Five Best Practices for Successful People-Based Marketing

The CMO of Acxiom Explains How The Most Modern People-Based Marketing Platform Uses Datapoints From Multiple Channels to Break Down Traditional Data Silos and Get All Parts of the Marketing Stack Working Together


The term “people-based marketing” is relatively new, but the concept behind it is grounded in more than 50 years of marketing practices and ongoing innovation. Marketers have always wanted to reach their customers with the most relevant message based on what they know.

What’s new in the past few years is the ability to achieve this at scale by connecting people, data, and devices.

People-based marketing uses these connections to break down data silos and get all parts of the marketing stack working together. Instead of running an independent search, mobile, and email campaigns, for example, people-based marketing enables outreach to the same individual across all offline and digital channels.

Also Read: Acxiom Announces Audience Cloud For Advanced Cross-Channel Management of Acxiom Data

This is not only more effective since multichannel campaigns typically outperform single channel campaigns, it’s also more efficient, and it creates more seamless experiences for consumers.

There are five essential best practices that sit at the heart of effective people-based marketing today:

Embrace Identity Resolution

From a practical perspective, you need to be able to recognize a consumer whenever and wherever you come across them in order for people-based marketing to work. In our fragmented, multi-platform world this can seem complicated. A customer may show up as, as an anonymous cookie, or as a mobile device ID. They may also have two postal addresses, use multiple TV streaming services, and spend time on Facebook and Pandora.

Effective identity resolution enables you to connect these dots, so you can integrate your data and create a single view of the customer.

Also Read: Acxiom and Amex Advance Launch New Data-Driven Offering to Predict Consumer Purchase Intent

Augment Your Customer Data

Consumers are inundated with information – they respond best to offers that are personalized, and their needs and interests are constantly changing.

For example, if Jane just bought a minivan, it’s ineffective to send her offers on minivans or, even more off-track, a Maserati.

Effective people-based marketing uses identity resolution to augment what you know about a customer with what others know, so you can strengthen your ability to engage. It draws on all the first and third-party data available to discern what Jane really needs, be it a new car seat for her kids or offers on family-friendly vacations.

Move Data Where it Needs to Go

To engage consumers throughout their buying journey, the right messages need to be delivered across multiple channels and devices. Behind the scenes, this means audience data for a campaign needs to be distributed to multiple tools and publisher partners.

Also Read: Acxiom Expands International Footprint with Launch of AbiliTec Identity Resolution and InfoBase Consumer Insights in Mexico

If you want to run a campaign to offer maintenance services to Jane and other new car buyers, for example, that audience data needs to be populated across the marketing tools you use for email, direct mail, display, search, social, etc. The basic formula for success here is:

Identity Resolution + Data-Enrichment + Omnichannel Activation = Personalized Messages Everywhere.

Target, Measure, and Repeat

Effective people-based marketing goes beyond targeting – it uses identity resolution to connect data at the level of real, individual people for measurement as well.

Marketers always need to understand where to invest their resources to drive the biggest impact on sales.

By connecting data on who saw your campaigns with data on who made a purchase online or through a brick-and-mortar location, you can measure sales lift and perform cross-channel attribution analysis.

Insights from this effort can help you substantially increase efficiency over time.  Consider the maintenance services campaign above – analysis of connected data might reveal that publisher A drives higher conversion than publisher B, or the combo of display and email outperforms direct mail, allowing you to adjust appropriately.

And once the adjustments are made, you can see how they perform and continue to refine iteratively from there.

Use Data Ethically

People-based marketing depends on data, and consumers only share their data with brands they trust.  To build and maintain that trust, it’s incumbent on brands to treat consumer data with the utmost care and respect.

In addition to making sure data is secure and used in ways that comply with the law, this also includes putting controls in place to ensure data use is just and fair to consumers.  Companies that fail to use data ethically will find their customers choose to take their business elsewhere.

Recommended Read: The People-Based Data Lake – A More Nimble Marketing Data Solution

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