The Rise of People-Based Marketing Strategies for Publishers

June 13, 2017  |   LiveRamp

Publishers and advertisers have long worked together to bring interesting, relevant content to their audiences. Throughout this process, publishers learned a lot about their audience—what they like and what they’re like—and shared that with their brand marketers so that they could reach those audiences with their advertising.

Traditionally, finding an audience off and online has been limited in terms of reach, and cumbersome due to the manual nature of executing numerous media buys in parallel. Programmatic solved much of the reach and efficiency problems through automation.

However, the biggest problems in the advertising and marketing industry still remain accuracy and precision.

That’s where people-based marketing can help. It solves those problems by shifting the reliance on targeting and measuring proxies, like cookies and devices, to real people, and allows marketers to identify users across all touchpoints.

The only problem? So far, it’s been hard to implement beyond the largest social media and search platforms, and while marketers are seeing tremendous success in those channels, it ties marketers to a few vendors and limits the effectiveness of their overall marketing.

The lesson for the entire publisher ecosystem is loud and clear: you should be embracing people-based approaches.

Thinking Deterministically

To us, the backbone of all marketing should be deterministic matching. When you start from deterministic matching, you’ll still be able to add scale with probabilistic matching, and the quality of those matches will be enhanced.

That’s the key to the most popular publishers’ success—they are platforms with huge sets of logged in users, easily able to resolve a brand’s first-party data back to users. It’s deterministic matching at it’s best.

For the ecosystem, and for marketers themselves, to be successful everywhere, we all need the same deterministic way to tie data sets together.

Brands are already the best source of data about their customers. The issue is matching the data they have—or the data being provided to them—to the people they want to reach.

With the introduction of identity resolution services like IdentityLink, it’s never been easier for publishers to bypass building their own identity graph and start to offer people-based marketing capabilities.

Changing the Marketing Game

If the entire digital marketing ecosystem could adopt deterministic, people-based marketing strategies, marketers will gain a host of new and better options for talking to their customers.

First, it will be the end of spending unnecessary money.

It’s easy to justify spending when it can be tied directly back to results. Login data can facilitate access to high-quality, tailored audiences based on a brand’s first-party data or the data a publisher has collected.

Using a single, anonymous ID, publishers and brands are then able to tie those targeted segments back to purchase history to track impact.

Moreover, when you know you’re interacting with real people, you take a step toward eliminating fraud. It’s easy to avoid bots by only showing ads to the devices associated with the people a marketer wants to reach, and saving everyone money (except the fraudsters).

Lastly, by connecting brands with consumers, no matter what device they’re on or channel they’re in, marketers are able to offer them relevant ads they want to see. Your offering is enhanced from cross-device to omnichannel, and brands will begin to see you as a more strategic partner for their advertising business.

With this improved targeting and identification, measurement and analytics will see gains as well. When impressions are to online AND offline sales, CMOs can prove the value of their digital campaigns—and we’re already seeing them move more marketing dollars to the channels that are paying demonstrable returns.

People-based strategies may not solve all of the problems of marketing, but they present new opportunities for an ecosystem of brands, data owners, platforms, agencies, and publishers to work together in a more streamlined way—and we’re excited to help power that.

For more on the power of people-based strategies, read our report on The State of People-Based Marketing. Or if you want to learn more about how identity resolution can help you power people-based marketing, read Forrester’s report on The Strategic Role of Identity Resolution.