Want to Grow Your Business? Target People, Not Devices

21 Sep 2018

In a competitive market, advertisers are seeking new ways to keep up with customer habits and increase conversions. They need people-driven solutions that target real individuals and meet their demands in the digital age. As a result, marketing is evolving and becoming more focused on the customer. 

Cookies, which were traditionally used for ad serving and tracking, are far from perfect in a multi-device world. The problem isn't the cookie itself, but the inability to associate it with the real person to whom the ads are served. 

Moreover, 12 percent of conversions are missed by cookies and 35 percent of cookie-based demographic targeting is inaccurate[1]. This leads to poor campaign planning, execution, and measurement. 

People-based marketing has emerged as the answer to these problems. It's not a buzzword, but an industry shift from targeting devices to engaging with real people who are ready to buy. 

Why Device Targeting Is Flawed

As omnichannel marketing is getting stronger, the “target people, not devices” mantra has become more and more prevalent. Saying that device targeting doesn't work would be overstated. It does work, but only as part of the bigger picture. Relying on device targeting alone is hit and miss. 

Today, organizations have massive amounts of data about their customers. This includes information about their age, household, spending habits, mobile devices, and so on. There are endless data points that can be used for planning and tracking your campaigns. 

The problem is that a lot of this data is inaccurate, unstable, or irrelevant. Until recently, there was no way to combine the data from browser behavior and email engagement with online sales and brick-and-mortar store sales. 

For instance, a customer could click on an ad you're running on Facebook, bookmark your site, and check it later from his home computer. Let's say he's interested in buying a new TV or a bike. 

These products are quite expensive, so he might go directly to a store to purchase them. Or perhaps he uses his tablet or his girlfriend’s laptop to buy the product online. 

In this case, you might assume that your campaign has failed since you cannot track the customer's journey after clicking your ad. As a result, you begin to target a different audience that may not be interested in what you have to offer. This means you're spending more and more money on advertising without seeing results. Your initial campaign was a success, but you just didn't know it. 

This situation is quite common when you're targeting cookies or devices. Plus, your customers could end up seeing dozens of remarketing ads that don't relate to their previous experience with your products or services. 

For example, if the customer mentioned above used his girlfriend’s laptop to buy a TV, she will keep seeing ads related to that product. 

Customers are now using different devices, such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, and desktop PCs. Additionally, they're surfing the Web on different browsers – for example, Chrome on one occasion and Safari on another. About half of American customers, for instance, use a second screen while watching TV[2]. Up to 90 percent switch between devices to complete a task[3]

Cookies and devices provide a fragmented profile of the same person. The data is often incomplete or inaccurate. 

According to Miquel Matthys, Bisnode's Group Product Manager for Online Advertising, having access to stable data is paramount. That's why people-based marketing works. 

With this approach, you really know who you're targeting: real individuals with real behaviors and real names. Basically, you’re reaching the best customers across all screens and devices. 

The Power of People-Based Marketing 

Multi-device usage has grown tremendously over the past few years. Since each cookie is linked to one browser-device pair, it can no longer provide accurate insights into customer behavior. Dell’s CEO Michael Dell predicts that the average person will use 10 web-connected devices by 2020[4]. Device targeting is misleading at best. 

People-based marketing tackles these challenges by focusing on real people. It enables advertisers to plan and optimize their campaigns to target real people. At the most basic level, it provides a deeper insight into how to reach the person behind the screen. With people-based marketing, you can now reach customers when and where they want to be reached. 

This new marketing philosophy uses a humanized approach to campaign delivery. About 79 percent of marketers take advantage of the people-based targeting capabilities provided by Facebook and Google[5]. They also use their own data to get a better picture of who they're targeting. Yet, they still lack a real 360° overview of the customer. 

More than 90 percent of marketers say that building an omnichannel overview of customers is critical. Yet, only 17 percent have the data and technology to do so[6]. Without the right data, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to track customers' journeys through their online, offline, and mobile behavior. 

That's where we can help. Bisnode has quality third-party data that can be combined with first-party client data and online-behavior data to enable companies to both simplify and optimize their marketing efforts. 

Bisnode’s experts can combine this data and provide insight into your audience using real-time analytics. We have the information and technology necessary to define and reach your audience across all channels, such as social media, direct mail, TV, and mobile. 

Our Approach to People-Based Marketing 

At Bisnode we combine our clients’ data with our data and online data. Using real-time big data analytics, we create very precise and highly effective target audiences for each phase of the customer lifecycle. This allows clients to reach their best customers one-to-one in online campaigns, TV ads, or whatever channel they prefer. 

With this approach, advertisers can achieve higher conversion rates, increased brand awareness, and more efficient campaign execution. Plus, they can reach the same audience both online and offline through “double-touch” campaigns, which leads to more sales. Your online ads will only appear to the customers you're targeting, so you'll no longer waste your advertising budget. 

At Bisnode, we strongly believe that people-based marketing is the future. Our data allows you to put a face on a device or a phone number, and reach your audience through a highly personalized message. 

In an increasingly digital landscape, it's imperative to look beyond cookies and devices to reach your target customers. If you don't, you'll be left behind. Contact Bisnode to see how we can help!