Americans see anywhere from 4,000 - 10,000 ads per day. It sounds like a lot when you add it up, but when you start to think of all the places you see ads, it makes sense. Our lives are saturated with people vying for our attention. While not all ads are created equal, some can be helpful. Whether you're a B2B tech leader, an executive, or a travel blogger, we are all consumers of products in our off time. We may not enjoy being bombarded by ads, but most of us appreciate getting connected with products and services we need.
Similar to a journalist receiving an irrelevant pitch, today's consumer snubs their nose at a poorly placed ad. They have come to expect that if they leave something in their cart, that's ok because that website will be sure to send them an email or place that item in your Facebook feed. Similarly, consumers have begun to embrace alternative forms of communication, like sponsored content, native ads, and creative social media campaigns. All of these point to marketing trends favoring personalization and better targeting.
So what's next in the evolution of marketing? It's personalization on steroids: People-Based Marketing.
What is People-Based Marketing?
While consumer-driven content isn't new, people-based marketing is a new wave in the industry, pushing marketers to use personalized data resulting from recent developments in big data and analytics. According to BounceX, PBM is a strategic approach to marketing in which marketers target individual people, rather than groups, with relevant messaging across different channels and touchpoints. An optimized PBM strategy leverages both consumer identification for accuracy and automation for scale.
Shifting the focus from cookies to people, marketers of the future realize they have all the data at their fingertips. The good ones just know what to do with it.
As various companies start to place restrictions on cookies, Persistent ID is taking their place. Persistent ID works as an identifier across multiple devices to recognize consumers wherever they're browsing. According to James Nichols, founder of mobile measurement company Apsalar, "Instead of relying on flawed technologies like third-party cookies, the brand can collect information about a user based on a persistent customer ID. Further, that user is likely to appreciate customized marketing from brands that they patronize."
The creative group Terrier defines the technology behind persistent ID as "The ID is gathered from long-ins using determinist data; a consumer's privacy is protected while the data is optimised. The persistent ID can then recognise them across all their devices, when they are logged into any account. This allows marketers to base their targeting off multiple browsing platforms." For those who understand and appreciate receiving targeted ads that provide value, they see this as an integral part of the PBM equation.
The likelihood of marketers having a P.h.D. in psychology is not very high. However, the strategies they employ have quite a bit of psychological influence. In an article for Fast Company, Robert Rosenthal notes, "The vast majority of marketers aren't psychologists. But many successful marketers regularly employ psychology in appealing to consumers. Smart, skillful, honest marketers use psychology legally, ethically and respectfully to attract and engage consumers, and compel them to buy."
As the digital era arrived, marketer's focus shifted to tracking every consumer action online to create an individualized digital identity. And while that is still true and relevant today, marketers are going back to basics in order to better understand natural human behavior and thought patterns. In doing so, they can focus on targeted marketing efforts that build rapport with their audience.
Consider Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: self-esteem is only one step below self-actualization. People want to feel valued. A B2B client wants to feel like a valued partner. A consumer wants to know that your brand values their feedback. Once you prove that they matter, you can help them realize your brand is the path to actualization.
Follow Identities Across all Devices
The vast majority of Americans - 95% - own a cellphone of some kind, according to Pew Research. The share has increased 77%, from a mere 35% in 2011. Additionally, nearly eight-in-ten adults in the U.S. now own desktop or laptop computers. Roughly half own tablets and around one-in-five own e-reader devices. As IoT and voice-activated devices gain traction, the quantity and access to devices will grow exponentially. Marketers, of course, must adjust their business model to unlock these new revenue channels.
By 2020, the average person will be connected across over 6 devices," Ryan Urban, CEO and founder of BounceX. "A growing number of ways to reach your consumers isn't actually a bad thing. Accessing these emerging revenue channels simply requires a unified view of consumer devices. With sticky identifiers like email or a device graph, marketers can unlock a truly People-Based Marketing approach. They'll have the ability to market to prospects on a one-to-one basis, regardless of logged-in status, device, session or browser."
If the entire marketing ecosystem can adopt tactics and strategies that are able to tap into human behavior and patterns, they will have an entirely new host of better options for talking to their audiences. Marketers must aim their efforts to the whole person, the human that lives outside of a singular digital identity defined by cookies and purchase history.