Identifying users online on the long term, whatever device they use, and matching them with CRM data is the number one challenge that people-based marketing is has to solve.
According to a study by Atlas, 25% of Internet users surf with at least 3 different devices every day, and 40% of them will switch from one device to another to continue the same activity. And this trend has been growing steadily over the past years.
Multi-Device Identification, a Challenge for Marketers
Most web analytics, ad tracking and attribution tools still highly depend on cookies. However, they are limited to one browser and don’t work efficiently on mobile devices. As browsing environments are becoming more and more numerous, identifying users across devices has become nearly impossible for most publishers, ad networks and advertisers who rely on cookies (or other mobile ID systems). Each device or app could indeed be considered as an entirely separate environment.
Therefore, an ever-larger share of publishers audiences and advertisers’ targets are mostly unknown.
As a consequence, advertisers don’t have all the tools to control ad pressure or targeting on all touchpoints. Furthermore, they can’t assess the results of their marketing actions efficiently on a cross-device basis.
This complex situation created by multi-device (desktop, tablet, smartphone) and multi-environment (apps, web, mobile web) activity isn’t a problem for everyone. On the contrary, it favors major service editors such as Google and Facebook. Why? They have gigantic user bases, with users logging in on each device.
Logged-In Environments, the Holy Grail of People-Based
Logged-in environments, which are perfect for people-based marketing, are the Holy Grail of advertising. They don’t depend on low-persistency third-party cookies to identify their users. Logged-in environments enable marketers to match each advertising or browsing action with an identified user on each device, and store this information on the long term.
Though cookies haven’t become useless, they are becoming secondary and temporary. Cookies collect data about “unlogged” users who couldn’t be recognized, and allow to re-match them later on with the relevant known users when they finally log in on the same device.
Many media publishers have grasped the full extent of logged data’s potential, and are now forcing users to log in to use their services. MyTF1 and M6 have millions of logged in members, therefore they can identify a large share of their traffic on their different devices. This strategy is an excellent alternative for paid media content monetization.
Aligning the relevant tech/data/commercial stack still remains a challenge to use this data in the best possible way. Even for the largest publishers, it’s an uneven battle against “walled gardens” such as Facebook, where 100% of its inventory is logged in and is 100% sold through their channels. This creates a perfectly controlled advertising ecosystem.
Can Email Addresses Be the Universal ID For People-Based Marketing?
Email addresses are central for people-based marketing. Incidentally, “people-based” doesn’t really mean anything for email marketing and CRM professionals, as they are used to working with data from “real users”.
Turning advertising into a true PRM/CRM ecosystem where each visitor is identified regardless of their device is the goal of people-based marketing.
CRM (re)targeting, which was initiated by Facebook, Google and Twitter, is acclaimed by advertisers. They don’t hesitate to upload their customer files to improve the results of their ad campaigns. However, few publishers or ad networks have email data in their ad stack to offer this type of targeting to advertisers.
Email addresses’ persistency make them a universally reliable “matching key”, and therefore, a crucial element of people-based marketing.
Powerspace, an ad network with a strong CRM and email marketing background, adopted the people-based approach from the very beginning, and has been using it for its native advertising platform ever since. Early on, we became aware that encrypted email addresses were an important anonymous cross-device ID that could offer advertisers highly relevant targeting and good control over their ad pressure.