How brands are making advertising more human by cutting out the robot middleman

Marketers invest a remarkable amount of money – more than $22 billion in 2016 – to create a meaningful dialogue with their most valuable customers. Yet most digital marketing platforms fail to get the job done.

In spite of its data-driven promises, the impression-based market still isn’t great at getting a meaningful message to the right person. It struggles to help marketers create a media plan against ONLY the people a marketer wants to reach. And it still creates budget erosion due to the ever present adtech tax–the costs of the myriad technologies that have sprouted up to add negligible value to the advertising process.

But advertising on the internet can be more human. People-based marketing lives by three major maxims: eliminating “middle men” to maximize budget, creating plans based on people rather than proxies or derivatives, and an ability to secure qualified reach against the buyer’s most important customers. Most importantly, it requires brands an agencies to stop using impressions as a stand-in for real people.

People, not impressions

Right now, getting a message to a person who cares involves multiple technologies. . The net result is often inaccurate, and difficult to defend. Reaching the right people in the right locations(premium, name brand media), requires pinpoint accuracy.

Without a direct-to-audience market, digital media will often devolve into simple real-time bidding, with publishers listlessly vying for remnant inventory while still facing a lack of transparency, lack of guarantees and undesirable, commoditized inventory.

Remove the middle men

Creating a direct market between publishers and marketers means no more artificial technology constraints restricting a brand’s ability to reach the people who matter. The right model treats the audience as a direct market, allowing for unimpeded and direct interaction between a publisher and an advertiser. No middlemen, technology restrictions, or waste. Ultimately, this shift allows us to replace impressions with the ability to target real people – specific consumers with unique interests, backgrounds and needs in environments with voice and meaning for the consumer.

Make a plan

Moving to a direct-to-advertiser model lets publishers and marketers speak openly about whether the right people are spending time on the publisher’s property, and how that presence can convert into messaging opportunities for the marketers. Then the conversation can shift away from simple buying and into a much smarter discussion about how to capture the attention of qualified customers through quality, viewable experiences. What gets planned gets delivered, and marketers literally get what they pay for: customers who care.

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