Navigating the future of digital advertising with conversion APIs

DMS' Jad Bou Saleh shares how conversions APIs will help advertisers post the death of 3rd party cookies

In the ever-changing world of advertising and marketing, businesses must continuously adapt to shifts in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and regulatory environments.

Users now demand more control over their data, viewing privacy as an expectation rather than a feature. Here is a spectrum of challenges that are reshaping our industry today:

  1. Privacy regulations: With the implementation of strict data privacy laws like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California, advertisers are under pressure to ensure user data is collected and processed in a compliant manner.
  2. Deprecation of third-party cookies: Major browsers like Safari and Firefox have already blocked 3rd party cookies, and Chrome started deprecating the same as of Jan 2024 for 1% of users. This  is significant because 3rd party cookies have been crucial for tracking user activity and ad performance across the web.
  3. Intelligent tracking prevention (ITP): Safari’s ITP 2.1+ cuts down tracking to just one day, adding another layer of complexity to our tracking capabilities.
  4. Apple’s app tracking transparency (ATT): this framework requires user consent to use their identifier. Every time an iPhone user downloads a new app, they receive an ATT popup asking for consent to use their device identifiers.

Impact on advertisers and ad platforms

These challenges have tangible impacts on advertising industry and the way we operate today.

The decline of offsite signals like 3rd party cookies and identifiers affects audience sizes, measurement & reporting, and optimisation. Data signals are used by ad platforms in their machine learning algorithms to find lookalikes and improve optimisation.

With stricter privacy measures, the amount of data to enhance and optimise models has reduced. Removing the data signals from a campaign significantly drops its performance, increases the cost per action, and decreases the return on ad investment.

Additionally, these challenges impact ad platforms’ pixels or tags. Ad platform’s pixel is a piece of code added to a website that helps measure, optimise, and build audiences for ad campaigns.

Pixels help better understand the effectiveness of an ad and the actions people take on a website, like visiting a page or adding an item to their cart.

Advertisers can see when customers take an action after seeing their ad on platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, Meta, TikTok or any ad platform, aiding in retargeting efforts.

However, considering that these pixels operate on 3rd party cookies to send conversions back to each platform, the complete removal of 3rd party cookies in chrome will result in losing the ability to see these conversions. This has already begun as Firefox and Safari have already blocked 3rd party cookies.

The advertising industry has got affected by all the above-mentioned changes as we traditionally relied heavily on cookies and pixel-based tracking to gather user data and measure the effectiveness of online ads.

The rise of conversion APIs

In response to these challenges, several leading ad platforms, including Snapchat, Pinterest, Meta, TikTok, Google, X, and LinkedIn, have launched their own versions of Conversion APIs.

These APIs allow for server-to-server communication, which is a privacy way to capture and send events that cookies or pixels can no longer collect. It’s considered a powerful solution as it is not affected by browser restrictions.

Benefits of conversion APIs

Conversion APIs help advertisers achieve their goals through several key enhancements:

  • Improved data privacy and security: CAPI is designed with privacy in mind. By processing data on the server side, CAPI reduce the amount of personal data transmitted between browsers and servers, aligning with privacy regulations and enhancing user trust.
  • Enhanced measurement capabilities and optimisation: CAPI offers full funnel optimisation, allowing advertisers to measure customer interactions more precisely on web and app, offline conversions, and cross-device activities. This leads to better attribution and optimisation of ad campaigns.
  • Improved targeting and personalisation: The detailed insights provided by CAPI enable advertisers to refine their targeting strategies and personalise ads based on comprehensive user behavior data. The data received from CAPI helps build 1st party custom audience segments in real-time, which can be used to create lookalikes or to re-engage with existing customers.
  • Better Campaign Performance Tracking: Advertisers can track the customer journey more accurately, from initial contact through to final conversion, regardless of the platform or device used. This leads to more effective measurement of campaign performance and ROI.

Advertisers’ challenges for setting up conversion APIs

Setting up the conversion API (CAPI) for various ad platforms poses significant challenges for advertisers. These challenges include technical complexities, such as the need for precise data mapping and consistent data formatting across multiple platforms.

Additionally, advertisers must navigate platform-specific requirements, frequent updates, and ensure compliance with privacy regulations, which can be overwhelming without specialised expertise. 

How we are helping our clients

As we strive to help our clients achieve their marketing goals, we have developed a conversion API solution, positioning ourselves as a conversion API integration partner. Our solution simplifies the complexities of setting up and managing conversion APIs across multiple ad platforms.

By offering seamless integration, precise data mapping, and continuous support, we ensure that our clients can accurately track their conversions and optimise their ad spend.

Our expertise in handling platform-specific requirements and compliance with privacy regulations allows our clients to focus on their core business objectives while we manage the technical intricacies of conversion tracking.

In addition to that, when we onboard our clients, we also assist them in identifying the events they would like to track with their respective parameters. We help set up their ad platforms’ pixels and connect to their CRM to automate the process of pushing offline events to the ad platforms.

Our technical consulting services include setting up their GA4, configuring their MMPs (e.g., Adjust). Moreover, we have created a solution to help our clients push their campaign leads from ad platforms directly to their CRMs, ensuring a seamless and efficient lead management process.


The introduction of Conversion APIs by leading ad platforms represents a major advancement in the digital advertising industry. By tackling the twin challenges of privacy issues and technical constraints, CAPIs offer a powerful solution that improves both the effectiveness and efficiency of online advertising.

As companies continue to navigate the intricacies of the digital era, adopting such innovations will be essential for maintaining a competitive edge and achieving marketing success.

If you are interested in our technical consulting services, or specifically setting up CAPI, please contact us to discuss the details further.

By Jad Bou Saleh, Director – Adtech, DMS