2017 Digiday Awards judge Joe Glass on pioneering people-based marketing

This year, the 2017 Digiday Awards will honor the best of data-driven and identity-focused campaigns with the People-Based Marketing Pioneer prize. We spoke with Joe Glass, VP of Brands at category sponsor LiveRamp, and a category judge for this year’s Awards, about what it means to be a pioneer of the emerging discipline of people-based marketing and why it’s important to elevate examples of excellence.

Why is it important to acknowledge some of the year’s best people-based campaigns?

People-based marketing, and the identity resolution technology that underpins it, is something that every CMO should be thinking about. Recognizing excellence in this disciple exposes decision makers to something many of the world’s leading brands already know: Investing in the people and the technology to support a truly customer-obsessed organization will pay dividends not just to your bottom line, but also to your ability to understand your audience’s needs.

How does a people-based campaign change the relationship between people and brands?

People have become increasingly multi-channel. They interact with brands via email, social and the open web. They encounter our campaigns on desktop and mobile video. Brands have responded by creating solutions for every channel. But without identity resolution, there’s no way for those channel-based solutions to connect or form a greater whole. People-based campaigns powered by identity resolution let brands have one conversation with the consumer regardless of platform, rather than carrying out multiple iterations of the same conversation. It’s a more seamless experience for the consumer and a more valuable set of interactions for the brand.

Why is it so important for digital marketers to embrace people-based solutions?

In the digital era, we’re losing sight of people. We’re veering away from reaching individuals in favor of efforts that have massive scale.

Our work focuses on approximations of people built from cookies, mobile IDs, and numerous other digital identifiers. We are not tracking the customer journey and using it to create knowledge, even though our always-on, always-connected world gives us an unprecedented opportunity to do so. It’s up to companies to harness this opportunity and get ahead in a time when people set the tone for when and how they want to hear from brands.

We recently worked with a large beauty brand to connect its in-store sales with its CRM database. This required breaking down long-standing data silos to help the brand see who its best customers really were. This data was sitting in the brand’s possession all along — it just needed to be connected.

For all companies, it’s important to embrace people-based solutions to get marketing on the right track. These solutions allow marketers to drive the customer experience in ways that were previously impossible.

When you look at the finalists in this category, what do you see as their unifying characteristic?

All finalists took a hyper-targeted approach that was both data-driven and operative across channels. That’s the only way to create a campaign that’s genuinely people-first in orientation. In particular, we were impressed by the winner’s commitment to putting identity at the core of all its effort to identify real touch-points between the marketer and the customer. All of these entries stand as excellent examples of how the marketing industry can elevate itself by focusing on real individuals and building genuinely people-focused campaigns.



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