Is 2018 the Year of People-​Based Marketing?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Digital marketing has long been about targeting users through a cookie-​based system. This technology is showing its age. More businesses are moving to people-​based marketing. According to Viant, here’s what's going on.

Cookie-​based technology is all about tracking where a computer has been. When marketers first started using these systems, they assumed that one individual was using one connected device. Marketers figured that individual would see their ads.

These days, consumers are blocking cookies. And they are spreading their connected time across multiple devices. This behavior makes it more difficult for marketers to reach specific individuals. Marketers also realize that their measurement systems based on cookie technology aren’t exactly accurate.

According to Viant, businesses spend money on digital campaigns because they want to improve audience reach (44%) and improve the return on their investment (37%). Yet, 30% of businesses also say that difficulty in reaching specific online audiences is "limiting the success of their digital efforts."

In studying this topic, Viant surveyed approximately 250 large marketers. These businesses have shifted at least some of their marketing budgets to people-​based marketing tactics. The vast majority, 86%, say that this approach yields better results than cookie-​based campaigns.

How does this format work? Most brands need a technology partner that offers the following elements for successful people-​based marketing campaigns:

  • One-​to-​one relationships with consumers
  • Database of registered users
  • Key data partnerships

It’s easy to see why some marketers are using social channels for people-​based marketing. Businesses like Facebook meet all of the right criteria. In fact, approximately 24% of the digital budgets at businesses in the Viant study went to channels like Facebook for people-​based campaigns. This year, the number will be more like 29%.

Viant analysts recommend that marketers expand beyond their current "walled garden" approaches to people-​based campaigns. Viant data indicates only 58% of marketers are doing so. These companies often use display and video ads “across the open web.”

As a media company, if you’re maintaining information on your registered users and a one-​to-​one relationship with users, you may be able to offer people-​based marketing services to your clients. If you partner with a data source company to maintain up-​to-​date information about your users, you’ll be able to offer clients even more value. Talk with them about people-​based marketing.