by David Baker, Op-Ed Contributor, December 5, 2016
People-based marketing (PBM) is likely one of the buzziest buzz words in the ad-tech space right now.
Though it’s actually been around for years, PBM is helping clarify ambiguous terms like “omnichannel marketing,” “mobile marketing,” “cross-device marketing,” or something CRM people have used commonly for years.
There’s a few reasons why this is taking shape and why it’s important:
— Deterministic vs. probabilistic methods are morphing at scale. The difference can be described as projecting the attendance of adults at a concert by looking at the seating chart, potential weather forecast and past attendance of concerts in that city versus checking IDs and matching to ticket stubs redeemed. You need both — but combined, there is no limit to what you can do in-venue.
— Facebook and Google say so! The growth of Facebook and Google ad revenue/“audience” products is growing through mobile advertising. Over 50% of ad spend in the U.S. is on Facebook and Google. eMarketer projects this will swell to over 70% in the next year. This presents so many new opportunities to connect channels, devices and a consumer. These two giants have finally helped scale a nascent mobile advertising industry.
Accuracy in consumer identification and verification largely revolves around an email address — and now, a device ID. Triangulating the two gives you views into consumer patterns — behaviors you can’t derive accurately from syndicated views of consumers or cookie pools or probabilistic means of guessing which lottery ticket will win.
— Connected experiences will be more and more centered on the mobile device at an individual level. Cross-device recognition has reached scale, and time will tell if privacy will allow this to flourish further. As the hub to our lives, mobile will be the cornerstone of connecting our smart worlds with reality or in some cases virtual reality, and marketing will be more than a digital billboard or interruption on the Web. The new utopia experience will be seamless, with deep linked experiences that transcend the inbox, the app and mobile Web.
Email marketers tend to think of an email address as the gold standard, yet we monetize it like penny stocks — at least that’s what the relative budget mix tells us. I believe email will be an “activation” game in the future, not a pure engagement game. It has functional values to the consumer and business, but the real Intellectual property for a business is making use of the 80% of your file that won’t engage with you through email marketing. Sending more email isn’t the answer; that’s purely oiling the same chain and expecting it to double in speed.
Yet this shift is going to force us to look at consumer data differently, invest in it differently, look at activation of that data differently. And where does the device ID fit in as a secondary validator of the consumer and behavioral traits?
The future product experience is already shifting. It will prove far more immersive. The advertising ecosystem is morphing and will finally create smart, balanced risks in targeting those you know and don’t know. The data business is no longer a big address book where you append files or simply buy data. The possibilities to reach any consumer across all the myriad of social, publisher and mobile experiences is just a matter of opportunity costs.
Guess where it all starts? Knowing the customer, and smart data management! Email is the root of so much of this.
If I had to leave a sound bite, I’d say email marketing to the marketing and advertising ecosystem is comparable to the oil refinery to the transportation industry. Absent one, the other will flounder.