As the new year begins, PerformanceIN continues its annual tradition of connecting with performance marketing experts to get their single biggest prediction for the industry in 2017.

In this piece, Katie Field, MD at Viant, explains she expects more quality data-driven approach in addressing customers.

Consumers have come to expect a level of personalisation from the brands they interact with online. Enhanced technology means a tailored service is less about being able to address a consumer by their first name and more about highly-tailored communication, like recommended films or personalised offers for products they might like.

At a time when service is the brand’s best asset, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will only represent a missed opportunity for greater engagement and a positive consumer reaction.

However, it’s my opinion that most digital advertising is poorly targeted and still relies on a ‘spray and pray’ mentality. This will change in 2017.

Advertisers have recognised that cookie-based campaigns simply don’t cut it anymore. Many ad tech providers have looked to cater for their requirements by launching tracking technology which moves away from using the cookie to record and act on user behaviour.

What replaces the old approach? Well, we’re witnessing a shift to the use of quality first, and third-party data, linked to actual people. This ‘people-based’ approach allows the advertiser to message individuals as they move between devices, but also when they complete purchases offline.

We’re predicting that 2017 will see more advertisers use the data at their disposal to adopt this approach and extend it beyond platforms like Facebook to serve people relevant ads with consistent messaging, wherever they are on the web.

This could be transformational for brands and agencies. It will help overcome the problems caused by the cookie – namely short lifespan, limited coverage across devices, combined with the fact that they don’t exist at all in the real world, making attribution a nightmare.

A people-based approach will supercharge the value of digital advertising for brands and agencies, not only helping them attribute more sales more accurately but allowing them to engage far better with their customers in this space.