2018 is going to see a quiet revolution in digital marketing, one driven by a new way to identify and understand customer behavior in a multi-channel and multi-device world: People Based Marketing. It’s going to drive new levels of personalized customer experience and advertising. It will provide better measurement on advertising and engagement and it will power customer intelligence.
One of the key challenges of digital marketing is that of identity. In order for a brand to understand a potential or existing customer’s behavior, it first has to identify them, over time. In the past, this identity has primarily been device based, using cookies on individual devices.
However, device-based identity has limitations, particularly today where consumers will use multiple devices, channels and platforms, even across a single path to purchase. This activity presents multiple apparent identities to digital marketers and the change in behavior over time has significantly limited the ability of marketers to gain a single view of their customer. In turn, this makes accurate targeting harder, complicates consistent campaigns and causes marketers to lose control of their attribution measurement.
People Based Marketing moves from a device-based approach to a people-based approach. It replaces cookies with new forms of anonymized personal identity which can be used to identify individuals, rather than devices, consistently.
Using these identities, marketers have a single lens on an individual’s interactions with their brand across multiple devices and channels, thus building a much deeper and more accurate profile of their behaviors. Moreover, with the majority of marketing cookies expiring after 30 days, these personal identifiers can also give marketers a far longer-term view of their customers. This enables them to personalize customer experiences, increase engagement and build a richer, deeper relationship based on customer intelligence.
This people based approach has multiple, significant benefits:
- ACCURACY – A personal identifier is a far richer source of data than a simple cookie, giving marketers much greater confidence that they are reaching a real person. Identifiers de-dupe bookings and purchases, giving an accurate measurement of ROI and reducing fraud.
- CONSISTENCY – Because a People Based approach can provide a definitive and ongoing picture of a person’s behavior online it enables advertisers to target them more effectively over time. For example, presenting personalized, sequential campaigns across multiple devices, channels and platforms and throughout the sales funnel.
- CONTROL: People Based Marketing tracks users rather than devices, meaning that it can more accurately measure the effectiveness of different marketing channels. Using a personal identifier, a marketer can track a user’s complete behavior and truly understand and control the path by which they arrived at a purchase.
ADARA’s People Based approach delivers these benefits by leveraging the power of its travel data co-op. This brings together the premium, first party data assets of more than 175 of the world’s largest travel brands to create a vast and deep insight resource. ADARA can access the anonymized personal identifiers of individuals from these partners and, combined with real-time insight into the travel search, booking and loyalty actions of these users, use them as the basis for accurate and consistent marketing and analytics across the broader web. Using this data, it can create a travel-focused People Based Marketing approach, leveraging the user’s identity and contextual behaviors to allow brands to deploy rich targeting and measurement.
For example, using a People Based approach, ADARA could identify users who are researching specific travel activities on their mobile and could then target them throughout their purchase journey across multiple devices and publishers with personalized marketing messages; or could analyze real-time mobile bookings received by a travel brand and establish to what extent desktop research was a driving factor in purchase, adjusting campaigns accordingly.
These types of campaigns and analytics could be partially achieved using traditional methods, but a People Based approach can give a far higher degree of accuracy and confidence that the users being targeted across multiple channels are indeed the same people.
Cookies have been, and will remain, an important tool in the marketer’s armory, enabling them to access mass audiences with broad-level targeting and messaging. However, as consumers become ever more complex and sophisticated in their use of devices and channels, People Based Marketing will work in parallel. It will offer brands a way to design consistent and personalized campaigns based on accurate understanding and recognition of individual consumers, wherever they are and on whatever device.
David Morrow, Vice President, Global Marketing, ADARA.