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Is the programmatic era coming to an end?

Programmatic advertising has taken the digital marketing world by storm, and it’s easy to see why: by analyzing third-party data, programmatic ad-targeting allows brands to deliver personalized messaging to hyper-focused audiences. When implemented effectively, programmatic targeting is the epitome of reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time.

But with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in effect, the California Consumer Privacy Act on its way, and a slew of hacks, breaches, and frauds commanding headlines, the era of third-party data may already be ending. Writing for MarTech Today, columnist Barry Levine interviewed two industry veterans about the state of advertising via third-party data. Both expect more traditional forms of targeting to reemerge as third-party data usage declines.

“Third-party data is becoming dead,” said Tasso Argyros, CEO of ActionIQ, a customer data platform. He blames a combination of factors, including lack of transparency, ineffective measurement tools, and performance variance based on vendor or batch. Combined with public backlash and the implementation of data protection policies, Argyros believes the time is ripe for a shift to simpler digital marketing tactics.

Forrester analyst Susan Bidel agrees. She told Levine that “the pendulum has swung too far” towards programmatic; now, she expects lookalike targeting and targeting based on context to make a comeback.

“The current ‘spray and pray’ of buying against audiences just isn’t working,” Bidel said. “Your strongest chance of success is to target your ads to people you have a strong belief would be interested.”

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media occupies the bleeding edge of the online advertising industry. Our team uses a variety of marketing tactics – both traditional and contemporary – to ensure your business is visible to the clients that matter.