People-Based Marketing: The Final Frontier

People-based marketing means putting customers front and center and knowing them fully to offer them a value-exchange experience. 

People-based marketing: the final frontier

Advertising has changed a lot since its first invention. Before the 1930s, ads were all about the product. Then, you had long-winded product details where the sole focus was getting items that spoke about themselves.

The 30s was the sales era, where companies realized that pairing imagery with their brands could help sell a product. By the 80s, ads did all the talking and sometimes didn’t even mention the product themselves. It’s why so many brands today are recognized just by their logo.

More recently, however, we’ve reached the relationship era where conversations with customers can no longer be one-sided—instead, engagement, retention, personalization, and loyalty reign supreme. 

Consumers expect brands to make recommendations based on the multiple touchpoints across channels. They’re engaging with their favorite brands more than ever before. They’re more aware of their data and aren’t sharing it. People-based marketing means putting customers front and center and knowing them fully to offer them a value-exchange experience. 


What’s People-Based Marketing?

People-based marketing, also known as cross-device marketing, uses data to identify customers and their behavior. In other words, it’s the act of gathering online and offline customer data, processing it, and using it to create a unified customer profile to identify the browsing behavior among different data sources and know them.

For example, which device to best reach them on. Traditionally, advertisers leveraged cookies and tracking pixels to target better and retarget people.

However, a study from Deloitte found that “U.S. households own an average of 11 connected devices, including seven with screens to view the content (e.g., smartphones or TVs).” So cookies and tracking pixels aren’t enough. That’s where people-based marketing comes in. 

You can fill data gaps and identify users in two ways: deterministic or probabilistic matching. 


Deterministic Matching

Deterministic matching (or a deterministic ID) is an identifier provided directly by the consumer, such as email or username. This type of matching can be used to connect the browsing behavior of the same consumer on different device(s). All the devices must know the same identifier so that the matching can occur.

The best example is an email address tied to one specific user. When a publisher gates content with a login, they can create a deterministic match to offer a better user experience.


Probabilistic Matching

This is when data is fed into algorithms to generate an identity for the user. Probabilistic matching occurs when devices are grouped based on various data elements from each device which are ingested and processed to pinpoint potential matching opportunities.

For example, if various devices share the same IP address in the exact location, creating a probabilistic match is one way. Unfortunately, this isn’t 100% reliable, and so at 1plusX, we don’t consider probabilistic matching since it doesn’t live up to our quality standards and infringes on our data privacy policy.


Identifiers in Action

We often use first-party data, which keeps privacy compliance at the forefront. The way 1plusX identifies your users is by:


  1. Ingesting your customer data: especially first-party data, we collect available user identifiers such as hashed emails, browsing, purchasing behavior, demographics, and the like, then consolidate it into our platform in a privacy-safe way to let it work its magic. This includes when a customer interacts with subscriptions and website visits. This is information that enables deterministic matching.
  2. Matching digital identities: after collecting data points across numerous data sources, we aim to create one unified, holistic customer view based on deterministic IDs to achieve optimal cross-device user addressability.
  3. Segmenting your audiences: once our data management platform processes all your data and associates it with a consumer, you can take advantage of this information, including creating custom audience segments, having a deeper understanding of demographics and interests, and having opportunities for contextual and user targeting for content engagement purposes.

You now have refined targeting capabilities to personalize your audience and give them a memorable experience. It’s about making marketing great again!


People-Based Marketing Matters

This strategic approach is even backed by research. According to a Viant survey on people-based marketing:


  • 90% of respondents witnessed “improved performance” from people-based marketing
  • 64% believe the industry will stop relying on probabilistic data within 1-2 years
  • 83% of respondents see more success from their people-based campaigns


If that wasn’t enough to convince you, there are also plenty of advantages to people-based marketing, such as:


  1. Reducing ad spend waste: you’re marketing to real people. By creating ads that are relevant to them, you get higher conversions and more bang for your buck.
  2. Increasing ROI: because you’re targeting the right people when it matters most, you get higher conversion rates and thus a better return on your investment
  3. Understanding your customers better: people-based marketing will give you deeper insights into your customers’ interests and purchasing behavior. This allows you to create more relevant ads that convert more.
  4. Expanding your reach: once you get high-converting customers, you’ll have collected enough data to create lookalike audiences to grow your business and open the doors to other prospects likely to convert.


Building a Successful Person-Based Marketing Strategy

Start with your data, and when it’s first-party data, even better. Next, turn poor data into rich data by getting the proper data infrastructure to collect, consolidate and activate your data. You also need to ensure identification capabilities to identify customers across various devices and channels. Lastly, make sure you have a unified marketing measurement. Then you can integrate multiple marketing analytics and models to provide a comprehensive view and make your marketing campaigns successful. 

People-based marketing is best when you utilize insights to personalize messages and frequencies, gain customer trust, and, more importantly, consent. By focusing on the needs and wants of your customer, you’ll avoid irrelevant messaging and maximize your ad spend. And, by working with first-party data, you’ll produce more reliable models, which will create richer data to grow your business like never before.

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