Today’s consumers are incredibly discerning. Given that now even their smartphones can recognize them by their faces and fingerprints, they expect brands to at least get their name right. Yet many brands struggle to meet consumers’ personalization expectations or to successfully execute true People-based Marketing — the process of engaging them as known individuals, even across paid media. Here’s why.
1. Not taking action
If People-based Marketing were a book, it’d be Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: the staple on everyone’s bookshelf that nobody has read.
At least that’s our takeaway from a new study conducted by Forrester and commissioned by LiveIntent, that found that 93% of firms have talked about combining AdTech and MarTech but only 35% are doing anything about it. Yup, the other 58% of them are still talking.
The challenge for some is a sociological one. Marketers can’t get their heads around the idea of combining the two. They’re trapped thinking that marketing’s job is to make personal, one-to-one connections and that advertising’s job is to programmatically reach large audiences. They continue to run parallel campaigns with parallel teams and even make squinty-eyed, tongue-out faces at each other across the office.
42% of marketers cited “difficulty working across internal silos” as a barrier to convergence. – Forrester
For others, it’s an issue of perceived price. According to the aforementioned study, 1 in 3 marketers are concerned about the tech costs as a barrier to convergence. Their experiences trying to clean up CRM data have left them suffering traumatic flashbacks of Excel hell and runaway budgets and they’re reluctant to touch convergence with a ten-foot pole.
But by not taking action, these marketers are preparing themselves for failure — as Sun Tzu reminds us, “Every battle is won before it is fought.” If you’re able to able to converge your AdTech and MarTech data to achieve personalized, one-to-one connections with the masses, your marketing budget and time will go much further. And with the right tools, it isn’t as awkward or expensive as you think it is.
2. Not collecting the right data
Despite all the talk of marketers being data-driven, it’s really more of a mantra than a practice. According to CIO.com only 4% of companies are set up for data success. So what on earth are the other 96% doing? They aren’t collecting the right data or tying it all together.
Data silos are very real, and, without a unified view, you can’t market based on true customer journeys. Data is often split up among the CRM, online purchase data, point-of-sale data, loyalty programs, online and offline DMPs, and more. And trying to personalize your marketing on anything less than all of these is about as reliable as telling fortunes.
To collect the right data, marketers must centralize and converge that data and tie it all to a single deterministic ID. For many, that ID is email. Unlike cookies, email is channel or platform agnostic, is unique to each person, and pretty much everyone has one. A database with a deterministic ID gives every consumer a face to which you can put names, histories, purchases, interests, and more.
“Every battle is won before it is fought.” – Sun Tzu’s The Art of War
3. Not doing anything with the data
Finally, there are those organizations who strive for AdTech and MarTech convergence, are collecting the right data, and yet simply aren’t using it. That’s because they’re not sure how to make this data actionable because they lack a common language around it.
Advertisers are accustomed to dealing with large, faceless audiences who they measure in cost-per-click, acquisition, or thousand impressions. Marketers are accustomed to liberally granting each buyer their own personal journey, giving their buyer personas cute names like “Debbie Director,” and thinking in terms of feedback loops and customer lifetime value. Yet the two can meet on the field of engagement marketing.
In engagement marketing, both marketing and advertising are part of a streamlined system of automated outreach that performs touches by preference. Rather than emailing thousands or serving ads to millions, marketers can shepherd customers through journeys with one-to-one cross-channel nurturing. They can serve ads, notifications, and emails as needed in whatever cadence aligns with their converged, people-based data. This fuses the intimacy of marketing with the reach of advertising to achieve relevance throughout the entire buyer’s journey.
People-based Marketing is a lot less difficult, expensive, or complicated than most think, and the only real way to screw it up is to not do it. If you can take action, collect the right data, and give it a common language to make it actionable, you’re well on your way to treating your people like people.
Inspired to take action? Find out how you can start from within your own organization by focusing on the people there.