With advertisers shifting away from the cookie-based approach, Toby Benjamin, VP, Platform Partnerships at Viant explores the opportunities of people-based marketing to deliver more effective and personalised ads.

Throughout 2017 we have seen the rise of people-based marketing, with brands and agencies shifting away from the anonymous, and often ineffective nature of the cookie-based approach. We believe 2018 will be a turning point where we see the widespread adoption of people-based marketing, empowering advertisers to deliver more personalised and effective ads across platforms.

Following research we conducted earlier this year, over half of brand-side digital marketers are predicting that cookies are going to die by 2018, and it’s easy to see why. An anonymous approach to marketing which utilizes the cookie (or some other ID) as the sole means to identify, target and measure digital campaigns has significant challenges – not least reach and frequency management as a single individual may be represented as three or four people across their desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. This means advertisers risk bombarding the same person with the same ad, causing a bad consumer experience. Cookies have also meant digital marketing is often treated in isolation – rarely being joined up across the full path to purchase, with the impact on offline sales ignored.

A shift to a people-based approach could be transformational. It uses first party data to identify real individuals, serve them relevant ads, and directly measures a campaign’s impact on sales, both on and offline. This approach will supercharge the value of digital advertising, helping them attribute more sales more accurately. Moreover, for agencies, it also allows them to move more deeply into cross-channel, by linking multiple channels and devices to a single customer view.

Ultimately in 2018 we will see more invest in people-based marketing, and as a result gain deeper insights into their customers’ behaviors and priorities.