• Brands dream of a world where they can use online and offline data to deliver the right message at just the right time to a receptive and high-intent audience. In this world, brands are perfectly aware of and in control over the buying journey of every single customer. And their customers are deeply loyal because they feel they are not only known but understood as individuals.

    This is not the world we operate in … yet.

    But we’ve never been closer to achieving this dream. As audience segments become smaller and smaller, the promise of personalization offers the opportunity to engage with customers one-to-one. The online world gives near-perfect visibility into the buying journey, provided all channels are connected and identity is resolved. But there are still major gaps to fill offline—specifically when it comes to resolving the identity of an in-store visitor. Tying a customer’s online and offline data together allows brands to have a deeper understanding of their preferences and needs so they can best serve their clientele, an effort that is mutually beneficial.

    Getting offline identity right

    There are several types of technologies and datasets that help brands bridge the identity gap offline, most of which harness the ubiquity of mobile devices. These include Wi-Fi based technologies, beacons, and SDK (panel) datasets. Each of these technologies have relative strengths and weaknesses, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind for brands looking to use offline data to fuel their people-based marketing efforts:

    1. Accuracy – Does this technology accurately tell me whether or not someone is inside my store?
    2.  Reach – How many of my store visitors am I able to capture with this technology?
    3. Relevancy – Where is the data captured and how am I able to use it?
    4. Permission – Do customers actively consent to sharing their data and how easily can they opt out?

    When it comes down to it, if you are using offline visitor data to personalize and optimize marketing, confidence in the dataset is paramount. Accurate, actionable, and permissioned offline data can be the secret sauce that takes your people-based marketing to the next level.

    The power of offline identity in people-based marketing

    Knowing with certainty that a consumer visited a store, regardless of whether or not they made a purchase, can be an extremely powerful offline data point for brands looking to fuel their people-based marketing.

    For example, this information can help brands build target audiences for an offline abandoned shopping cart campaign. The benefits of this type of campaign are twofold. First, they direct marketing spend where it will have the most impact—to people who already indicated a strong intent to purchase by visiting a physical store. Secondly, making it easy for this audience to buy online what they saw in-store converts them from visitors to shoppers.

    The dream of true one-to-one marketing cannot happen without identity. Until brands know their audiences across all the channels they engage in, their people-based marketing efforts will be diminished. Capturing offline visitor data and marrying it with person-level online data brings brands one step closer to that dream.

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