Direct Response Marketing Agency - Chief Media

Cutting Back on Cookies – The Healthy Way to Retarget

Retargeting is a tried and true tactic for serving additional ads to users who have interacted with your social channels or visited your website. It works because people who already have some familiarity with your brand are more likely to take a conversion action and retargeting impressions are typically cheaper to serve compared to cold, prospecting audiences.

The challenge has become that users don’t use only one device anymore to browse the web. Between smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktops, and televisions, the consumer journey is fragmented across devices which requires different ways to tell captivating brand stories. With new advances in marketing technology, this has led to many successful brands adjusting their framework to a people-based marketing model.

What is People-based Marketing

In a departure from the normally jargon-heavy marketing nomenclature, the term people-based marketing basically is what it says it is. Instead of utilizing secondary targets like a particular device or mailing address, ads are directed to people-based on the culmination of personally identifiable information.

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Cookies are temporary ways to track user behavior and ultimately only look at the device. People-based tracking is not limited by one device. Image by

Retargeting has historically worked because cookies that users gain from browsing the web allowed ad networks to identify a particular device and serve the correct corresponding ads. By having one consistent personal profile, ads can be served based not on what device is being used, but the person who is using it. This matters because brands are able to tell more contextually relevant stories to the correct audiences and not waste impressions.

In order for marketers to participate in post-cookie opportunities, they will need to get to better know their customers and leverage their data more effectively. The good news is that we have the right tools to make it happen.

Moving Beyond Cookie-Based Retargeting

Brands with a significant stake in DMP and CRM systems recognize that the future is data-driven and have concentrated a massive investment in gathering consumer information. However, navigating the complex layers of tech in enterprise digital marketing is far from straightforward. Even if this were not the case, and if the systems and processes do in fact run smoothly and function as intended, the question then becomes how to use these capabilities fully and efficiently.

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A targeting data solution that allows for both scale and precision is truly game-changing.

Salesforce estimates that 43% of brands are failing to use even half of their CRM data capabilities. The historical problem with data has been deciding between precision or scale, but only a solution that contemplates both is likely to register as an improvement. In reality, many marketers have come to expect less than precise data and have come to expect that they will spend a lot of time on frustrating data exercises.

When you consider the false positives caused by a customer simply mistyping, the curiosity clicks and limited lifespan that factor into cookie-based information, exacerbated by problems with identity resolution, there are wasted impressions that brands are paying for. The recent Power of the People report says that’s changing fast. Published by Time Inc’s ad tech company Viant, 83% of the marketers polled say people-based campaigns work better.

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Social media advertising is reliant on user profiles which makes it very easy to employ a people-based Marketing strategy.

As consumers shift to mobile, marketers have to rethink retargeting because 66% of mobile devices don’t accept cookies. Also there are significant developments in big data like Ad-IDs that offer a much more precise alternative to cookies, with super-sophisticated analytics that allow advertisers to target people rather than groups.

This is the future of people-based marketing where strategies that leverage both consumer identity for accuracy and automation designed to scale will become the new normal. Google already requires marketers to use identity-based tools on YouTube. PIDs (persistent identifier) also mean consumers can now be recognized wherever they browse and across the multiple devices they access. By tracking people and not just devices, advertisers can tap into stronger identity resolution and build a highly personalized rapport with their audience.

Data in People-Driven Marketing

In people-based marketing, customer data comes from both online and offline sources and allows marketers to consider all touchpoints in the buyer journey. Having access to offline data is a huge advantage when creating the ideal, complete consumer profile. When mixed with online behavioral and contextual data, personalization and customization practices can be executed with more precision. Industries like education, retail, travel, entertainment, automotive, health and fitness, restaurants and CPGs have been highlighted as the best fit for people-based marketing, but all advertisers need to incorporate this new approach in order to connect more meaningfully with consumers.

People-based marketing is more about meeting a person on whatever channel they are on.

Half of Americans reportedly use a second screen while watching TV according to the Consumer Technology Association. While tuned in, approximately two-thirds of shoppers use at least two channels to make purchases. It’s important to understand how these habits inform people-based Marketing where the name of the game is meeting people on whatever platform they allow.

Multi-channel marketing requires tons of broad research whereas cross-channel marketing is all about creating a personalized experience. Infosys found that almost 60% of shoppers indicate that customization and accommodation of their specific preferences motivate purchase evaluation. New programmatic technologies are focused on finding inroads into audiences as a means of helping people feel better about marketing.

Consumers want to see messaging that is aligned with their interests, needs, and preferences. They want ads to feel less intrusive. This is the key to consumer receptivity. If messages hit the right people at the right place and right time, they will have unique appeal and the opportunity to connect more deeply than ever.

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Spotify does an excellent job of utilizing data to create content that is personalized based on users’ favorite tracks to delight and engage.

Closing the Sale

The more specific the profile, and the better match between offline data and digital information that comes from device ID, browsing habits and social engagement, the higher the odds of success. Considering retargeting ads are 70% more likely to convert than those that don’t retarget, the ways in which advertisers work to be mindful of the exact person on the other end of the message, the better. For example, the effort put into simply excluding those customers who already bought means saving them the annoyance of being “nudged” and saves the actual dollars spent chasing the wrong person.

People-based marketing is really cross-device marketing. It’s about understanding how all of the fragments of information about a particular person fit together and knowing how to tailor the conversation around what they actually want to think and talk about, and what actions they are willing to take. The more that your messaging can be contextually relevant to the person, the higher the engagement you will receive.

Want to learn more about how you can institute an effective retargeting ad campaign for your business? Contact us today!