It wouldn’t be difficult to assume that People-Based Marketing (PBM) is taking over.

Ad tech firm Sonobi, for instance, recently announced a PBM consortium of more than a hundred major publishers, representing over 150 million users.

Last year, Time Inc. bought Myspace-owning Viant. The combined company claimed it had access to more than 1.2 billion identified and registered users, with over 200 million in the US alone. LiveRamp, ONE by AOL/Verizon and Publishers Clearing House are among other PBM data platforms that say they can each reach hundreds of millions of users.

To paraphrase the late Sen. Everett Dirksen, a few hundred million here, a few hundred million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about a lot of people.

While talk about PBM is rising, third-party cookies — the linchpin for ad targeting on computers based on demographics or digital behavior — are steadily losing ground because of counter-actions by Apple, Google and the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation.

This is all resulting in “a crushing wave” toward PBM, LiveRamp CMO Jeff Smith told me.

But what kind of wave is it?

As it turns out, PBM is rarely defined satisfactorily. Articles on the subject often contain references to leveraging first-party data and customer relationship management systems, but are we only talking about logged-in users? That’s a fairly limited universe.

In talking with several PBM providers — each of whom has a somewhat different interpretation — a few themes have emerged.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]