Beginner’s Guide to People-Based Marketing

by Amber Foster


Let’s face it. The days when advertisers could reach the masses over evening television are long gone. The proliferation of internet devices has caused the media landscape to explode into a bunch of fragmented channels, and audiences are now scattered far and wide. There are now more ways than ever to reach today’s consumers, and advertisers have taken full advantage of this trend.

The average consumer is hit with 5,000 marketing messages each day. As a result, consumers have gotten pretty good at filtering them out. Cutting through the noise requires a new strategy for delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. That strategy is called people-based marketing.


What is People-Based Marketing?

The term “people-based marketing” has been generating buzz for the marketing industry ever since Atlas, Facebook’s ad server, entered the media buying landscape in 2014. Even If you’re new to people based marketing, you may know it by another name.

People-based marketing focuses on creating personalized interactions with your most valuable audience members across all your media channels and touch points. A people-based approach allows brands to leverage deep insights about your customers and what drives them to convert. These insights enable brands to create what your customers want most from you – an omni- channel customer experience.

The traditional “spray and pray” approach to marketing involves
targeting everyone in the hopes that your message reaches your intended audience. A people-based approach allows you to strategically place your media where audiences closest to the point of purchase are actively paying attention. That means you waste less spend on audiences less likely to convert.


How Does People-Based Marketing Work?

Data is at the heart of people-based marketing. Data management technologies combine your first-party data with data you buy from third-party providers to build an identity graph of the audiences closest to the point of purchase. You can then match the identity graph to media publishers’ inventories without disclosing personally identifiable information about your customers.

While data may be the heartbeat of a people-based approach, it’s only as reliable as a company’s ability to collect it, analyze it and make it actionable. That’s where data management tools come into play. There are a ton of data management tools to choose from, but it’s important to note that not all systems and platforms are created equal.

The right data management tools will vastly improve your chances of success with a people-based marketing strategy. If you’re considering a new data management system, our data management tools evaluation checklist can help you find the best tools for your business.

Wingman’s proprietary Audience Management Platform, haloAMP™ is one such tool. We use haloAMP™ to help our clients make the most informed media selections for a winning people-based marketing strategy. Here is Wingman Media’s step by step process using our proprietary Audience Management Platform, haloAMP™ :

1. Remove Data Silos

haloAMP collects your customer data across multiple silos, such as offline contact data and online response metrics. This data is stored in a centralized location where you can match it with signal data to create rich customer profiles.

2. Assign Identity Link

A universal identity link, or persistent identifier, is assigned to each profile. This step makes personally identifiable information (PII) anonymous before you share your data with downstream data partners.

4. Perform Data Match

Anonymized audience segments are matched with media consumption data and additional signal data from third-party providers. This data reveals deep insights into your audiences’ media habits across every channel, screen and device.

STEP 4. Buy Media Inventory

The platform matches the enriched audience segments with media publisher inventory. We select the best media channels and formats to reach your most relevant audiences wherever they are paying attention.


How is PBM Different from Traditional Audience Targeting & Measurement Strategies?

The key difference between traditional targeting and people-based targeting is the quality of the data, The most common forms of old-school audience measurement include market ratings and web cookies. A people-based approach, on the other hand, leverages deep data insights from REAL people who buy from you. Let’s take a deeper look at the types of data used in both of these strategies.

Old School Strategies

Market Ratings

Market ratings or “legacy ratings” limit targeting to demographics, such as age range and gender. Nielsen Company has had a monopoly on the market ratings business since the 1950s. The data is aggregated from small samples of panel-based audiences which only represent a tiny fraction of the population. Because age ranges within a demo are so broad, the individuals within these segments typically share very few behaviors, interests, and motivations. Despite these limitations, market ratings are still used in the majority of media transactions for broadcast television and terrestrial radio and many digital campaigns.

Website Cookies

Web cookies are small packets of data stored on a user’s computer when visiting a website. They are used to identify returning web visitors and to rack online browsing behaviors such as website browsing behaviors and online purchase decisions. They’re a form of device- based targeting because cookies provide data on a single, non-mobile device like a desktop computer.

The problem with website cookies? They create data silos, which isolate them from other data sets such as mobile apps, call center data, email marketing and in-store sales. Therefore, website cookies are no longer sufficient for targeting your digital audience.

New School Strategies

A people-based strategy takes the guesswork out of targeting because it leverages insights from the real people who care about your message – your customers. Advertisers are thus able to target their most valuable audiences with granular precision.

First-Party Data

First-party data is the data you collect directly from your customers, Thus it provides advertisers with some of the most valuable insights to target your key audiences. Here are a few examples of first-party data:

  • CRM data
  • POS and other transactional data Lead lists
  • Offline customer data
  • Website user data

Third-Party Data

Third-party data is sourced from companies that don’t have direct relationships with consumers. It generally comes from big data aggregators like Axciom and Infogroup who license the data to marketers. These companies collect all sorts of valuable data signaling purchase intent which can be layered onto your first party data. Signal data comes in many forms such as shopping behaviors, customer loyalty memberships, credit card data and media consumption data like website browsing behaviors.


Why Should Advertisers Care about PBM?

People-based marketing helps foster better relationships with your customers by creating seamless one-to-one experiences with your brand across all channels. This is essential in marketing because consumers are now demanding a more personalized customer experience from their interactions with brands.

The biggest benefit of people-based marketing is that it avoids wasted ad spend by reducing the number of impressions spent on audiences with low engagement. This allows you to focus your ad budget on the inventory that reaches the people who care about your message, while they’re actively paying attention. This advantage drives greater response from your most valuable audiences.


How Can I Learn More About People-Based Marketing?

We’ve covered the basics of people-based marketing. Ready to learn more? Check out these related topics:

How to Select the Right Data Management Tools for Omni-Channel Marketing

Discover the types of data management systems, learn how they are used for marketing, and find out how to choose the right mix of tools for your business.

The Retailer’s Secret to Creating a Profitable Omni-Channel Customer Experience

Learn why building an omni-channel customer experience i(CX) is necessary for retailers who wish to remain competitive in the retail market.