By Shahnaz Mahmud
People-based marketing sounds quite catchy, the ad buzzword du jour, if you will, but if you break it down, its significance is pretty far-reaching. “People-based marketing is the biggest shift in marketing since digital,” says Suneet Bhatt, chief marketing officer of LiveIntent.
Bhatt will be moderating a panel, "People vs. Pixels: Using First-Party Data for Successful CRM Retargeting," at the upcoming LeadsCon New York conference at The New York Hilton Midtown Aug. 24-26. But, what is it exactly? Bhatt says what has taken place is a shift away from targeting the pixel (the cookie) and a shift toward a more accurate targeting of people.
The Choice is Yours
“The title of the panel highlights perhaps the most important point: You now have a choice when trying to deliver your message,” says Bhatt. Before, marketers could only deliver to pixels and therefore, not have 100 percent accuracy. But now advertisers have the choice of delivering their message directly to people. Marketers also have the added benefit of using first-party data directly to potential customers based on what they know about them and their interests, Bhatt also notes.
LiveIntent stakes claim to being the “sole practitioner of people-based marketing,” leveraging email to market to people, not pixels — the first to do so beginning in 2010.
The LiveIntent platform focuses on email, assisting over 450 brands to deliver marketing and advertising messages in emails sent by 750 US publishers and brands. With the email address at the center of its platform, LiveIntent has evolved from putting ads in email to being one of the largest people-based marketing platforms in the world, says Bhatt, adding it is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Austin, Detroit and abroad in the UK.
Bhatt says the onslaught of new entrants began in 2013 with Facebook’s Custom Audience and Twitter’s Tailored Audience. “Both of these were focused on empowering their advertisers to use their own CRM data to power their targeting abilities,” he says. “People-based marketing operated at the fringe of marketing until Facebook released its Atlas product into the world in September of 2014.” It was Facebook that coined the phrase “people-based marketing” to describe Atlas’ capabilities.
Bhatt notes that Atlas helped move the conversation about people-based marketing to the forefront. Soon AOL One, LinkedIn and new offerings from Marketo, Oracle, Criteo, Google, Salesforce and more joined the bandwagon, each with their own interpretation of the concepts of people-based marketing.
Targeting on a Multi-device, Multi-browser Basis
And how does it work in targeting to people on a multi-device, multi-browser basis? Bhatt explains that without an ID assigned to a specific individual that follows and remains associated with a person across devices and across browsers, you really can’t be effective. “All of your plans and visions for marketing across devices remain nothing but unrealized potential until you target to an ID,” he underscores.
Data, of course, is a marketers most important asset. “It represents your intimate relationship with a customer,” says Bhatt. “It’s what you as a marketer know about your customer that no one else does. And it’s what your customer has chosen to share with you.”
Bhatt perceives the biggest challenge for the lead generation crowd is understanding how they can extend their use of first-party data further down the funnel. “As leads become more and more qualified, you now have the ability to take your first-party data and extend it into third-party media,” he says. “But in addition to that, you have the ability to turn your existing customers into leads for new prospects. One of the biggest challenges with current lead generation campaigns is that you waste messaging on leads you’ve already acquired because of the lack of people-based technologies. On LiveIntent, we make it easy for you to acquire a client only once — which sounds simple, but it’s not the case everywhere else.
Bhatt’s hope for the panel is that attendees will walk away understanding that marketing and advertising are facing the greatest disruption and transformation since the advent of digital. “People-based marketing is a momentous leap forward for an industry that has suffered with large inefficiencies since its inception,” he says.
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