Defined: People-Based Marketing

Marketing Innovation

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Defined: People-Based Marketing

Marketing Innovation

People-based marketing is marketing to people. You’d think marketing is already like that, but it’s not.

Instead, with the rise of programmatic, people have been converted to proxies like cookies, impressions, devices, or segments. While new technologies and channels offered marketers new ways to reach their customers, they also turned to those customers into data points.

The problem was (and is) that behind all of those data points were (and are) real people, expecting brands to deliver relevant messaging across channels. People-based marketing gives marketers a chance to speak directly to these people, not just their segments.

Why we need it

When Facebook coined the term in 2014, they were describing the new way that marketers could target individuals in Facebook’s database using their interests, characteristics, and affinities—pretty much everything but their real names.

But the underlying ideas behind people-based marketing aren’t new. Marketers have long used their own data to inform direct mail and catalog campaigns, and data-driven marketing has informed digital, enabled by onboarding technologies.

What’s new is the outsized growth of digital marketing channels: desktop, social, mobile, and more. Facebook’s extensive user network allowed marketers to solve the problems of digital marketing in one channel, but marketers needed a way to do this type of marketing everywhere else.

This is where identity resolution comes into the picture, resolving these disparate IDs—multiple cookies across devices and platforms—back to one individual. Now people can be at the center of marketing again.

Why marketers should strive for it

You may be thinking that people-based marketing is too complex, but it doesn’t have to be, and more importantly, it’s worth it.

It allows the consumer to feel like they are understood. That they are speaking to a person, not a corporation. It acknowledges the human aspect of both the marketer and the consumer and provides context around the interaction.

To learn more, check out our IdeaBook, 200 Ways to Do People-Based Marketing, or become fluent in other marketing musts by reading the rest of our series.