encompass blog

What is People-Based Marketing—And What Could It Mean for Your Brand?

What is People-Based Marketing—And What Could It Mean for Your Brand?

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

Opportunities for people to engage with their favorite brands are virtually unlimited. You may search for a particular product from the Google search bar, “like” a brand on Facebook, sift through your inbox for the latest branded newsletter, consult sites like Yelp to hear another consumer’s opinion, and ultimately use your mobile device to make a purchase from an ecommerce store. All of these represent unique touch points, and chances for marketers to understand what consumers are ultimately looking for.

That can be easier said than done; after all, even if a consumer interacts with your brand through each of these unique touch points, there are still difficulties in determining who that consumer is, fundamentally. That’s where people-based marketing comes into play. As these various brand touchpoints lead to a more diffuse, less linear consumer journey, people-based marketing can be used to locate that central thread.

What is People-Based Marketing?

People-based marketing involves marketers harvesting as much consumer data as they can—from both online and offline sources—to create rich profiles and personas, allowing them to more specifically target their efforts to individual consumers. The goal of people-based marketing is simple, then: It allows brands to connect directly with human beings, not merely with device groups or other broad demographics. This allows for more meaningful and personalized interactions.

This is not just some nebulous marketing buzzword; people-based marketing is being leveraged by some of the largest and most successful companies in the world. In fact, you can trace people-based marketing back to the inception of Facebook Custom Audiences, which lets advertisers match their CRM data to specific Facebook user IDS in order to deliver optimized content. Note the significance: Targeted ads are delivered to particular Facebook user IDs—not to abstract groups, but to actual humans. That’s the level of direct personalization that people-based marketing allows for.

How Does People-Based Marketing Work?

The lynchpin of people-based marketing is its connection between offline customer data and online marketing. The process begins when offline customer data—for example, email addresses, phone numbers, and purchasing history, as recorded in your CRM—is uploaded to an online platform. The information is then connected to the corresponding online data—for example, social login IDs, online browsing habits, and beyond.

The effect is to eliminate all guesswork from your marketing. Here’s what people-based marketing allows you to do: Instead of targeting ads to a general demographic audience—say, women in their 30s who are looking for new minivans—you can serve ads directly to Lucy, a 32-year-old mother of two who came to your dealership last week to look at Toyota Siennas.

In this example, you know that Lucy is local, and you know exactly what her needs are. You can serve her highly targeted ad content—reminding her of her visit, emphasizing the benefits of your new Siennas, letting her know if that model goes on promo, etc.

And of course, people-based marketing isn’t just for auto dealerships. Every company can benefit from knowing the people to whom it’s marketing. People-based marketing allows for that knowledge, and it lets each of those online touch points we mentioned above to be highly personalized—and thus, it makes your ad content more effective and less risky.

Are You Ready for People-Based Marketing?

The advantages of a people-based marketing mentality should be clear (more on that later), but note that there are also some hurdles to clear. Before people-based marketing can be adopted, it’s vital to have the right data in place. Indeed, customer data is the bedrock of this entire enterprise.

First-party data is especially valuable—that is, the data you collect directly from customers. This might include survey responses, subscriptions, and of course the data found within your CRM and POS platforms.

There is really no way to succeed in people-based marketing without this information—so before doing anything else, it’s important to ensure that this deeper, more meaningful data collection is possible. Consolidate CRM information across your company. Host gated content, requiring users to input some information. Make it easier for customers to provide their information during the checkout process. Send out consumer surveys, and evaluate the findings. These can all be useful ways of obtaining that invaluable first-party data.

What Are the Benefits of People-Based Marketing?

More and more, people-based marketing is becoming the standard practice—and its advantages are numerous. Here are just three practical examples of how people-based marketing could work for your brand:

  1. By matching your CRM data to online devices, you can target your ad content to consumers based on their online shopping history, their app downloads, and their other online behaviors. This in turn lets you target the same consumer across different platforms and channels.
  2. You can also ensure that people who’ve already bought a product from you are excluded from future ads—both allowing for smarter ad spend and helping you foster customer loyalty, purely by protecting your customers from redundant ads.
  3. Finally, you can reach out to new prospects by identifying those who “look like” your existing customers—allowing for much more efficient prospecting.

Getting Started with People-Based Marketing

While marketing can sometimes feel impersonal, it works best when it’s oriented around people. To learn more about what people-based marketing is and how it could work for your company, give us a call. The enCOMPASS team is here to chat with you about any and all of your people-based marketing needs.