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How to Grow Customer Value with People-Based Marketing

August 21, 2018 - By Anne Curtin, Sr. Director of Marketing, Nielsen Visual IQ

How to Grow Customer Value with People-Based Marketing

Few trends have taken the world by storm like people-based marketing. As consumer expectations have soared and their journeys have grown more complex, the old school, ‘spray-and-pray’ approaches to marketing have become much less effective.

To be successful, you need to target, measure and optimize your marketing and advertising at the level of real people.

Identity resolution is the backbone of a people-based marketing and measurement strategy. For customer-obsessed marketers, it provides a holistic view of each consumer based on his or her unique attributes and interactions with a brand.

When integrated with multi-touch attribution, marketers gain actionable intelligence into the channels and tactics that influence a specific audience, so they can optimize budgets, experiences and business results.

Identity Resolution: The Power Behind People-Based Marketing

People-based marketing has never been more top-of-mind than it is right now. The term refers to the ability to deliver targeted and relevant content, messages and offers to real people across channels and devices.​

People-based marketing is based on the ability to resolve identity across multiple marketing platforms, devices, and online-offline environments to deliver customer-friendly experiences.

Compare these two customer experiences:

Customer No. 1: Nan shops for running shoes on and makes a purchase. She is bombarded with ads for the same shoes for months. Frustrated, she goes to the company’s app and closes her account but continues to receive offers by email. She reports them as spam.

Customer No. 2: Alex buys a pair of hiking boots at While using his favorite gaming app on his smartphone, he notices a few ads for wicking socks. He downloads the retailer's app, buys the socks but opts out of email offers. He never gets an email but notices hiking accessories on his next visit to the Mile5K site.

The difference in these scenarios is clear: when marketers master the fundamentals of people-based marketing, consumer experiences are better, conversions increase, and lifetime value goes up.

The Need for Multi-Channel Attribution

Fortunately, marketing effectiveness solutions have emerged that can help marketers with people-based identification for the purposes of multi-channel attribution.

These solutions aggregate millions of user IDs collected from across the marketing and advertising ecosystem (e.g. ad servers, data management platforms (DMPs), cross-device data providers, offline data providers, etc.). Once collected, these IDs are reconciled into a single unique identifier for each individual, leaving an enriched, anonymized profile of each individual that interacts with a brand.

By assigning a unique identifier to each individual, marketers benefit from a comprehensive, end-to-end view of the consumer journey and how customers and prospects engage with their brand, regardless of where that interaction occurs.

Moreover, marketers can organize individuals into customized audience segments based on relevant actions or desired characteristics, and then target these segments with more relevant and timely offers.

The Role of Identity in Measurement

But identity resolution is more than just the starting point for understanding who your customers and prospects are and how they engage with your brand; it’s also the foundation for better measurement.

Without question, resolving identity is a necessary first step for people-based marketing. But it will only get you so far. Just because you know who a user is and the attributes associated with that user doesn’t mean you know which marketing and advertising tactics will drive a given business key performance indicator (KPI).

That’s why people-based measurement is so essential for executing a successful people-based marketing strategy. When people-based insights are integrated with multi-touch attribution for user-level audience analysis, marketers can measure the influence of each touchpoint along the path to conversion and see which creative messages, offers, content, and other marketing tactics that drive the best results for each audience.

Marketers can then apply this insight to optimize the consumer experience and make smarter investment decisions within and across channels to drive conversions, brand engagement, revenue, and other desired KPIs.

CASE STUDY: How Visual IQ Helped O2 Attribute Value to Facebook

Facebook is one of the best platforms to help deliver on the promise of people-based marketing. While Facebook can help marketers execute sophisticated targeting and personalization strategies, the platform’s third-party tracking limitations have long prevented brands from accessing its vast store of impression data.

This lack of transparency limited marketers’ ability to comprehensively track consumer exposure to Facebook ads across devices, including Custom Audiences, or understand how Facebook performs in combination with other marketing and media investments.

O2 Discovers True Value of Facebook Ads

Facebook’s partnership with Nielsen Visual IQ enables marketers to understand the performance of Facebook in relation to other advertising investments in ways never before possible.

Leading telecommunications company O2 has realized the benefits of this approach and learned some surprising things (hear what they had to say). By integrating all Facebook advertising touchpoints into the Nielsen Visual IQ platform, including its Custom Audience placements, O2 was able to understand the true impact of their Facebook spend on sales, how their Facebook ads influence other media, and how relevant their ads are to their target customers.

Not only was Facebook proven to be a key component of O2's marketing and media strategy, but the company also uncovered some unexpected performance insights. For instance, when Facebook Custom Audience placements were included in the broader tactical mix, the company saw a 52% improvement in cost efficiency for new customer acquisition, and a 38% improvement for existing customers.

Learn More

To learn how to measure the influence of every marketing touchpoint, download our ebook: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore People-Based Measurement

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