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

climate change revenue

Lacking financial incentives, sustainability remains a hope, not a promise, in digital advertising next year

Reducing carbon emissions from the digital ad ecosystem is an important priority, but various players are skeptical that much can — and is — being done to practice sustainability.

Google’s 2024 cookie deprecation deadline is still on, says vp of global advertising Dan Taylor

Google’s vp of global ads is confident that cookies will be gone from Chrome by the end of next year, despite all the challenges currently facing the ad market.

Mythbuster: How the inconsistent definition of click-through rates affects publishers and their advertisers

Some email newsletter platforms’ click-through rates are actually click-to-open rates, which are measured against the number of emails opened rather than the emails sent. But buyers seem to prefer it that way.