The online advertising world is now navigating a set of seemingly contradictory trends.

On the one hand, technology which pieces together the various parts of audience’s online identity is becoming important. Yet, on the other, regulation is now limiting some of the excesses of ad targeting.

The digital marketing world’s arch deal-maker says that adds up to a “double-edged sword”.

“A lot of this modern marketing ecosystem revolves around data and identity,” says Terry Kawaja, LUMA Partners CEO, in this video interview with Beet.TV. “It’s core. It’s at the hub of all of these strategies in terms of figuring out who your likely customers are, and how to address them.

“It’s also the double-edged sword around privacy. So we have to be careful how we figure out data and identity in a way that’s consumer friendly and privacy protected.”

As an investment banker, LUMA exists to help companies get invested or acquired, while Kawaja claims to have advised on transactions totalling $300 billion in 20 years.

He was speaking at Digital Media Strategies East, LUMA’s own summit debating industry issues, which has now been running 11 years.

Kawaja sees the “techlash” surrounding big tech platforms as a central driver in the current industry dynamic.

“(Regulation) has a lot of manifestations as it has implications for the broader ecosystem around what they do with data, around what it means for other players,” he says. “I think that will have a broader impact on almost all players. You have to rethink your strategies from third-party to first-party data, and respecting the consumer in terms of their privacy requirements.”

But that doesn’t change a fundamental trend that has continued for a number of years now – Kawaja sees a continuation of M&A involving marketing technology and addressable ad TV infrastructure.

“And of course identity and people will always need capabilities, core capabilities, to be able to identify consumers,” he adds.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of LUMA Partners’ DIGITAL MEDIA EAST 2019.  For more videos from the conference, please visit this page.  This series is sponsored by 4INFO.