The Power of Personalization in People-Based Marketing

People-based marketing isn’t new. Marketers targeted different demographics long before the advent of the internet and social media. But those two things have made it even more important to map out a strategy that reaches as many people as possible while spending as little money as possible.

In order to create the right people-based marketing strategy for their clients or employer, marketers need to demonstrate to executives and managers how the efficient use of data leads to great decision making.

As with most things in business, it comes down to the money.

In 2016, approximately $72 billion went to digital media spend, based on a digital ad spending forecast by marketing publication, eMarketing. With that amount of money at stake, marketers and data analysts must answer this question: Are the strategies for obtaining data allowing you to get the most out of the money spent? Big data promises delivery on people-based marketing, but it’s important to have a strategy that gives your organization the highest return on investment.

Where Data Collection Could Improve

Cookies — bits of information stored on a user’s computer to record website history — are a useful source of data for people-based marketing. Yet, they aren’t foolproof.

Internet users can delete cookies or choose to block them, which inhibits data collection. Some are working to create solutions that would span multiple devices, but that also doesn’t take into account that cookies are supposed to be anonymous. If they begin to trace people through multiple devices, that anonymity is lost.

Facebook is able to map cookies back to a specific user, which is different from other sites. This makes Facebook advertising successful, but that social media network does not share the data it collects.

Over time, as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, cookies will become even more inefficient. A 2015 DHL Trend Report estimates that by 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet, and cookies will not transfer well between devices without jeopardizing the user’s privacy expectations.

Create an Effective Media Strategy

Make sure a media plan is part of a larger goal, and constantly test cookies against data already collected. By knowing the data that matters, you can use media money more effectively and will get a larger return on investment.

For example, online streaming music service Spotify is able to collect data from its users based on their music habits as they log in across multiple platforms and devices, and they can understand a person’s buying preferences better based on his or her music choices.

“We’re really starting to mine this streaming data and understand how the way people stream correlates to their affinities, attitudes toward brands and offline behaviors,” said Danielle Lee, Global VP of Partner Solutions at Spotify in an interview with Forbes. “It’s a rich cross-section of insight, rooted in a passion point that is deeply human and universal.”

‘It’s All about Personalization’

Lee went on to say that streaming intelligence “will help us develop a deeper understanding of people than we’ve ever had.”

Spotify is taking what it learns about its audience and giving them highly personalized experiences, which Lee says will also help them give marketers the same type of experience when trying to reach new users.

“Marketers will be able to reliably reach their relevant customer in a meaningful moment, and measure the reach and ROI of their message,” Lee said.

The IoT is already spreading to watches and cars – soon, it might influence other aspects of our lives as well. By capitalizing on these opportunities, marketers can tailor media opportunities to take people-based marketing even further without compromising privacy issues.

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