Omnichannel marketing is the next big thing . . . they said five years ago.

In fact, omnichannel isn’t really a “thing” at all. It’s just an acknowledgment of how the marketing landscape has changed.

Omnichannel marketing simply means that marketers use every medium at their disposal to establish personalized, one‐on‐one interactions with consumers. Marketers must present a seamless customer experience across all these media so that the message on Facebook meshes with the message in a targeted email to the same person.

This is a sea change from just a decade ago when “push” marketing was still the norm. Marketers used proxy information, like demographics, to target large groups with weak correlations (E.g., men like trucks more than women do, so Ford advertises to men on a TV broadcast of a sporting event whose audience is mostly men. Many of the broadcast’s viewers are not potential truck buyers, whether they are men or not).

The return on ad dollars spent tended to be low because the audience wasn’t all that target‐ rich.

The internet, and particularly social media, changed all that. Marketers know so much more about the preferences of each individual consumer.

Today, marketers must reach consumers where they are with personalized information. Companies that advertise on one or two media platforms will not find their customers, who are hopping from websites, apps, social media, television and so on.

A study by eMarketer in 2018 found that nearly half of US marketers planned to increase their investment in omnichannel capabilities.

Tomorrow, marketers must acknowledge another new reality: Consumers are no longer static.They not only visit various media over the course of a day, they also visit them on various devices.

A single consumer may visit your website via their laptop, tablet, phone, and/or smartwatch. Coming soon, their car or refrigerator or other appliance, will remind them that they need to purchase a product like yours, whether it’s motor oil or peanut butter or a vacuum cleaner.
In other words, we need to take that integrated approach to channels and apply it to devices too.

Enter people‐based marketing.

People‐based marketing correlates information from these various devices to create single identities for all of them. It connects brands with people on a one‐to‐one level ‐ from digital to direct mail.

Here’s the good news about the future. It’s here today.

People‐based marketing that targets people rather than devices already exists. Sophisticated data companies can wield identity resolution to meld a bevy of devices into a single, accurate “hello there my friend.” It is possible to accomplish this in a way that is privacy‐compliant.

People‐based marketing, which integrates multitudes of devices and channels with individual consumers, is the future of marketing. For those marketers who want an edge on the competition, it’s available in the present.

Want to talk more about people based marketing? See what we can do.