Worth Reading: The Case for Just-Enough Targeting

They are still voices in the wilderness, but a few people are starting to question the digital ad industry’s obsessiveness when it comes to ever more granular targeting. In Digiday recently, Simulmedia CEO and behavioral targeting pioneer Dave Morgan estimated 90 percent of targeting isn’t worth it. Upstream Group CEO Doug Weaver, writing on his company blog The Drift, picks up on the theme with the argument that the online industry has grown up with a problem: it has long been in the service of direct marketers, crafting systems that cater to them, rather than to the big brands.

For years we’ve been driven by the principle that more targeting is always better. It’s just not. It’s just always smaller, more complex, harder to predict and ultimately less scalable. No matter how thinly we slice the bean, there’s always someone standing by with a sharper blade, always a few pennies more for an even leaner slice. Morgan is right: We’ve painted ourselves into a marvelously complex corner and only the truth can set us free — and only if we accept it.
Weaver suggests a return to basics. He’s not against all targeting, but in favor of “just enough” that lets the Web talk to brands on their terms — and maybe siphons some money out of TV budgets. Read the full post here.

More in Media

NewFronts Briefing: Samsung, Condé Nast, Roku focus presentations on new ad formats and category-specific inventory

Day two of IAB’s NewFronts featured presentations from Samsung, Condé Nast and Roku, highlighting new partnerships, ad formats and inventory, as well as new AI capabilities.

The Athletic to raise ad prices as it paces to hit 3 million newsletter subscribers

The New York Times’ sports site The Athletic is about to hit 3 million total newsletter subscribers. It plans to raise ad prices as as a result of this nearly 20% year over year increase.

NewFronts Briefing: Google, Vizio and news publishers pitch marketers with new ad offerings and range of content categories

Day one of the 2024 IAB NewFronts featured presentations from Google and Vizio, as well as a spotlight on news publishers.