Those who snidely dismiss adtech as manipulative and pointless miss the point completely. Better advertising technology fundamentally benefits entrepreneurs and startups more than it benefits big corporations:

  • The more personalized and targeted advertising gets, the less you need to pay to get your first few customers or validate your idea. 
  • The more niche you can get with your ads, the less big companies like Proctor & Gamble necessarily dominate the advertising landscape. 
  • The better ads can know me, the less that generic and pointless advertising will work.

It's true that advertising is essentially the process of trying to "manipulate someone into buying something they don't need/want." But why deride those who are trying to make the advertising market more efficient? The more efficient it gets, the more it benefits the little guy.

Massive companies have massive ad budgets (and are selling commodities like razors, shampoo, cars, etc.) and so they are the best positioned to eat the current inefficiencies. 

Startups are the ones that need to make people use/need "something they don't need/want," whether that's an app or a product.