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Why People-Based Marketing is the Future?

Target people, not devices.

Apple gave us the iPhone in 2007. Four years later, 

35% of American adults owned a smartphone; that number is now 77%.By 2014, there were officially more smartphones and tablets in the world than people and the average U.S. household had more than 5 devices.Today, the average individual digital consumer owns nearly 4.

Why the brief technological history lesson? Because the proliferation of devices in the lives of consumers has significant implications for how you should be thinking about marketing. Gone are the days when your customers would spend all of their online time on a single desktop computer. Today, the typical consumer might tap your ad on their phone, pick up their tablet to browse your site, and then shift over to!

their laptop to make a purchase.

If your company is like most, then situations like this one could lead to incorrect assumptions about customer behavior. Rather than telling the story of a single user clicking through an ad and purchasing your product, the data might show that your ad failed to convert Customer A and that, on an unrelated note, Customer B navigated directly to your site to make an unsolicited purchase. Errors like these cause inaccuracies in data that can lead to ill-designed marketing campaigns.

Our technology and marketing methodologies must adapt to reflect contemporary consumer behavior. In an increasingly mobile-centric world where users spend 86% of their time in apps, marketers can no longer rely on cookies to provide accurate insights. Consider these statistics, reported last year by Nielsen:

58% of cookie-based measurement is overstated35% of cookie-based demographic targeting is inaccurate12% of conversions are missed by cookies

If a tactic so essential to digital marketing as cookies is becoming outdated, what are marketers to do? What new innovation will replace the cookie as the foundation of digital marketing strategy?

Targeting People, not Devices

To engage effectively with today's digital consumer, marketers must embrace a paradigm shift: they must stop targeting devices and begin targeting people. People-based marketing allows marketers to deliver a cohesive customer experience by tracking with a single user across multiple devices and channels.

At the core of people-based marketing is the ability to accurately identify individual consumers no matter what device they're using to interact with your brand. A recent e-book from Digiday puts it this way:

"In order to execute a true people based campaigns, marketers have to be able to reach the same verified individual no matter what screen they're using.

The verified identities established on social platforms or in CRM databases need to be linked to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Cross-device identification makes this possible by knitting together deterministic data (logged-in interactions, device ids, email addresses) with known individual data and with probabilistic data, which links together known data points with educated suppositions."

To accomplish cross-device identification, marketers must learn to depend on first-party data - such as Facebook logins and information stored on CRMs - rather than on third-party data like cookies and tracking pixels. Platforms such as Atlas and Bridge are forging the technological path through this new marketing frontier. 

A New Gold Standard

The benefits of people-based marketing are wide-ranging and powerful. By investing in people-based marketing, companies can gain deeper insights into their customers' behaviors and priorities. Marketing teams can create content that is more relevant to their audience and can engage more meaningfully with individual customers at every stage of their journey.

It's for reasons like these that Spotify's Global VP, Partner Solutions, Danielle Lee, recently called people-based strategy "the gold standard for marketing." "With people-based marketing," Lee explained,

"You have greater assurance that your message is reaching your known customer and driving measurable results."

Spotify isn't alone in embracing the new people-based paradigm. Take a look at some of these statistics:

In 2014, 65% of marketers who participated in a Digiday survey either had already invested in people-based campaigns or were planning to do so. In 2015, 77% of marketers who had implemented people-based strategies planned to increase spending in this area.Last year, 48% of media buyers reported that spending on people-based advertising campaigns was growing quickly.A 2016 survey found that 56 percent of marketers planned to increase spending on cross-device campaigns in 2017.

In just a few short years, people-based marketing has arisen as the winning strategy for our multi-device world.

Americans see anywhere from 4,000 - 10,000 ads per day. It sounds like a lot when you add it up, but when you start to think of all the places you see ads, it makes sense. Our lives are saturated with people vying for our attention. While not all ads are created equal, some can be helpful. Whether you're a B2B tech leader, an executive, or a travel blogger, we are all consumers of products in our off time. We may not enjoy being bombarded by ads, but most of us appreciate getting connected with products and services we need.

Similar to a journalist receiving an irrelevant pitch, today's consumer snubs their nose at a poorly placed ad. They have come to expect that if they leave something in their cart, that's ok because that website will be sure to send them an email or place that item in your Facebook feed. Similarly, consumers have begun to embrace alternative forms of communication, like sponsored content, native ads, and creative social media campaigns. All of these point to marketing trends favoring personalization and better targeting.

So what's next in the evolution of marketing? It's personalization on steroids: People-Based Marketing.

What is People-Based Marketing?

While consumer-driven content isn't new, people-based marketing is a new wave in the industry, pushing marketers to use personalized data resulting from recent developments in big data and analytics. According to BounceX, PBM is a strategic approach to marketing in which marketers target individual people, rather than groups, with relevant messaging across different channels and touchpoints. An optimized PBM strategy leverages both consumer identification for accuracy and automation for scale.

Shifting the focus from cookies to people, marketers of the future realize they have all the data at their fingertips. The good ones just know what to do with it.

Persistent ID

As various companies start to place restrictions on cookies, Persistent ID is taking their place. Persistent ID works as an identifier across multiple devices to recognize consumers wherever they're browsing. According to James Nichols, founder of mobile measurement company Apsalar, "Instead of relying on flawed technologies like third-party cookies, the brand can collect information about a user based on a persistent customer ID. Further, that user is likely to appreciate customized marketing from brands that they patronize."

The creative group Terrier defines the technology behind persistent ID as "The ID is gathered from long-ins using determinist data; a consumer's privacy is protected while the data is optimised. The persistent ID can then recognise them across all their devices, when they are logged into any account. This allows marketers to base their targeting off multiple browsing platforms." For those who understand and appreciate receiving targeted ads that provide value, they see this as an integral part of the PBM equation.


The likelihood of marketers having a P.h.D. in psychology is not very high. However, the strategies they employ have quite a bit of psychological influence. In an article for Fast Company, Robert Rosenthal notes, "The vast majority of marketers aren't psychologists. But many successful marketers regularly employ psychology in appealing to consumers. Smart, skillful, honest marketers use psychology legally, ethically and respectfully to attract and engage consumers, and compel them to buy."

As the digital era arrived, marketer's focus shifted to tracking every consumer action online to create an individualized digital identity. And while that is still true and relevant today, marketers are going back to basics in order to better understand natural human behavior and thought patterns. In doing so, they can focus on targeted marketing efforts that build rapport with their audience.

Consider Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: self-esteem is only one step below self-actualization. People want to feel valued. A B2B client wants to feel like a valued partner. A consumer wants to know that your brand values their feedback. Once you prove that they matter, you can help them realize your brand is the path to actualization.

Follow Identities Across all Devices

The vast majority of Americans - 95% - own a cellphone of some kind, according to Pew Research. The share has increased 77%, from a mere 35% in 2011. Additionally, nearly eight-in-ten adults in the U.S. now own desktop or laptop computers. Roughly half own tablets and around one-in-five own e-reader devices. As IoT and voice-activated devices gain traction, the quantity and access to devices will grow exponentially. Marketers, of course, must adjust their business model to unlock these new revenue channels.

By 2020, the average person will be connected across over 6 devices," Ryan Urban, CEO and founder of BounceX. "A growing number of ways to reach your consumers isn't actually a bad thing. Accessing these emerging revenue channels simply requires a unified view of consumer devices. With sticky identifiers like email or a device graph, marketers can unlock a truly People-Based Marketing approach. They'll have the ability to market to prospects on a one-to-one basis, regardless of logged-in status, device, session or browser."

If the entire marketing ecosystem can adopt tactics and strategies that are able to tap into human behavior and patterns, they will have an entirely new host of better options for talking to their audiences. Marketers must aim their efforts to the whole person, the human that lives outside of a singular digital identity defined by cookies and purchase history.

credit by: INC. author: James CPaine

call us now for more consulting - People Based Marketing Solution. Hotline: 0968683191.
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