API Integration: What Advertisers Need to Know

In this blog you will find:

  • What is third-party pixel tracking?
  • When should you be implementing API?


Data privacy has taken a main stage in recent years, especially around the tracking of user’s data. Safari and Firefox browsers have already blocked third party tracking cookies, which track the activity of users for marketing purposes across different domains, by default to all its users. 

When Google Chrome, which holds over 50% of the browser market share, blocks third party tracking cookies by default, advertisers are forced to find an alternate way to track their user’s behaviour.

If you are an advertiser with an unlimited media budget, then you could invest in building your Data Management Platform (DMP). In the case you are an advertiser with a smaller budget but still need to track and measure your advertising efficiency then you have been left with very few options available to you.

There is an alternative to a DMP platform called Customer Data Platform (CDP), the idea behind this platform is to collect information on the existing customers and leverage that data in your campaign optimization and attribution. The problem arises when you have to convert your customer data into information that the Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) would understand. CDP might be effective if you curate your audience by region rather than creating a national database.  

If you are not already familiar with how a third-party pixel tracking works, refer to the block diagram below.

Pixel Placement Process

What are your options as an advertiser?

When a customer performs any actions on your website, the third-party cookies on the site would identify those actions and send pixel events to the ad platforms. Ad platforms can use these pixel events to better understand the audience affinity towards a brand or the product. Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) also rely on the pixel events to improve the efficiency of your marketing budget by targeting audiences who might have high affinity for your services or product.

Like any tracking methods its not 100% and has some drawbacks:

  • Dependent on the browser to send the data to DSP (Demand Side Platform)
  • Data might get lost when the browser is closed, or if you have a poor network connection
  • Adblockers could affect the pixel firing
  • Browsers privacy policy determines the long-term functionality of the pixel


One of the ad platforms that has come up with an alternate tracking method is Facebook. The reason to implement this method is two-fold: you don’t have to pay for maintaining your own DMP and your data is already connected to an ad platform that can reach 95% of the audiences in Canada.

In addition to the Facebook pixel currently installed on your website, you can connect your server to Facebook using an API connection. This gives you more control over what data is being sent to Facebook from your server.

How it would work:

When a user performs an action on your website (e.g. purchase a product) the browser would send a confirmation to your server to record the sale event and then the server will send an API event to Facebook. Through this method, Facebook would be able to understand the audience behavior on the site and in turn would be able to optimize your marketing budget effectively.

When is the good time to implement this API?

As with any system this method of tracking is not 100%, but implementing APIs before Chrome blocks all third-party cookies would be a better option as the Facebook platform would be able to learn and understand the events with the help of both API and Pixel events.

Conversions API Safeguards Data-Driven Marketing

Like pixels, Facebook would adhere to all user’s privacy policy and as an advertiser you would be able to better control and see the data that is being sent to Facebook as well. If you are a data driven marketing company, API integration is the next step in the evolution of personalized marketing.

If you are looking for to take your data and analytics to the next level, check out how our services may work for you.