Data targeting in programmatic advertising

As the programmatic media landscape grows, advertisers are aiming for more sophisticated targeting solutions that are not limited to the options provided by walled gardens and can represent different levels of interest and intent as well as different data collection types and sources. On the other hand, publishers and other data owners are looking for additional opportunities to monetize their traffic and create additional value for their already existing ad business.

Explore highly granular sociodemographic, household, interest, and intent data and activate it in order to add depth to your campaigns and improve your results.

Types of data targeting

A DMP (data management platform) collects data from a variety of sources and makes it available to other advertising platforms such as Adform or Adcombi to be used for precise, targeted, and personalized advertising. Below you will learn how the collected data is segmented and organized for you. By the way, all data providers accessed through Adcombi are compliant with GDPR.

  • 1st party data
    It is your own data. You have collected it from your own websites, apps, or CRM software. It can be all of your existing customers (hint - you might want to exclude them from your prospecting campaigns in order to increase your media efficiency), only high-value customers, or just everyone who has visited your website, let’s say, in the last 14 days.
    Usually, it is the most valuable data that you can use - you know that it is the most relevant for your business since it comes directly from your audience.

  • 2nd party data
    Basically, it is still first-party data, but coming from your trusted partner instead of yourself. Someone else collects the data from their own sources and sells it instead of using it only for their own purposes. For example, if you are looking for automotive enthusiasts in Germany, you might want to reach out to and buy some segmented data for targeting in Adcombi.

  • 3rd party data
    It is data that you buy from external sources that do not collect data themselves. Instead, they are collaborating with 1st party data owners and re-selling data on their behalf. For example, if you want to target users with a high household income, you might want to buy this data from an aggregator that originally collects data from all banks in your targeted location.

Use cases

  • Prospecting example
    When preparing a customer acquisition campaign, start with making a list with the most valuable user personas for your business. Let’s say you are selling baby pushchairs - then, you might want to consider targeting users that are expecting a child. In this case, you might want to look for a 3rd party data provider that aggregates data from various online surveys and parenting-related message boards.

  • Retargeting example
    Once you have built up a pool of at least 2.000 users on your website, app, or CRM, you can go ahead and target them once again with a message that will help them to make the final decision about your product or service. This is how 1st party data, that you’ve collected yourself, will help you to maximize your media efficiency and increase your business results.

    Alternatively, you can consider combining 1st and 3rd party audiences to make your advertising even more relevant - for example, you could target your website visitors that came there from a banner ad that you have used a couple of weeks ago and which contained a very specific message. In order to maintain relevance and consistency, you could use a continuation of that initial message in your retargeting ads.


There are so many online and offline touch-points that produce data for your Programmatic marketing strategies and improve the bottom-line results. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and every business case is unique - some might benefit from 3rd party data a lot, meanwhile, for others, only 1st party data might create valuable opportunities.

Make sure that you test all available data sources and layer them with other strategies, for example, hyperlocal marketing. Cast a wide net and narrow it down to the top-performing combinations. Then, repeat it every now and then to refresh your insights. This way, you will maintain a fresh and tech-focused media buying approach that will bring your business the most valuable results.