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Understanding 3rd-Party Cookies, iOS 15, and Data Protection

Adapting to the newest technology and trends in digital marketing is a never-ending demand in the industry. 

It can feel like you need to constantly have your finger on the industry's pulse and change your processes at any moment.

However, blindly changing your strategies can jeopardize your business and lead to the upheaval that hurts your ROI. Therefore, it's essential to evaluate industry updates holistically before an abundance of headlines and reports convince you to change your trusty marketing strategies.

So, let's explore current (and well-documented) trends for third-party cookies, iOS 15, and Facebook advertising.


Many advertisers are worried that they'll be left in the dark about how visitors use their websites over time due to the decline of third-party cookies.

Cookies have become increasingly unpopular among general consumers and online audiences because they introduce risk and make users feel uncomfortable. Audiences also dislike cookies that negatively impact their shopping experiences, such as cookies that track their activity on airlines and travel sites.

With increased consumer understanding of how to delete cookies, cookies no longer offer great insight into consumer behavior.

The Truth

Cookies aren't going away any time soon! Digital agencies and marketing companies will continue to use cookies and IP addresses to personalize user experiences and create compelling marketing paths for years to come. 

Even better, cookies are likely to go away because they're replaced with something better. Cookies may not fully keep up with users' online and offline device use (especially across multiple different devices and locations).

That's why we developed our four Cross-Device Identity Graphs across Oracle, AdBrand, Crosswise, and Drawbridge. These graphs use multiple IDs to track users across diverse situations and ensure their user experience remains consistent.

Also, the likely replacement for IP addresses and cookies has already been created. Unified ID 2.0 has been built around how modern users interact with sites across different platforms and modes of Internet access.

Even if cookies themselves disappear in the future, something just as useful will take its place.


Apple is set to double down on its data protection efforts with the upcoming release of iOS 15. The technology giant disrupted the entire advertising industry earlier this year with the release of iOS 14.5, and they’re not done yet.

The initial software update has allowed for more accessible opt-out options that let users control data collection. Now, Apple is adding more privacy features including mail privacy protection and app privacy reports.

So, what does all this mean for advertisers? In short, you have to get more creative with your data collection efforts.

In addition to deciding whether or not Facebook can collect data from their mobile devices, iPhone users can now set similar protections in other apps. This sudden cutoff from user locations, search information, and other data mean Facebook won't be able to deliver highly targeted ads. 

Lastly, email marketing campaigns will become harder to attribute with the latest updates. Apple will block attribution pixels attached to emails, thus hiding user information from email senders.

It’s important to note that the privacy protection applies only to users on Apple’s Mail app. If your marketing emails are opened through Gmail, Outlook, or any other non-Apple email platform, your tracking abilities remain the same.

The Truth

The truth is that Facebook ads and email marketing were already becoming less effective than other more personalized and targeted advertising methods. OTT/CTV advertising, for example, allows you and your team to create a highly personalized series of ads for individual viewers to engage with.

With more consumers turning to online media streaming, it’s crucial to engage them through outstanding advertising, gather data about those interactions, and retarget them accordingly. Your team can take this opportunity to pivot Facebook ad spend toward OTT/CTV advertising and create a cohesive, compelling journey toward a purchase. 


Your news and business insight feeds will almost always have the most polarizing headlines and shocking statistics. But it's essential to look at consumer opinions and shocking statistics in light of other technological advances in the industry. 

Cookies aren't going to disappear without a replacement — not only are cookies still firmly in place, but there are already solutions that can exceed them! Consumers choose mobile security and privacy options that interfere with some advertising platforms. However, other advertising opportunities that give you more insights into customer behavior are available. 

Whether you're concerned or excited about technology and process changes in the marketing industry, Strategus is here to help. Browse our blog today to learn more about how your company can pivot to OTT/CTV advertising.

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Andy Dixon is a seasoned Content Writing Specialist at Strategus, renowned for his expertise in creating engaging and impactful digital content. With over a decade of experience in content creation, Andy has honed his skills in a variety of niches, ranging from technology and marketing to education.

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