People-based marketing is also popularly known as cross-device marketing and is a strategic approach that allows you to target individuals across multiple channels and touchpoints. Using a rich customer profile that has users’ consumption habits, person-based marketing helps you in delivering hyper-customized ad campaigns. Initially, marketers either broadcasted an ad all across the web for their target audience to see it online or used cookies that placed ads across media based on browsing history. However, both the strategies did not let the marketers know of customers who had already converted. But with people-based marketing, you can identify the exact customer behavior, know where they are on the purchase path, and deliver the content that they are looking for. Read on to know more about this marketing technique that is already benefiting many industries like publishing, automotive, travel and leisure, health and fitness, and e-commerce.   

What is People-Based Marketing?

People-based marketing is the key to delivering customized messages and campaigns to your consumers at the most favorable time across any device they decide to use. Allowing organizations to take a personal approach in marketing, this strategy is proving to yield the optimum results and is creating a buzz in the industry. According to a white paper, released by Meredith Corporation-owned Viant, 93% of the 250 surveyed marketing companies are using people-based marketing. 

Rather than categorizing consumers into different groups, person-based marketing focuses on a single consumer while addressing their specific requirements. Well-built consumer profiles that include customer details, collected from online as well as offline sources, is a basic requirement of people-based marketing. Using these profiles, brands can recognize, reach, and engage with just the right individuals and deliver customized messages on any device at an optimal time. In most cases, an organization’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system acts as an offline source, contributing to building an individual’s profile. Customers’ online interaction, such as browsing history and behavior across different social media platforms, plays the role of online data sources. In people-based marketing, this collected data of consumers is then linked to their online identities. 

There are two ways in which an individual’s online identity can be recognized.

  • Deterministic Matching – Using a unique data point, an organization identifies a single user, operating on various devices such as a laptop, a tab, or a smartphone under different user profiles. For example, your email ID would be the unique data point that would help a company identify you, irrespective of the device you are using. 
  • Probabilistic Matching – This technique identifies a user by combining data with algorithms. For example, if an individual uses a smartphone, a laptop, and a tab at the same location, then all three devices have the same IP address, allowing a company to identify the user across all the different devices. 

Once you identify the online identity of users and connect their data to the ID, you can start delivering them personalized experiences by tracking their activity across different devices. 

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What are the Key Elements of People-Based Marketing?

People-based marketing has two primary pillars on which it is founded. These two key elements, as mentioned below, help form the best person-based marketing strategies. 


This process identifies a single user operating different devices to ensure cross-device recognition and delivery of an integrated experience. For example, as Amazon requires its users to remain logged in to their account across all devices while making a purchase, the brand is able to offer a consistent experience. This process can also include identifying potential customers across different platforms. 


In person-based marketing, a variety of an individual’s data such as device information, online activity, purchase data, and more gives insights to build a rich customer profile. This detailed customer profile is then used for building personalized marketing campaigns suitable for a particular user. 

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Is People-Based Marketing related to multi-channel and cross-channel marketing approaches?

Multichannel Marketing enables marketers to communicate with their customers through a combination of direct and indirect channels such as website, call center, retail stores, etc while encouraging users to purchase through a channel of their choice. However, three prime challenges that a marketer faces with multi-channel marketing are targeted messaging, highly orchestrated campaigns, and marketing response attribution. Using people-based marketing, marketers can potentially overcome these challenges and deliver hyper-customized campaigns to targeted users across all the channels. 

In cross-channel marketing, a customer’s experiences at retail stores, on a call, online, and more are all linked for maintaining consistency. With this marketing technique, brands aim at delivering a seamless experience to their user even if they switch channels during their buying journey. To execute this successfully, People-based marketing can help enhance this in delivering a seamless experience to customers across all the channels.   

Is People-Based Marketing Related to Post-Click Landing Pages?  

Post-click landing pages are used to generate leads and encourage users to take an action. With people-based marketing, you can create post-click landing pages that match well with your target user’s expectations. With this strategy, you can intentionally reach users who are likely to respond and convert. Thus, person-based marketing can also drive up your conversions and sales, and in turn, raise your return on investments. 

What are the Advantages of People-Based Marketing?

The development in technology these days has enabled customers to interact with your brand across a variety of devices and media channels. People-based marketing plays a vital role in offering a persistent and integrated experience to users while offering them control over the consumption of media. Mentioned below are the top benefits of person-based marketing that organizations can expect to enjoy upon successful execution of the strategy. 

  • Gaining Customer behavior insight

The top advantage of people-based marketing is that it allows marketers to understand their customers better. As said earlier, people now use a number of devices, interacting differently on each device. While a smartphone might be used to scroll through social media feeds, a laptop is potentially used for completing tasks assigned at the workplace. Furthermore, customers’ locations may also reflect their purchase experience. A product bought while sitting at home is more likely to be a personal purchase and a product bought while at work can be for the business. By implementing people-based marketing, you can recognize a customer’s location while browsing, irrespective of which device they are using. With customer’s online behavior insights in hand, you can target a consumer at the right place and the right time when they will plausibly engage. 

  • Drafting Better Content

Depending on how your target customers respond, you can create engaging content that is more relevant to them. Leveraging people-based marketing, you can deliver meaningful ads on the platforms that your consumers prefer to engage on. Ads that showcase personalized content hold a higher possibility of drawing action from the targeted user. 

  • Avoiding Online Bots

With people-based marketing, you can rest assured that your ad campaign is being delivered to verified real people. The strategy helps avoid ad fraud wherein an ad is sent to an online robot who pose as real people with fake identities. When this happens, it gives no return on the advertisement spend as the impressions earned through bots are fraudulent. Person-based marketing ensures that you are targeting only real people that are likely to respond. 

  • Effective Retargeting

By knowing specific users and by tracking their activities, irrespective of the channel they are using, you can retarget them in a much better and sophisticated way. Customers may get irritated when they are consistently retargeted with the same ads on different platforms. But, knowing the content that your users love consuming, you can present slight variations in ads, also depending upon where they are in the buyer’s journey. Also, if your users did not click on a mobile ad and failed to convert, you can always retarget them on another device with people-based marketing. 

  • Expansion of Customer Base

Once people-based marketing gives you a crystal clear picture of your current customers, you can go for market segmentation. Analyzing a particular customer’s response to your campaigns, you can identify and pick similar consumers and deliver similar strategies that worked for the existing customer. Putting your data management tool to use, you can add like-minded users to your customer base.

  • Identify and Drop those already Converted

One of the top pain-points for a marketer is wasting money in showing ads to customers who have already made a purchase. Targeted ad campaigns are quite costly and prove to be a wasted expenditure when delivered to a converted user. Data gets fragmented with multichannel marketing. Without identifying a single user across different devices, marketers wouldn’t know if the user has made a purchase or not, and continue to show ads. People-based marketing enables marketers to see which user converted on which device. This stops you from delivering the same ads after conversion. 

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Final Word

Customers have become more demanding these days and rightly so with the variety of options available at their disposal. They wish to view ads whenever they want and wherever they want. When personalized ads have become the need of the hour, people-based marketing is certainly the strategy to opt for. Not only does it empower you to deliver highly customized marketing campaigns to individuals but also ensures a seamless experience to users across all their devices.     

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