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Leeds Digital Fest: The impact of a cookie-less world

Our Junior Marketing Data Analyst, Jonny, tuned in to the Leeds Digital Fest session on cookie-less marketing. Here’s his review:Leeds Digital Fest official sponsor banner

Leeds Digital Fest 2021: Cookie-less world

I recently attended Martin Hughes’ talk ‘The Impact of a Cookie-less World’ which was hosted as part of Leeds Digital Fest. The talk revolved around tracking in a post-cookie restriction world. The cookie apocalypse has already begun with the implementation of iOS 14 and is set to continue. Plus, Google is phasing out of third-party cookies in Chrome which Hughes predicted will occur in the next 6 to 12 months.

The key points Hughes made were to do with how websites can make the best of a hard situation. His first key point was to improve websites as much as possible to provide clients with a platform that seems secure, so they don’t have any reservations when it comes to handing over their personal data. According to Hughes, a good method to gather first-party data is to use a 10% discount for first-time buyers. Once a customer makes a purchase, their email address is obtained and it can then be used to effect email retargeting for example.

Something that stuck with me from this session was the importance of GA4. GA4 is the new and improved Google Analytics tool, previously Google’s Universal Analytics (GA). One benefit GA4 offers over GA is that it is no longer based on sessions. Instead, it is based on flexible event-based models, such as a string of web pages being opened, that allows more customisation for users. It also boasts the capability of being fully cross-platform and cross-device in its tracking which GA could not. The final, and possibly most advantageous feature of GA4, is the ability to easily create new audiences using the data it collects.


Cookie-less world at a glance

  • First party is created and stored on the website
  • Third-party are stored by other sites e.g. FB pixel
  • GDPR laws tightened after Cambridge Analytica
  • Google phase-out third party cookies in chrome
  • 6-12 months until google updates the cookie policy

Impact of increased privacy

  • FB cant include iOS users in audience as well making personalisation more challenging
  • First-party data capture is key for retargeting and more
  • Compelling content has become key to sales ‘thumb-stopping content’


  • Incentivises people to give their data, 10% off first order
  • Make it easy for people to accept cookies
  • More data more user personalisation
  • Privacy-focused client-facing while extracting useful data
  • Reasonable use of chat boxes
  • An email list can be used in GAds, Fb, etc Tik Tok (Younger demographic)
  • GA4 is ‘better’ than GA

GA4 vs GA

  • GA based on sessions/ GA4 bases on a flexible event-based model. E.g., string of page views
  • GA Limited cross-device and cross-platform/ GA4 Full cross dev and plat
  • GA4 is more capable of producing useful insights
  • GA4 easy to create new audiences
  • Easy to set up GA4


I enjoyed Hughes talk due to its relevance and top-notch presentation. I would recommend it to anyone who is concerned by how the impact of tightening GDPR laws on cookie restrictions will impact their business. A recording of ‘The Impact of a cookie-less World’ can be found here.


If you’re looking for advice and support with your paid search and data, get in touch with our team at

Jonny Griffin - Modo25
Jonny Griffin
Jonny Griffin - Modo25
Jonny Griffin

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