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Why You Should Be Marketing to People Instead of Computers Resizeimage 70

It takes a lot of effort to capture a potential customer’s attention and make a sale, but retention is just as tricky. Customers want to see information that is relevant to them and their experience with your brand, and when they see content that isn’t applicable, they begin to tune out future content you present. In fact, 78% of US internet users said personally relevant content from brands increases their purchase intent.
Enter the concept of people-based marketing. People-based marketing focuses on delivering a unified customer experience across all channels, regardless of the time, location, or device. It means building your marketing strategy around your customers and their data. This used to mean targeting shoppers with cookies or device IDs, but the explosion of mobile and the proliferation of devices has made this strategy insufficient. Now that potential and current customers are interacting in so many places, brands must aim to gain a 360-degree view of a person, not just an ID.

How Do You Deliver on This Trend?

Gather Your Data
People-based marketing goes further than omnichannel experiences and integrated marketing. It takes any and all data—from online, offline, mobile, and call center—and connects it to individual people, rather than device IDs.
One factor to consider is that many customers have multiple accounts with a single brand, checkout as a guest periodically, or use a variety of purchasing channels. In addition, consumers may access your site on multiple devices before they make their purchase decision. Today’s consumers interact with an average of six touch-points when buying an item. With so many points of contact, it’s important to track that customer behavior across those various devices to better target your campaigns.
Connect Data to Touchpoints
Connecting your customers’ real-time behavioral data at every touchpoint of their journey is imperative to crafting a people-based marketing strategy. To target customers effectively, you should aim to connect every customer data point possible, from order history and browsing activity to device type and cart abandonment. The explosion of internet-connected devices has led customers to expect that brands will respond to them in real-time, and they don’t want to start over every time they interact with a brand on a new device. Automating marketing experiences based on customer data and habits rather than cookies and mass emails will connect and optimize the interactions you have with your customers.
People-Based Marketing in Action
One business that is going above and beyond with this concept is Nordstrom. If a customer has an account with them, Nordstrom associates are able to pull up the customer’s browsing activity, whether it be in the app or online. To that end, they’ve created a seamless in-store experience for their customers by giving their employees the tools they need to provide the best service and more accurate recommendations to shoppers.

Where Should You Start?

Shifting to a people-based marketing strategy will take both technological evolution and change management initiatives. We recommend starting by connecting your data, commerce, and marketing technology platforms so they have a single, comprehensive view of the consumer.
At a practical level, your approach is only as good as your data. Start with building a single source of truth that every tool, team, and endpoint uses and is seamlessly connected. Selecting and intelligently integrating the right set of platforms, analytics tools, personalization platforms, and content management systems with tools for managing identity and privacy is essential to ensuring a seamless integration with the platforms that integrate and deliver your marketing and customer experiences.
After developing a solid plan for your customer data and marketing operational ecosystem, you can begin to focus on an organizational transformation where you’ll ensure your teams are aligned with the shift to people-focused efforts rather than marketing to channels.
Interested in learning more about what trends are impacting commerce in 2019? Download our free guide, Make Meaningful Connections in Commerce: Four Trends for 2019.

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