‘People-Based’ Data Is Puncturing Classic Marketing Myths

‘People-Based’ Data Is Puncturing Classic Marketing Myths

Moms have a lot to teach us about the future of marketing.

Old-school demographic segmentation left marketers with a badly misleading impression of this group’s digital life. We knew, for instance, that non-millennial women owned fewer electronic devices, didn’t really care much about screen size, and hesitated to try new technology. With that information alone, it didn’t make much sense for marketers to use digital video advertisements to reach them.

But a new “people-based” approach to marketing has proved this a myth. This kind of marketing examines consumers’ online choices to better understand how they value everything, from price to convenience. Done right, people-based marketing can anticipate needs, craft tailored responses, and reach target audiences at the best possible time and place.

In the case of moms, anonymous data collected by Facebook for Deloitte showed, unexpectedly, that mothers are vibrant online consumers. They spend loads of time on Facebook, post an outsized number of photos, and avidly watch Web videos. Facebook’s ability to focus on actual people as opposed to broad “types” of consumers unraveled the myth that digital dollars are wasted on moms.

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Much of this data comes courtesy of cross-device tracking, which lets brands seamlessly carry on a conversation with consumers anytime, anywhere—when they open a mobile app, for instance, or even when they stand near a digital sign in a public space, like an airport.

This tracking is quickly replacing the cookies that brands long used to monitor consumers while they browsed the Internet on their desktops or laptops. Thanks to the ongoing mobile revolution, marketing dollars spent on cookies are no longer as effective.

According to Adobe Digital Index data, today’s consumers have 7.2 electronic devices, on average, and engage with three of those devices on a daily basis. Additionally, almost a third of consumers are juggling two or more smartphones. And 20% are device-switching fiends while online shopping.

The insights driven by people-based marketing are unprecedented. People have always had habits, choices, wants, and needs.;



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  1. Georgina Swain

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