People-Based Marketing seeks to recognize a customer regardless of device, session or brower. It’s the key to more personalized marketing.

Ryan Urban, co-founder and CEO, BounceX

Ryan Urban, co-founder and CEO, BounceX

We’ve talked about the power of People-Based Marketing (PBM) as a game-changing strategy to revitalize your comatose sales/marketing channels. The ability to recognize your customers no matter how or where they interact with your content—regardless of device, session or browser—is going to be the new normal in the not-too-distant future. For some brands, in fact, it’s already the reality. But this marketing super-power is only as good as how you use it. So let’s get tactical. Let’s take a look at how PBM sets the stage for behavioral messaging that is far more effective that what you are probably doing now.

1. Get the Full Story

These days, triggered email campaigns go something like this: 1) an event occurs on your site—e.g., a shopping cart is abandoned, and 2) a generic email is sent with an incentive for that user—in this case, perhaps a coupon to motivate the completion of the purchase.

There are two glaring limitations with this sort of campaign. First, you can’t even send these basic, generic emails if that user is not logged in. By current industry averages, that means you can only send triggered emails to around 2-5% of your visitors. But even if they eventually log in, you have no idea what they were doing on your site before they did so. And that behavior prior to logging in might be crucial to completing the sale. They may have visited certain category pages or certain items that could provide the cues you need to close the sale.

Identification enables a unified view of your customer no matter how or when they access our content.

But it gets worse than that. We live in multi-device world now. What if the user didn’t really abandon the cart at all? What if they just switched to their mobile device and completed the purchase? You might end up sending them an abandoned cart email—when in fact they’d already bought the item. Needless to say, this will cause stress for both your customer and your customer service.

2. Maintain the Signal  

Without identification, PBM is not possible. Identification enables a unified view of your customer no matter how or when they access our content. This lets brands to execute much more relevant and precise messaging on a much larger scale. Let’s look at some hypothetical examples:

Example 1: A customer visits your e-commerce clothing store on their desktop at work, logs in and adds a few products to their cart. Distracted by a meeting request, they abandon the site and walk away from their desk. You send an email to that user reminding them of the fabulous products they left in their cart. The user clicks the email and visits your site on their mobile device and doesn’t bother to log in. In most cases, you would not recognize this user connecting via the mobile device, and their cart would be empty when they access your site. With persistent identification techniques, you would recognize them and be able to pick up that selling process immediately with continuous messaging and a full cart.

Example 2: A customer visits your site at work on her desktop device, shows interest in particular categories/products and lingers on a particular product, but does not make a purchase. On her lunch break she jumps on Facebook, where she sees ads related to your products. She clicks on products in those ads and lingers on the same product. Later, at home, she is browsing your site, without logging in, on her laptop device. Typically, her visit from home would be seen as an anonymous visit. You would have no idea about her two previous interactions with your content—or her interest in a particular product. With PBM and identification, you would know about both of the previous interactions, be able to infer her very strong interest in a particular product and tailor your messaging.


Example 3: A long-time customer heads to your site and starts browsing without logging in. He then logs in, fills up a shopping cart with several items and abandons the cart. In the current world, any cart abandonment like this would simply trigger a generic message or incentive to re-engage and complete the purchase. But imagine you knew this customer—logged in or not—and you have context from all of his interactions with your content on any device, browser or session. If you knew this customer and were able to see a large enough volume of visits, you may notice behavioral clues. In this case, imagine that his purchase history indicates a very strong tendency to buy only those products that have very positive reviews. Your next email would include the positive social proof for items he seems interested in.

3. Know That the Prize is Within Reach

These situations really aren’t hypothetical at all. These kind of interactions happen every day, and brands in the real world are already tapping into PBM and seeing tangible results. In a recent case study, AccuQuilt used PBM techniques to open up communications with an unprecedented number of their users and extend the buying experience to the users’ inbox. By encouraging their most valuable traffic to self-identify and then tying in their user behaviors on-site, the team was able to dramatically scale their database with high-intent prospects. As a result, Accuquilt increased their monthly digital revenue from email by 55%.

The the future of marketing lies in finally realizing the as-yet-unfulfilled promise of reaching “the right user with the right message at the right time—none of which will be possible without a standard method of identification. A persistent, unified customer relationship that is independent of devices, browsers, sessions or cookies lays a powerful foundation. It opens the path for “humanized” marketing, where brands engage and connect with actual people rather than just markets or segments and where messaging can be less frequent but more relevant. PBM finally provides brands with the tools and technology to make that happen.

BounceX calls itself a People-Based Marketing cloud company.