Article

Colin Grieves
Colin Grieves 19 December 2016
Categories Customer Experience

Going Back to the Beginning with ‘People Based Marketing’

People based marketing is a phrase popping up more and more frequently in the industry. The common initial understanding of the saying is a marketing campaign that focuses on people, the customers.

But this implies that marketing hasn’t always been about people – an alarming thought. The industry has arrived at a point now where it’s seen as ground-breaking  to view the ‘subjects’ messages are served to as something new. That something being people. This can be attributed to the entire industry’s move to an online environment – an unavoidable transition.

At its very core, marketing has always been about knowing how to successfully engage customers. Small businesses in particular have been masters of this through direct communication with their customers, a tactic which helps them identify exactly where their interests lie.  But when we made the step into the digital world, that approach became more difficult to maintain, particularly in larger organisations where customer contacts are in the thousands.

The challenge derives from Cookies and device IDs. They exist to enable the provision of content, not to help marketers better understand their audience.  

This divide stems from the opposing requirements of online media consumption. The first rule for every digital marketer is to make sure consumers never have difficulty accessing a website, so unnecessary logins or other hurdles should be avoided. Few things are more likely to put consumers off.

It’s when we think about privacy that the root of the problem becomes clear. A gap between the individual and the device/cookie.

An evolving market

The proliferation of devices and the need to engage consumers across platforms are making marketers’ jobs more difficult. It’s not as simple as one person, one device anymore. Marketers have to join up behaviour across multiple devices.

It all starts with data. The robustness and comprehensiveness of the information being used is key to building a 360 degree picture of customers. Just because someone is browsing for luxury cars, it doesn’t mean they’re in a position to buy one, for example.

The same applies when we think about the world of finance. You don’t want to market credit cards to people who don’t meet the eligibility criteria. Not only will it impact your marketing performance, it’ll also compromise your relationship with your customers, and their perception of you. No-one will be pleased if they click through to then be rejected.

Advancements in technology have put many marketers in a situation where they’re guessing who they might be reaching - a far from ideal approach. 

To really achieve ‘people-based marketing’, touchpoints need to be joined together so people are seen as more than each individual, separate interaction. People are about much more than the information marketers can gather through their channels, regardless of how well aligned they are. So marketers, it’s time to step up to the challenge and build an audience base that can be targeted and measured, regardless of channel.

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