The Modern Way of Measuring Impact in a Cookieless World

The digital landscape is undergoing a significant transformation with the decline of third-party cookies. As privacy concerns take center stage, businesses must adapt to a cookieless world and find innovative ways to measure the impact of their online efforts. In this article, Josefin Kjellbris, our Analytics Lead, explores the modern methods of measuring impact in the absence of cookies and highlights the key strategies businesses can employ to gain valuable insights and optimize their marketing strategies. Let's dive in!

Embracing First-Party Data

In a cookieless world, first-party data emerges as a powerful asset for measuring impact. First-party data is collected directly from users who interact with a website or engage with a business's digital touchpoints. By leveraging this data, businesses can gain valuable insights into user behavior, preferences, and engagement patterns. Strategies such as building comprehensive customer profiles, implementing user registration systems, and utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) tools are crucial for effectively harnessing first-party data.

Customer Journey Mapping

Understanding the customer journey becomes more critical in a cookieless environment. Mapping the customer journey involves tracking and analyzing user interactions across multiple touchpoints and channels. By employing techniques like pixel tracking, URL parameters, and server-side tracking, businesses can gain a holistic view of user behavior and identify key touchpoints that contribute to conversions. Customer journey mapping enables businesses to optimize marketing efforts and allocate resources more effectively.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting is gaining prominence as an effective way to measure impact without relying on individual user data. Instead of tracking individual behavior, contextual targeting focuses on delivering relevant content and advertisements based on the context of the web page being viewed. By analyzing keywords, themes, and page content, businesses can tailor their messaging to align with the user's interests in real-time. This approach ensures user privacy while still delivering personalized experiences.

Probabilistic and Statistical Modeling

In the absence of cookies, probabilistic and statistical modeling techniques play a vital role in measuring impact. These models leverage aggregated data and statistical algorithms to make inferences about user behavior and campaign performance. By analyzing patterns and correlations within the available data, businesses can estimate the impact of various marketing activities and optimize their strategies accordingly. Techniques like propensity modeling, look-alike modeling, and cohort analysis are invaluable in this regard.

Multi-Touch Attribution

Measuring the impact of marketing efforts requires a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and the contribution of each touchpoint. Multi-touch attribution models allow businesses to assign value and credit to different marketing channels and touchpoints along the customer journey. By considering various attribution models such as first touch, last touch, linear, or time decay, businesses can gain insights into the effectiveness of different marketing initiatives and optimize their budget allocation.

Data Collaboration and Partnerships

Collaboration and partnerships between businesses and trusted third-party data providers can offer valuable insights and measurement capabilities in a cookieless world. By leveraging aggregated and anonymized data from reputable sources, businesses can augment their own data sets and gain a broader perspective on user behavior and industry trends. These partnerships must prioritize data privacy, compliance with regulations, and transparency to maintain user trust.

Marketing Mix Modeling

Marketing mix modeling (MMM) is the application of statistical techniques to measure and evaluate the impact of various marketing channels on sales and other key performance indicators (KPIs). It typically aims to determine the optimal allocation of marketing resources to maximize return on investment (ROI) and improve decision-making.

The marketing mix refers to the combination of marketing channels that a company can control to influence consumer demand and achieve its marketing objectives. These channels may include TV, email, social media (e.g. Twitter and TikTok), programmatic etc. Marketing mix modeling involves analyzing historical data to understand the relationships between these marketing channels and business outcomes. Marketing mix modeling generally involves the following key steps:

  1. Data Collection: Relevant data is collected, including sales data, marketing expenditure data, market research data, and other relevant variables.

  2. Data Preparation: The collected data is organized and prepared for analysis. This may involve cleaning the data, handling missing values, and transforming variables if necessary.

  3. Model Development: Statistical techniques such as regression analysis are applied to develop a mathematical model that quantifies the relationship between marketing variables and sales or other performance metrics. Multiple regression analysis is commonly used to estimate the impact of each marketing element while controlling for other factors.

  4. Model Validation: The developed model is validated to ensure its accuracy and reliability. This is done by comparing the model's predictions against actual sales data or using other validation techniques.

  5. Scenario Analysis: Once the model is validated, it can be used to simulate and predict the impact of different marketing channel combinations.

  6. Optimization and Decision Making: Based on the model's insights, marketers can optimize their marketing mix by allocating resources more effectively.

Marketing mix modeling provides quantitative insights into the effectiveness of different marketing activities and their impact on business outcomes. By understanding these relationships, companies can make data-driven decisions, optimize their marketing strategies, and allocate their resources more efficiently to achieve their marketing goals.


GeoLift is a statistical tool used to measure the incremental impact of a marketing campaign or intervention across different geographic regions or segments. It can be used to understand the effectiveness of marketing efforts and help optimize marketing campaigns accordingly.

Here's a general overview of how GeoLift is typically used:

  1. Data Collection: Collect data related to your marketing campaign, including campaign exposure (e.g., advertising, promotions) and outcomes (e.g., sales, conversions) at a geographic level. This could involve tracking data by region, city, store, or any other relevant geographical segmentation.

  2. Define Treatment and Control Groups: Divide your geographic areas into two groups: the treatment group and the control group. The treatment group consists of the areas or segments where the marketing campaign was implemented, while the control group consists of areas where there was no campaign or minimal intervention. The control group provides a baseline for comparison.

  3. Implement the Campaign: Execute your marketing campaign in the identified treatment group, ensuring that the intervention is specific to those regions while keeping the control group unaffected.

  4. Measure Post-Campaign Metrics: After the campaign period, measure the post-campaign metrics for both the treatment and control groups. This data will reflect the outcomes or performance indicators after the campaign.

  5. Calculate Lift: Calculate the lift by comparing the post-campaign metrics of the treatment group with the control group. The lift represents the incremental impact or difference in outcomes between the two groups that can be attributed to the marketing campaign.

  6. Statistical Analysis: Conduct statistical analysis, such as hypothesis testing, to determine the statistical significance of the lift. This helps establish whether the observed differences are statistically significant.

  7. Interpret Results and Optimize: Analyze the results of the GeoLift analysis to understand the impact of the marketing campaign and help optimize future marketing strategies toward marketing goals.

GeoLift offers marketers a data-driven approach to understanding the impact of marketing campaigns. By identifying campaign effectiveness, marketers can tailor their future strategies to improve marketing outcomes.


As the digital landscape evolves, businesses must adapt to the challenges of a cookieless world. By combining these approaches and fostering data collaboration, businesses can gain valuable insights, optimize their marketing strategies, and deliver personalized experiences while respecting user privacy and building long-term customer trust.