SYDNEY: A majority of Australian marketers regard the traditional model for online display as "broken" and early adopters of people-based advertising are reporting better results, according to a recent study.

Econsultancy and Signal carried out an online survey of 358 senior Australian marketers and media buyers with moderate to high online ad budgets and found that two-thirds of respondents believed a cookie-based approach was increasingly irrelevant in a cross-device media environment.

Around three quarters of advertiser respondents indicated a familiarity with people-based marketing, and one quarter said they had allocated more than half their budget to it, Digital Market Asia reported.

Crucially, most of those (86%) who were already used a people-based approach said this was outperforming the traditional approach.

Some 75% had achieved improved click-through rates, while 60% were seeing higher conversion rates.

To date, much of this activity has been focused on Facebook Custom Audiences, which around two thirds of advertisers had used. But Michael Twomey, SVP and Managing Director of People-Based Marketing, Signal, said that advertisers were now looking for flexible solutions that would allow them to extend their addressable media buys to more channels and publisher sites beyond Facebook.

But there were widespread concerns about the use of data within the closed environs of the social media giant and similar "walled gardens".

Some 87% worried about data governance while 80% were uneasy about handing over customer data.

Despite that, nine out of ten media buyers reported that they – and their clients – were increasing people-based media buys.

"People-based marketing removes the guesswork from digital media," observed Twomey.

The benefits of that, he added, include a reduction in wasted ad spend, better customer experiences, and, ultimately, improved return on ad investments.

Data sourced from Digital Market Asia; additional content by Warc staff