoing process. Even when baseline datasets are secured, there will always be a need to explore new data sources, conduct testing, and integrate new data into production. This iterative process requires ongoing attention and resources.

Kick-Start Your Future-Ready Identity Solution 

Developing an effective identity strategy to combat the cookiepocalypse requires careful planning, resource allocation, and continuous improvement. MSPs must prioritize the offloading of table stakes work to focus on identifying the most valuable data sets for their specific use cases. By investing in the right strategies and allocating resources wisely, it’s possible to thrive in a cookieless world.

Aqfer is here to help you navigate the cookiepocalypse. Our marketing data cloud is designed to help MSPs develop data-powered marketing solutions faster, better, and cheaper than they could by deploying in-house resources. Want to learn more about how Aqfer can help your company develop a future-ready identity solution? Learn more about our identity resolution solutions here

About the Author

Aaron Venar

Enterprise Sales Representative

I’m an Enterprise Sales rep for Aqfer.  An industry veteran, I have 25+ years experience in providing software and data solutions to advertising-focused clients.  I currently focuses on data providers and MSPs to help them solve the next generation of challenges in the Martech ecosystem.