By Wayne St. Amand
There’s a lot of buzz around the term “people-based marketing.” Since Facebook introduced the concept in 2014, marketers and advertisers have embraced it, with varying degrees of success.
According to Forbes, “People-based marketing represents an industry shift from targeting devices to connecting with the right people at the right time, with the right message.”
For marketers, the concept of ‘right person, right time, right message’ is nothing new. As consumers increasingly experience their lives online and through mobile devices, the opportunity to use data to provide tailored messaging across channels and devices and deliver optimal customer experiences has never been greater.
Yet capitalizing on this opportunity remains a key challenge for most brands. According to Experian’s 2016 Digital Marketing Report, 56 percent of C-level executives cite orchestrating and managing cross-channel customer interactions as a top priority. Another 33 percent name delivering relevant and contextual content as a top challenge to providing great customer experiences.
>> Check out our session at the Attribution Accelerator “Marketing Intelligence: Solving the Real-World Puzzle of People-Based Marketing” presented by Visual IQ CMO Wayne St. Amand at 11:45 a.m. on the Mainstage <<
Identifying Consumers As Individuals
People-based marketing means identifying your customers and prospects as individuals, not just devices or cookies. It’s a shift in thinking. Instead of viewing consumer behavior in separate silos — display, email, search, social, etc. — you place the individual at the center of marketing activity.
With people-based marketing, you have greater confidence that your message is reaching your best customer and driving measurable results. When you can track and measure consumer behavior across channels and devices, you can understand how they’re interacting with your brand and which interactions are generating activity (an online conversion or an in-store purchase, for example).
Reaching Today’s Empowered Consumers
Today’s consumers have more choices and control than ever before, and they expect highly relevant experiences, regardless of when or where they are taking place.
- More than 37 percent of consumers own a combination of smartphones, laptops/desktops, and tablets.
- 87 percent of consumers use more than one device at a time.
Managing marketing and advertising independently, using siloed, channel-specific strategies, tactics, and metrics doesn’t produce the results we need. Yet most brands today analyze the attributes of their customers and prospects separately from marketing performance, with little to no intersection.
Marketers have access to more performance and audience data than ever before, but it’s scattered across multiple martech and adtech systems and analyzed leveraging outdated measurement techniques. As a result, teams are unable to gain a unified view of each consumer and the channels, devices and tactics that are most effective in driving sales, repeat purchases, loyalty program enrollments and other desired business outcomes.
To deliver relevant and coordinated communications that enhance the customer experience, the division between audience and attribution must come to an end. People-based marketing helps you “connect the dots” between multiple consumer interactions by creating a single view of customers and prospects.
Creating Actionable Consumer Profiles
People-based marketing is made possible by the creation of a persistent identifier (or ID) that links a person to his or her devices and browsers.
Today, individuals are assigned different user ID’s by every entity they interact with, making it challenging for marketers to recognize the same user across multiple audience segments, marketing platforms, devices and digital vs. offline environments. Without a persistent ID, you must rely on a soup of CRM and other data, as well as cookies, which don’t work on mobile devices.
A persistent ID is created by reconciling the information a brand collects about their customers and prospects (first-party data) with information gathered by external organizations (third-party data).
This process de-duplicates users across multiple devices (desktop, tablets, smartphones, etc.) and synchronizes it with deep demographic, transactional, and behavioral insight (age, household income, purchase intent, etc.) to create robust consumer profiles.
With a persistent ID, it’s possible to identity a person across his or her smartphone, desktop, laptop and other connected devices (such as addressable TVs), which allows you to deliver personalized, relevant messages. It’s the arrival of the sought-after right person, right time, right message triumvirate.
The tremendous power of people-based marketing is its ability to target real people rather than generic buyer personas. Understanding who your customers and prospects are, what they are like, and how they behave, is key to delivering tailored messages and experiences that meet their unique needs and preferences.
By improving the overall consumer experience, marketers can boost engagement and conversions, increase lifetime value, improve ROI and, ultimately, gain a competitive advantage.
Implementing a People-Based Approach
People-based marketing requires shifting away from traditional advertising and marketing silos. Most companies rely on a structure in which display, social, print, radio, TV and other channels are managed independently, each with their own teams and budgets. Each team optimizes their budget to meet their metrics, independently of the other channels.
With people-based marketing, organizations move toward a cross-functional team. This approach allows teams to track, measure and optimize strategies and tactics across digital, mobile and physical spaces using a shared set of success metrics.
People-based marketing also requires collecting and consolidating audience and behavioral data from separate systems into a single repository, such as a data management platform (DMP).
The best solutions combine data from both online and offline sources (web, mobile, call center, in-store, etc.), as well as demographic, intent, interest, and other audience attribute data from first- and third-party data sources.
By synthesizing all of this data in one place, marketers can develop a more complete, people-based view of their customers and prospects.
A New Era of Marketing
It’s time for marketers to move beyond the world of cookies as consumers come to expect a more relevant, personalized experience. When you can identify your customers and prospects as people, not just devices, you can achieve one-to-one people-based marketing in ways that haven’t been possible before.
Don’t miss our Attribution Accelerator Session
Marketing Intelligence: Solving the Real-World Puzzle of People-Based Marketing
Wayne St. Amand, CMO, Visual IQ
For more information about people-based marketing, download a copy of the new ebook People-Based Marketing: Intelligence for a New Age from Visual IQ.