In this guest post, Dean Capobianco, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific, LiveRamp talks about the rising trend of people-based marketing and where it’s going next.
It’s fair to say that the marketing industry is obsessed with customers. They are the centre of everything we do, so we want to know everything about them – what they like, what they’ve bought, where they’ve been, and where they’re going next.
This trend is clearly supported by Forrester’s research earlier this year which showed that for 99 per cent of marketers, creating an omnichannel view of their customer was their major focus.
Up to now, we’ve relied on the magic of data, through cookies or device IDs, to provide us with this insight. But we’ve come to find that there is only so much we can truly understand based on device-centric approximations.
How can marketers move beyond anonymous interactions, and develop relationships directly with consumers built on accurate, deterministic data?
Enter: people-based marketing
If customer obsession is knowing everything about your customers, people-based marketing is the activation of those insights through a single-customer view.
It allows marketers the ability to plan, activate and measure communications at an individual user level, to deliver the right message to the right person on the right device at the right time.
By determining consumer identity across digital and offline channels, people-based marketing takes campaign execution from a siloed channel strategy to an omni-channel customer-centric strategy.
And it isn’t a utopian dream or a distant reality. It’s here, right now – but we’re still not using it to its full potential.
It’s already here and delivering results. Forrester evaluated what business benefits decision-makers experienced as a result of people-based marketing, with almost half (49 per cent) reporting increased sales revenue.
Just under half reported better customer experiences, followed by more effective customer engagement, and increased customer acquisition and retention.
Marketers can build effective strategies using insights of how a customer interacts with your brand across all touch points. You can then optimise campaign efficiency by managing reach and frequency at a single-user level.
By finding customers in digital environments through ‘onboarding’ CRM lists, it allows you to retain your valuable customers and acquire new ones by targeting prospects that ‘look like’ your existing clientele.
This, in turn, creates a more seamless customer experience, presenting relevant offers and messages to receptive visitors, and more reliably leading to site conversions.
Forrester found that social media advertising makes up the majority of people-based marketing. But 97 per cent of marketers agreed that it’s important not to miss out on the opportunity to reach people by expanding to other digital channels.
But the Holy Grail of marketing is, of course, measurement. In 2017, Australians spent about AUD22 billion on online purchases. They are expected to increase spending via mobile devices by 50 per cent this year amounting up to AUD10.4 billion.
It’s no wonder targeting the right consumer and mapping data back to the right device is important.
There is real value in the ROI marketers get there.You need to be able to link online exposure through to offline-purchase to properly measure how effectively your money is being spent.
In Forrester’s study, 96 per cent of marketers agreed that people-based measurement is important to implement on premium publishers.
Over 40 per cent were already implementing it to measure campaign ROI, with three-quarters planning to reach this state within the next two years.
Complexity complicates matters
With any new strategic business initiative, however, there are barriers to getting it off the ground.
The complexity and sheer number of channels make coordinating the customer experience across devices difficult.
This leads to challenges with cross-channel data integration – how do you keep it together without losing some along the way?
Consumer privacy is also top of mind, with almost half of marketers interviewed saying their primary challenge with people-based marketing is privacy concerns.
The good news is publisher-identity data and solutions have evolved to meet demands to deterministically reach consumers across the open web in an ethical, streamlined way.
The Solution: Identity Resolution
The ability to tie these disconnected data points and resolve them to one anonymous, persistent identity is called Identity Resolution – and it’s making the dream of privacy-conscious, people-based marketing possible.
The critical piece for achieving this is having a unique and persistent identifier (such as an email address entered via a login) that ties the different devices owned by an individual to their user profile.
The ability to recognise a consumer across different screens, or what we call “the single customer view” is what separates it from educated guessing.
Firms working with identity resolution providers are far more likely to have an integrated marketing program, better resolution on emerging platforms and an omnichannel view of the customer.
Integrating data points through identity resolution to deliver truly people-based marketing strategies, means marketers are entering an era of superior targeting, audience insights, measurement, and ultimately more efficient spend and enhanced customer brand experiences.