People-based marketing. Sounds like one giant ‘duh,’ right? Obviously, marketing is based on people and appealing and communicating to them in the hopes of performing an action or making a purchase. But in reality, it’s a new name for an old problem.
When digital advertising and marketing became a ‘thing,’ the industry was relieved because digital marketers believed they would be able to have their target demographics at their fingertips.
Well, their beliefs were only partly true. Marketers have been pretty much confined to accessing their demographics through third-party data and/or cookies that we leave behind us on the web. So they are able to reach their targeted demographic in a limiting way. Granted, sometimes those cookies we leave behind are like digital breadcrumbs that allow marketers to connect with the right people, at the right time and on the right device. But usually time, resources, efforts and money are spent without concrete evidence of impressions.
This third party data does help digital marketers create an image of their consumers to an extent. Cookies are like little puzzle pieces, specifically the edge and corner pieces that only frame the image and don’t really provide the complete picture.
But how does this info that people were originally so excited about become so fragmented and jagged?
Marketers have to not only reach the correct audience but connect with them on the correct device every single time. And with more and more consumers becoming multi-device users, third-party data will become even more fragmented.
The segmented view of consumers has driven marketers to people-based marketing – a form of marketing that allows marketers to reach their target demographics at the optimum time. Practicing people-based marketing allows marketers to communicate with an individual rather than an amorphous blob of IP addresses.
So how does people-based marketing enable marketers to create meaning from their consumers?
Yes, the type of data that all marketers and advertisers salivate over and covet. First-party data like persistent IDs(consistent logins into programs likes Facebook and Google), CRM databases that store almost everything there is to know about a consumer, data packages curated by data marketers and other forms of first-party data are allowing marketers to actually connect rather than flinging messages into the vast and open web. However, in comparison to third-party data, first-party is pretty tough to come by. And without first-party, it can be difficult to launch a people-based marketing campaign.
If consumers are going to be advertised to, then they are going to want to be marketed things that they are actually interested in. And while the desire to mine first-party data may be a slippery slope regarding privacy issues, targeted people-based marketing campaigns are going to allow marketers to communicate with people – not just profiles and data segments – and provide them with advertisements that might actually encourage them to purchase something.