People-Based Marketing: Targeting People, Not Cookies

With the promise of big data being able to provide true people-based marketing, the yearly spend for companies continues to increase. But is your data really as good as you think? Are you truly delivering the right message at the right time to the right person?

the pulse blog

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In 2016, eMarketer reports approximately $16.2 billion was spent on digital media. With the promise of big data being able to provide true people-based marketing, the yearly spend for companies continues to increase. But is your data really as good as you think? Are you truly delivering the right message at the right time to the right person? The overpromise of big data being able to provide marketers with this solution can create waste — both with money and time. Delivering on people-based marketing, though efficient and lucrative when done well, is turning out to be a lot harder than it sounds.

Cookies Are an Issue

Cookies have a lot of shortcomings when trying to map back to a specific individual. Cookies aren’t persistent. They can be deleted or blocked, and in most cases an individual can have multiple cookies and even have them assigned to the same device. Several advertisers have started to invest in solutions that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to map cookies back to an individual. But in their quest, they have forgotten the whole point of a cookie, which is supposed to be anonymous and stay anonymous. Yes, Google knows which double-click cookie maps to your Gmail account, but they’ll never share that information. That would defeat the whole purpose of why anonymous third-party cookies were created in the first place.image_1

Finding the Solution

Facebook takes credit for coining the term, and they are definitely leading the pack toward people-based marketing. The key to Facebook’s success starts with the individual versus with the cookie — they map a person’s devices and cookies back to the individual. Not the other way around. It’s a simple but important distinction, and it’s key to their success. This particular methodology works great for Facebook. After all, they already have an exhaustive list of individuals. But what about the average marketer? While Facebook will let you leverage some of what they know on their platform for a price, they definitely aren’t sharing that data. The good news is most marketers already have extensive CRM databases of their existing customers. The key is to unlock that data and target those individuals and other look-alike prospects. While it’s simple in principle, it’s challenging to put into practice.

 

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