The future of marketing without third-party cookies: what native advertising has to offer

Stefan Huber

Stefan Huber is Chief Operating Officer. He is in charge of the Content, Service & Delivery Unit, assists customers with advisory services and content know-how, and gains new creative input while climbing indoors and outdoors.

It is still unclear when it comes to the end of third party cookies. Among other things, when the time will finally come. There will probably be no single solution. While Google is happily working on the privacy sandbox and ID solutions are on the rise, we all too often overlook what we already have. For example, a clean approach in terms of craftsmanship and data protection, which instead uses the power of content to guide users to their destination via their actual interests. In this magazine article, we want to look at what native advertising can contribute to the future without third party cookies.

Native advertising as a future-proof solution

Less invasive yet effective advertising methods that respect users’ privacy and still deliver relevant results: Over 10 years of experience in content marketing make us certain that native advertising can do just that. It therefore offers a robust solution for the challenges of the post-cookie era. By integrating advertising into editorial content that fits seamlessly into the user experience, brands can communicate their messages in a natural and less intrusive way. This type of advertising benefits enormously from high-quality content that addresses the interests and needs of the target group without having to rely on conventional tracking methods.

Adapting performance strategies in the cookieless age

Our CCO Rainer Willisits is aware of the need for an adapted marketing strategy. “The future may be challenging without cookies, but despair is inappropriate. Within the industry, we have extensive know-how – on the part of technology, media companies, marketers, but also on the agency and customer side – to reach target groups effectively,” he explains and emphasizes that this certainly does not mean a one-fits-all solution, but rather underlines the importance of a detailed understanding of the marketing funnel: ”It will be relevant to have a clear strategy and objective. Performance starts with branding and all funnel stages contribute to a conversion or a lead actually happening. By analyzing and defining the set KPIs, you will be able to recognize the added value of measures – and not just pay attention to the last touchpoint.”

The role of AI and content in the future of marketing

Jürgen Schmidt, co-founder and partner of Content Garden, emphasizes the long-term relevance of AI in the advertising industry. “The topic of AI is currently experiencing extreme popularization through tools such as ChatGPT. In research, of course, we have been working on this for much longer and not everything that is now reaching the masses is really new. But the central point always remains the same: It is above all the quality of the data that determines success, and of course that you know what to do with it,” says Schmidt. He emphasizes that real added value is not created by technology alone, but by understanding and using the data generated. High-quality content provides the basis for generating and interpreting this data and making intelligent marketing decisions based on it. “Especially in view of the shifts in the advertising industry in the so-called cookieless future, the power duo of AI and content is becoming even more important. With few other measures, you can make good statements about user (behavior) via preferences and interaction rates.”


The most interesting opportunities open up for advertisers primarily through creativity. Native advertising is therefore a form of advertising that companies can use to face the cookie-free times. With native formats, they rely on high-quality content that integrates authentically and seamlessly into selected media and conveys brand messages unobtrusively.