North American Advertisers Increase People-Based Media Buys

Apr 14, 2016


Adoption of people-based advertising among North American brands and media buyers is rising quickly as they experience superior return on ad spend from addressable media campaigns. This is among the key findings of the first-ever North American survey on the topic of addressable media. The survey was conducted by Econsultancy and Signal, a provider of real-time, people-based marketing.

The report, "People-Based Advertising: Evaluating the impact and future of addressable media," found that the majority of advertisers and media buyers have embraced people-based advertising; nearly seven in ten advertisers reported that they have used Facebook Custom Audiences. A significant majority plan to increase people-based advertising buys even further in 2016:

  • 92% of media buyers said that they and their clients are increasing people-based media buys
  • Nearly 1 in 2 media buyers plan to grow their people-based buys quickly
  • 67% of advertisers plan to increase their spending on people-based campaigns

The increased demand for people-based advertising underscores the need for new addressable media options that enable advertisers to execute people-based advertising everywhere consumers engage with digital media.

The report found that early adopters of a people-based approach are reaping the competitive advantages of higher performance and return on ad spend:

  • 83% of media buyers report superior performance across their clients using people-based targeting, compared to traditional digital media buys
  • 63% of advertisers report higher click-through rates with people-based ads
  • 60% report higher conversion rates

While people-based marketing is relatively new, it has caught on quickly; 68% of advertiser respondents reported that they are familiar with the concept. Not only are advertisers aware of this new strategic discipline, but they're already putting a significant amount of budget towards it. One-quarter of media buyers report that their clients spend more than half of their budgets on people-based marketing.

The research confirmed that advertisers may be looking for addressable media options outside of closed platforms.  For instance, 78% of respondents are concerned with data governance when working within walled gardens, 74% are troubled by the customer data they're handing over in the process, and 77% say that because walled gardens don't give back user-level data, they are concerned about not being able to properly close the loop on attribution.