One of the most important goals in all of marketing – and maybe the one that brands struggle with more than any other – involves making it feel like you’re marketing not to massive groups of people, but to consumers on an individual basis.
Everyone who receives a piece of your marketing collateral knows that they’re not your only customer – nor are they likely to be your most important. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to feel like that whenever possible. Making someone feel like they’re your top priority isn’t just how you make a sale – it’s also how you create a loyal customer who will serve your brand well for years to come.
The good news is that not only has this very much become a reality in the modern era, but it’s also a process that is likely far more straightforward than you even realize. It’s called people-based marketing and if you really want to use it to your full advantage, there are a number of important points you’ll want to consider.
Why People-Based Marketing is Essential to Your Efforts
You may have heard people-based marketing in the past referred to by many terms, with targeted marketing and cross-device marketing being two of them. Regardless of what you call it, the core goal remains the same: you want to create a marketing experience that not only accounts for the likes and preferences of the individual, but that changes based on the behaviors of those individuals, too.
Keep in mind that according to survey results published by Google, as many as 90% of all people say that they commonly switch devices over the course of completing a single task. People-based marketing allows you to use this to your advantage – making sure that your content is being seen by the people who need it as they move from their smartphone to their laptop to their Internet-connected television set and back again.
In a larger sense, this doesn’t just mean that you need to create personalized messages in the collateral that you’re building into your marketing campaign. Those personalized messages also need to incorporate as much information from as many platforms as possible – all in the name of creating the most consistent message that you can across all platforms at the exact same time.
For the purposes of this discussion, let’s say that you’re a retailer that operates both an ecommerce platform and several brick-and-mortar stores in a particular geographic area. At that point, the process of people-based marketing would go a bit like this:
- You’ve got some new promotion coming up offering deep discounts for a particular day on the calendar, like Black Friday. You begin by taking all of the customer data you’ve been collecting offline – like contact information, purchasing histories and other factors of that nature – and you consolidate it into a single digital source or platform.
- You then match that data to the digital information that has been created for each person, too. So suddenly those purchasing histories are also matched up to unique device identifers that those same people use when interacting with your website. With this comes more insight into everything from their online browsing habits to the types of social media platforms they choos to spend time on.
- Once you’ve arrived at that point, suddenly you’re in a far better position to recognize people as individuals, segment them into groups based on particular traits that are important to you and your long-term goals, and target them with even more specific and personalized content than ever before.
- Since you know as much about your target customers as possible regardless of which device they happen to be using, you can further personalize your ads and marketing collateral to make that content even more relevant. It doesn’t actually matter what device those people are using to interact with your brand anymore – they get to enjoy a personalized, consistent experience across the board and you just made your marketing message significantly more effective than it already was.
In the largest possible sense of the term, this type of people-based marketing is all about connecting what used to be a series of totally separate dots. It’s about diving deeper into your consumer data than ever, finally recognizing that Person X, Person Y and Person Z are really all the same individual – they just happen to be using different devices over the course of their journey with your brand.
Putting People-Based Marketing to Work For You
Once you know that level of insight, you know far more than you probably immediately realize – including where to focus your marketing efforts on moving forward.
When you use a service like Respona to conduct topic research for your collateral, for example, you can suddenly be far more precise than you could be in the past. You know that someone has a particular interest in Topic A. Now, you can create a piece of collateral that addresses the topic, satisfies their concerns and answers their questions in a way that then lets you branch out into different formats depending on where that person encounters your materials.
You could take the same topic and use an Infographic maker like Visme (which I founded) to turn it into an Infographic for when your user is on a mobile device like a tablet. You could also turn it into a 500 word blog post for when they’re on their desktop. They’re still getting the exact same message that the same critical point in the buyer’s journey – it’s just that they’re experiencing it in a different way depending on an essential context that you didn’t have access to in the past.
If this sounds a lot like the types of market segmentation and targeted advertising techniques that you’re probably already using – that’s because it largely is. But at the same time, people-based marketing takes these concepts one step further, allowing you to easily tailor your marketing efforts to meet the needs of the individual, as opposed to asking your consumers to slightly shift the trajectory of their journey to make up for the limitations of the content you’ve created for them.
If you’re able to execute all of this properly, you’ll be able to engage with customers via personalized offers anywhere, at any time – thus reducing churn along the way. You’ll also be able to more easily attract new desirable customers who are then immediately matched to the characteristics of those users who matter most to you.
You’ll even put yourself in an excellent position to verify contact information and match it to real people, thus weeding out duplicate accounts and Internet bots – eliminating waste from your efforts, too.
Just a few short years ago, this level of one-to-one marketing probably seemed like a pipe dream for many people. But thanks to the rate that technology has continued to advance, it’s very much become an everyday reality for those who are willing to embrace it.
When you think about just how far Internet advertising has come in just the last five years in particular, it’s truly exciting to think about what the next five may have in store for us all.