Can it be true? No longer will we have the pleasure of being bombarded by digital ads for weekend breaks in Barcelona – up to 8 weeks after return from said break, snaps Instagrammed, Facebook posts already a faded memory in friends’ feeds, and Tweets just a distant echo from a sunlit balcony in the Ramblas? It seems so.

According to a report by Time Inc’s Viant, called “Power of the People”, just over half of marketing managers (53%) are of the view that within a year they will reject cookie-based campaigns and become ‘people-people’. This means that their marketing will become more focussed on tracking “real people” as they move across many devices. This involves using registered user data. With two thirds of mobiles not accepting cookies, but over half of all retail traffic coming from smartphones, a tech change is required.

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People-based marketing approaches are already important elements in a digital campaign. Social media platforms like Facebook offer that level of ‘personal targeting’, and the potential engagement they can offer an advertiser is so appreciated that Facebook’s ad revenue totalled $26bn last year, up 57% on 2015. Estimates by eMarketer suggest that the UK’s share of that is $1.8bn, up 31% on 2015.

With the ad-spend balance between cookie-based and people-based activity tipping in favour of The People, we can expect Facebook and other social media channels to benefit – and an increase in tailored email marketing. Depending on your marketing goals, expect fewer cookie-driven ads but more highly targeted emails on your media plan – and in your inbox.

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