Just because you can reach a consumer through super-targeting, doesn’t mean you should.

That is the new advice from one leading marketing analyst who has worked at an ad-tech platform but who also benefits from reams of consumer insights.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Forrester VP and principal analyst Joanna O’Connell says many marketers are guilty of using the tools available to push too many messages at consumers. Whilst programmatic tools are great, O’Connell laments:

  • “We got really, really obsessed with direct response.”
  • “We got really obsessed with hypertargeting, I think, to the detriment of frequency management. So we’re over-serving the people that we care about.”
  • “We ushered in an era of, really, low quality, which, I think, in a lot of ways created a bit of a crisis of faith in digital advertising.”

Now GDPR, related initiatives and a growing body of evidence and anecdotes from consumers frustrated with over-marketing suggest a change is needed.

What is that change? O’Connell, who also had a stint as MediaMath’s chief marketer, says marketers will have to refocus on their relationship with consumers, so that they can know enough about them to be sensitive to over-marketing.

“Our instinct is to say, ‘I found the user I want – I will serve this user an ad’,” she says. “It might actually be better for the consumer in that moment not to hear from you because they heard from you three times already that day.

“I would love to believe, naively, that brands are invested in delivering good experiences because they see that will deliver positive upside. That isn’t necessarily, always the case.”

This topic will explored at a Beet.TV leadership forum at Cannes Lions on June 18.

This video is part of a series titled The Consumer First, a New Era in Digital Media presented by MediaMath. For more from the series, please visit this page.