Epsilon’s Shane Hanby: Post-Cookie Era Relies On “Teamwork” Between Brands, Marketers & Tech

23 April 2024: Shane Hanby, managing director ANZ of Publicis-owned Epsilon, has called on brands, marketers, agencies and tech teams to work closer together to help us navigate the post-cookie era effectively, as per the article in B&T.

Big changes are happening in digital marketing as third-party identifiers are slowly phased out. The shift is a big one, and it’s not just about adapting — it’s a chance for marketers to redefine strategies for a future where data, personalisation and transparency reign supreme.

In the new world, marketers cannot overlook the importance of building direct connections with customers. Personalised marketing matters and most importantly, marketers must be upfront and honest about how they are using customer data to achieve personalisation.

The way forward isn’t without challenges but following a blueprint can give marketers the confidence needed for success. Here are the five things marketers must prioritize along their journey in the post-cookie world.


With the demise of third-party identifiers, it’s time marketers cosy up to a new idea: first-party data is not just a strategy; it’s the future. For marketers, this means getting to know your customers directly instead of relying on third-party sources.

Think of it as interviewing for a job or networking — it’s more effective to establish personal connections rather than relying on hearsay. Having direct access to potential employers or industry insiders allows you to tailor your approach with interviews or networking events because you have firsthand knowledge of their preferences and interests.

Now, imagine having a direct line to in-market customers. You can create marketing campaigns that really speak to them because you know what they like. But, and it’s a big but, you must do this the right way. It’s not just about getting the info; it’s about getting the customers’ permission and respecting their privacy.


Let’s now explore the possibilities that come with customer data. Developing a robust first-party data strategy isn’t just industry jargon — it’s about navigating data collection compliantly and utilizing it effectively.

Consider this scenario: You discover your customer is an enthusiastic surfer. By leveraging first-party data, you can customise content specifically about surfing or showcase the latest surfboards and apparel. The goal is to enhance their engagement with your brand through personalized experiences. However, harnessing first-party data isn’t as straightforward as it may seem; it requires careful consideration of data collection methods and usage.

Cutting through the red tape of compliance with data collection, consumer privacy and activating that data is a triple win benefiting brands, adtechs and most importantly, consumers. Brands can deepen connections with their audience, adtech companies can operate transparently and within regulations and consumers can enjoy personalised interactions while retaining control over their data.

It’s a synergistic approach that elevates the entire ecosystem, delivering value to all stakeholders involved.


Measurement has always been crucial; it’s going to be even more important as we usher in this new era.

Now, with the need to look at incremental ROAS rather than ROAS alone, the landscape is changing. It’s essential to delve deeper into the data and understand the incremental impact of each campaign. Without this insight, you can’t accurately attribute sales success to an individual partner. How do you effectively plan for the future when multiple partners are potentially taking credit for driving the same sale?

Additionally, it’s vital to consider both online and offline measurement. You need to track how your campaigns are performing across digital channels, but you also can’t overlook the impact on in-store purchases. By measuring online and offline sales activity with retail media and activating on other digital channels, you gain a comprehensive view of your marketing effectiveness.

We’re not talking complicated metrics — just simple, easy-to-understand measurements to know if your personalised campaigns are hitting the mark. Think of it like a report card. What grades are your campaigns getting? Are people engaging with your content? The trick is to keep an eye on things as they happen and make adjustments based on what the numbers are telling you. It’s a holistic approach that ensures you’re not just looking at the surface-level metrics but truly understanding the impact of your marketing efforts.


The significance of first-party data cannot be overstated. It serves as the cornerstone of personalised marketing strategies, empowering brands to forge deeper connections with their audience. Leveraging first-party data effectively requires a strategic approach and a comprehensive understanding of your customer base.

By harnessing advanced analytics and segmentation techniques, marketers can unlock valuable insights that drive meaningful engagement and conversions. This data-driven approach allows for more targeted and relevant communication, fostering stronger relationships with customers.

The real game-changer though lies in activating your first-party data across digital channels. From targeted advertising to tailored content, the possibilities are endless. By integrating first-party data into your digital marketing campaigns, you can deliver highly personalised experiences that resonate with your audience on a deeper level.

In the age of evolving privacy regulations and the demise of third-party cookies, brands must seize the opportunity to leverage their first-party data assets. Those who embrace this shift will not only survive but thrive in the digital landscape, driving innovation and delivering exceptional customer experiences.


Recent statistics from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) highlight that in the APJ region, only 25 per cent of marketers feel adequately prepared for the impending removal of third-party cookies. This underscores the urgency for collaboration and knowledge-sharing in navigating this transition.

You’re not alone on this journey. The post-cookie era is about teamwork. Being open and honest is the key. It’s like everyone coming together for a big brainstorming session. Brands, marketers and tech folks need to share what works and what doesn’t. It’s not about keeping secrets – it’s about everyone getting better together. Tell your customers how you’re using their data and why. Trust is everything in any relationship. And collaboration is the secret sauce that makes the whole industry tastier. Work together to win together, share ideas and create an open community where everyone benefits. Let’s leverage our collective expertise to adapt to the changing landscape and emerge stronger than ever before.