Not only that, but almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents fear ad blocking could make the current model obsolete.  

Q: Agree of disagree: ‘The current model for display advertising is broken’

display ad model broken

It is hardly surprising that ad blocking has become so prevalent. On many websites the ads have a hugely negative impact on the user experience: they’re intrusive, they slow down page loads and can actually eat up data in the case of mobile. 

Clearly something has to change, and our report argues that people-based targeting is the key to avoiding future disaster. 

The rise of people-based targeting

Otherwise known as addressable media, people-based targeting refers to any approach that targets a known individual. 

Brands use their first-party data to identify the real people in the advertising ecosystem and use data onboarding technology to selectively share that data with publishers and reach their audience. 

This is the next natural step for programmatic advertising, enabling advertisers to deliver ads that are more relevant to the user and therefore less intrusive and more valuable. 

The concept of people-based targeting is not new to marketers. Many were introduced to a light version of addressable media through the Custom Audiences product from Facebook. Forty-one percent of those we surveyed say they know the concept well, while 34% say they have a general idea of what it is. 

Marketers who have deployed some form of people-based marketing are bullish on its future. They foresee a scenario where fewer, more valuable advertisements do a better job of reaching true, in-market consumers; two-thirds of brands agree that “…display will be replaced by relevant, data-driven advertising.”

Data priorities: first-party wins

Data comes from all kinds of sources these days, and we have spoken in the past about the value of first-party data vs. second and third. 

It seems marketers are drawing data from all three sources to power their advertising purchases, and also prioritizing them in their natural order. 

61% of our respondents say they use first-party data to target ads, 56% use second-party data and 42% use third-party data.

Q: Do you purchase advertising using any of the following targeting mechanisms?

ad targeting data types

Privacy issues the main barrier for people-based targeting

It is hardly surprising given the number of high-profile privacy breach cases we’ve seen in the media over the last couple of years, but privacy/data leakage issues are the number one concern for those who aren’t increasing their people-based targeting spend. 

43% of respondents cited this as their main concern, while 33% cited complexity issues and 31% felt the potential ROI doesn’t warrant an increase. 

That said, only 23% of those already using people-based targeting have no plans to increase their investment in the area, and of those only 3% are cutting their spend. 

Download the full report today for lots more insight about people-based targeting.