• As a concept, “people-based marketing” may not sound all that… groundbreaking. As marketers, talking to people is our job, after all.

    But with the explosion of digital marketing technology and data in the past decade or so, something got lost. Between all the cookies, clicks, device IDs, online behavioral data, and geolocational tags, some marketers seemed to focus on the channel and lose sight of the big picture: reaching real people with consistent messaging, regardless of where they interacted with you.

    But some marketers didn’t. These are the marketers who paved the way for people-based marketing beyond Facebook and Google. They viewed it as a way to connect more of the dots across the omnichannel customer journey and understand the impact of their marketing every step of the way.

    As a result, they are also some of the first practitioners of people-based measurement. This type of measurement goes well beyond performance metrics to help marketers understand what incremental impact each campaign or tactic has on customer value.

    So, how can those already savvy with people-based marketing get started with people-based measurement? Here are four martech and headcount investments to consider:

    • A data warehouse: An unbelievable amount of data within companies of all sizes is siloed. This lack of cohesiveness makes it nearly impossible to follow customers on their journeys and paint clearer pictures of who they are and what they need.Thus the first step in people-based measurement is establishing a data warehouse, a single place where all your first-party data lives. The ability to join POS data with ecommerce data, loyalty club activity, and other prospect and customer breadcrumbs is already a tremendous win.
    • An identity resolution provider – Now that you have a brand new data warehouse, it’s time to bring second- and third-party data into the fray via an identity resolution provider. This vendor can help you further flesh out your audiences and more accurately target them across channels by providing both known second- and third-party data from your partners and privacy-compliant anonymized data.
    • An analyst or two – With your data in order, you now need an analyst or two to take this information and help you better understand your audiences. In doing so, you’ll increasingly be able to operationalize your people-based measurement activities. You can hire analysts with cross-channel expertise or seek outside help through an agency.
    • A visualization tool: To make your analysts’ lives infinitely easier, you’ll need a way to visualize your data sets to discover trends and outliers. How many of your customers shop at multiple locations? How many of your prospects visited your website in the last week, and of those, how many had seen a particular ad? All of these questions and countless others can be answered quickly with a great visualization tool connected to your data warehouse.

    These four investments lead you closer to the holy grail of all marketing – stronger attribution. We all know that what people do on Google or Facebook is not nearly the sum total of who they are. By investing in a data warehouse for known and anonymized first-, second-, and third-party data; an analyst or two; and a visualization tool, you’ll be well on your way to understanding the many interrelated activities that move people to action and increase their customer lifetime value.

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