People-Based Marketing: A ‘Strategic Imperative’

By John Egan

If your job involves email marketing in any way, shape or form and you’re not intimately familiar with the concept of people-based marketing, you’ve got some catching up to do.

According to a study commissioned by DMA, people-based marketing “has become a strategic imperative for virtually every brand,” with 92 percent of marketers surveyed saying that the inclusion of people-based tactics in digital marketing is vitally important.

As consumers increasingly embrace mobile devices and mobile content, people-based marketing — defined in the DMA study as the ability to recognize a customer or prospect across all of their digital devices and on any marketing platform — is a fast-growing, but still relatively new, phenomenon.

At DMA’s Email Evolution Conference, Nicholas Einstein, vice president and principal analyst at The Relevancy Group, will dive into people-based marketing during a session titled “Innovations in Identity Management & People-Based Marketing.”

A recent Relevancy Group report co-authored by Einstein found that in people-based marketing, companies that added identity management capabilities, enabling them to track customer behavior, saw higher email click-through rates than companies that hadn’t instituted identity management.

Facebook rolled out the term “people-based marketing” at Advertising Week 2014. Since then, this aspect of marketing —both in email and vehicles — has gained traction. According to the DMA study, produced by LiveRamp, 79 percent of marketers indicated they’d taken advantage of people-based marketing functions on Facebook and Google, with 84 percent saying they wanted to unify those strategies across all digital channels.

How are brands using people-based marketing? A report by DigiDay and LiveRamp says Facebook and other platforms are touting people-based marketing as a “fantastic driver” of direct response for mailing-list sign-ups, app downloads and loyalty campaigns.

“Marketers will continue to move past the world of cookies and other third-party data sources as consumers come to expect a more targeted and personalized experience,” the DigiDay/LiveRamp report says. “The ongoing shift of consumers’ attention to mobile will fuel the need for cross-device and cross-screen campaigns, all of which can be supported through a people-based approach.”

Merkle, a performance marketing agency, says people-based marketing allows brands to blend the power of first-party customer and prospect data, third-party data, digital identities and publisher platforms.

“The ability to shift your focus from devices to the individuals using those devices offers a promise of highly targeted and relevant ad content that the marketing world has never experienced,” Merkle says. “By improving the overall customer experience, people-based marketing creates enormous potential to boost conversion, improve ROI, increase lifetime value and ultimately drive competitive advantage.”

A Huffington Post article notes that mobile is the driving force in people-based marketing, with the mobile category covering smartphones and tablets along with smart cars and smartwatches.
“With the rapid rise of digital and mobile media consumption, marketers and publishers alike are faced with the challenge of delivering addressable messages that hit the mark in terms of audience, timing and place, across all devices customers use today,” says Gerry Bavaro, senior vice president of enterprise solutions at Merkle.

This article is brought to you by the DMA. Click here to register for Email Evolution Conference, May 1-3, 2017, in New Orleans.