What Is People-Based Marketing? All Your Questions Answered

Today’s consumers engage with their favorite brands more than ever before. They may start a search on their desktop, compare recently emailed coupons on their laptop, check out what others are saying on social media apps, and then finally drive to a store to make a purchase. For marketers, all these touch points are critical to understanding what their customers want and need. Tracking a consumer’s identity across these different places can be tough. So, instead, marketers have relied on targeting devices without really knowing the real person behind it. But not anymore thanks to people-based marketing. People-based marketing is the industry’s latest buzzword, so you better know the essentials. Get all the answers you need and discover why it should be a part of your client’s media mix now.

What is People-Based Marketing?

At the most basic level, people-based marketing means gathering customer data from both offline and online sources and using that rich profile to more accurately recognize and reach customers on any device. It connects brands with real people, not audience or device groups. This means you can better target individuals with messages that matter and engage them in more meaningful ways. One of the first people-based marketing initiatives started with the launch of Facebook Custom Audiences, which allowed advertisers to match their CRM data to Facebook user IDs for enhanced targeting. No surprise, Twitter and Google quickly followed suit with similar capabilities. Today, there are a variety of people-based marketing solutions available to advertisers beyond these early adopters, including Amazon, LiveRamp, and more. Just Google “people-based marketing solutions,” and you’ll come up with over 5 million page results!

OK, I’ll bite. How Does People-Based Marketing Work?

We’ve all been followed by that ad weeks after we looked up a product online and already bought it in the store. If you’re an advertiser, you know how frustrating it can be to see marketing dollars wasted like this. People-based marketing is changing the digital ad game. Here’s how it works: Let’s say your car dealership wants to get past customers to come back onto the lot for a year-end closeout sale. You’ll start by taking your offline customer data — like their email address, phone number, occupation and purchase history that live in your CRM or loyalty database — and upload it to our secure platform. This is called data onboarding. We match that data to the digital info on each person — like their device IDs, browsing habits and social logins. We also anonymize any personally identifiable information in the process, so you can rest easy knowing your customers’ privacy stays protected. Then, we distribute the profiles to your preferred media platforms, where you’ll be able to recognize, segment and reach the exact consumers you want to target. This means instead of targeting males in their 30s who like trucks, you can reach Joe, who is a rancher with a truck lease expiring in the next 90 days. When you know who your customers are online, you can deliver more relevant ads throughout their day, no matter where they are browsing from. And those ads can be personalized, for instance, with an all-wheel drive package and increased towing capacity to make them even more relevant for Joe. TL;DR? That’s ok. Check out our <2-minute explainer video.

It just got personal. How do I know if people-based marketing is right for my clients?

Advertisers with a robust database of offline or purchase information are the best fit for people-based marketing programs, but anyone with various data sources can build toward a successful people-based marketing campaign. Top industries for people-based marketing strategies include education, retail, travel and entertainment, automotive, health and fitness, restaurants, and CPG.

I’m not sure if I have enough data to work with. Where do I start?

Knowing if you have enough data to work with is never a black and white answer, but you can start by understanding the different types of marketing data. Since first-party data is the key to a successful people-based marketing strategy, you’ll want to concentrate your efforts there. Build deeper, more meaningful first-party data by consolidating CRMs across your organization, giving customers a way to share their information during checkout, or hosting gated content on your website to drive in new leads.

I’m still on the fence. Really, why should I bother?

Over 90% of media buyers can’t be wrong. That’s the number that increased their people-based ad buys last year, according to a Signal and Econsultancy report. Oh, and it works! In fact, we’ve seen a 10x improvement in view-through ROI over standard third-party behavioral segments! Here are three quick ways you can use people-based marketing to increase the efficiency of your marketing spend.

Match Your Customers’ Devices to Their Profile for Better Retargeting:

Matching your first-party data to online devices allows you to retarget individuals based on their online shopping history, internet behaviors, app downloads and more. Use these insights to turn single-channel shoppers into omnichannel buyers.

Exclude Those Who Already Bought for Smarter Spending:

Sometimes, it’s not about showing more people your ads; it’s about showing the right people your ads. Eliminate wasted spend by excluding current customers from your awareness campaigns. As an added bonus, you’ll retain loyal customers by ensuring they don’t receive ads that they don’t need.

Expand Your Reach with New Prospects That Look Like Your Top Buyers:

Gain new customers by targeting prospects that look like your best customers. Look-alike modeling uses trends in your data to identify like-minded audience segments for more effective prospecting. Need more proof? We’ve got you covered with our people-based marketing stat pack. This free resource gives you the real stats powering people-based marketing’s growth, as well as reasons why it should be a part of your next media strategy. Now that you’re well-versed on what people-based marketing is and how to use it, you just need to ask yourself if you’re ready to put your first-party data first. Reach out to us today and find out how to get started.