Huh? People Based Advertising

According to a study by Econsultancy/Signal, reported by eMarketer, 29% of senior advertisers in North America are familiar with people-based targeting and know the concept well, but the rest are foggy. But change in buying of people-based advertising is growing, acknowledges the report.

Familiarity With People-Based Targeting (Senior Advertisers in North America, February 2016)


% of Respondents

Know the concept well


Have general idea of what it is


Have heard term, but not clear on the concept


Not familiar


Source: Econsultancy/Signal, April 2016

Econsultancy and Signal asked respondents about their understanding of people-based targeting, a strategic discipline that targets ads at real people, rather than cookies across devices and channels.

21% of senior advertisers, says the report, said they have heard of people-based targeting and addressable media, but were not clear on the concepts. Additionally, 10% of respondents said they were not familiar with the terms.

Overall, both senior advertisers and media buyers say the change in the buying of people-based advertising, whether it’s their own buying or their clients’, is increasing, says the report. 22% of senior advertisers said it’s increasing quickly, and 45% of senior advertisers said it’s increasing, but slowly. Nearly a third of senior advertisers said there’ no change.

Use Of People Based Advertising By Clients Of Senior Media Buyers


% of Respondents



Loyalty & retention of customers


Upselling/cross selling existing customers


New customer acquisition


Reactivation of lapse customers


Source: Econsultancy/Signal, April 2016 “People-Based Advertising; Evaluating Impact and Future of Addressable Media”

According to the report, 48% of media buyers said the change in buying of people-based advertising is increasingly quickly, and 44% said it’s increasing slowly. Just 7% said there’s no change.

One-third of senior media buyers in North America said “for branding” when it comes to how clients use people-based advertising. And, 31% of respondents said their clients use it for loyalty and retention of existing customers.

Upselling existing customers and acquiring new ones where other ways in which clients use people-based advertising.

For more about this report from Econsultancy/Signal, please visit here:



2 comments about "Huh? People Based Advertising".
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  1. Virginia Suhr from Lobo & Petrocine Marketing, April 29, 2016 at 8:19 a.m.

    It amazes me that the industry considers "people based advertising" a new concept. While the technology to do so has certainly improved over the years, decades ago advertising agencies and marketers were creating profiles of who would buy their products, what their media tastes were, etc. and then would match qualitative information with quantitative data to buy the appropriate media and create ads that would appeal to that audience.

    The difference seems to be that we now have the technology to supplement or replace research surveys and focus groups to acquire that information to target more precisely.  Old concept, better execution.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 29, 2016 at 8:54 a.m.

    Very true, Virginia. This kind of thinking---or non-thinking----is typical of many digital media theorists who, like most young folk, believe that nothing really existed before they "invented" it. Certainly, their contempt for "legacy media" demonstrates this.

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