I do agree with so much of this, but it is this type of perspective that resulted in the proliferation of adtech’s worst practices and use cases in the first place:
Yes, brand advertising has always been data-driven too, but the data that mattered was how many people were exposed to an ad, not how many clicked on one — or whether you, personally, did anything.
And yes, a lot of brand advertising is annoying. But at least we know it pays for the TV programs we watch and the publications we read. Wheat-producing advertisers are called “sponsors” for a reason.
However noble, the purpose of advertising is not to sponsor media. It is to sell a product. The data that matters is how many people bought your product as a result of being exposed to your ad.
Adtech’s best use case is the ability to track how many consumers, personally, did SOMETHING. There needs to be a seismic shift merging the best of these two trains of thought if we want to change the industry for the better.