At Resonate, we provide our clients with access to “human attributes”. We enable brands to develop a sophisticated understanding of their customers and prospects through our proprietary, census-scale survey data and contextual analysis of internet behavior on 90% of the US online population – on an individual level. In many ways, we are offering our clients foundational ground truth from which they can plan their marketing to actual people – who have values, beliefs and motivational drivers – guiding their journey through the woods with proven insights and understandings.

Most of the time, our clients (Lil’ Red) are happily skipping down the path of marketing, looking to have a great conversation with Grandma. They’ve even brought pie. In this case, it’s a fantastic offer that they only want to present to their best customers because they believe in the power of people-based marketing and in delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. Lil’ Red said to Resonate….”Hey, can you help me make sure this pie gets to Grandma?”

<Insert Big Bad Wolf Howl>

Here is where things get a little rough in the forest of marketing. Now, because we operate without PII, we have to turn to partners to help de-identify these Grandmas. We engage in CRM onboarding through a partner, and we start to apply our existing insights to the newly synched cookie pool.  And we often end up in a familiar place.

“Granny – what big eyes you have”

“Granny – what big teeth you have”

“Granny – you aren’t the Grandma we wanted”

<Insert Forester, Axe, and New Rug>

Why? Well – it turns out that the Person in the CRM file is often equated to, in varying shades of wolf…the following:

  • a device (deterministically)
  • a shared household device (multiple deterministic profiles)
  • a household device (probabilistic guessing)
  • a shared household device (probabilistic guessing on multiple profiles)
  • a random device that shared an IP/LatLong with a household (ouch)

“Oh Fiddlesticks,” says Lil’ Red. However, this is an entirely predictable outcome where media activation at scale is the goal. It’s not an outcome designed to curb media waste, improve targeting and reach the right person with the right message. As marketers, we can’t accept the household approach to people-based marketing.  Scale is not the only goal, and in many cases, it’s 100% the wrong goal if you are trying to have any level of accuracy in giving the pie to the right person.

What makes this story better?

  • transparency of the mechanisms of onboarding/matching
  • marketer choice between individual and household matching
  • measurement of the onboarded audiences with a source of truth
  • focus on accuracy of reach, not scale
  • aligning incentives for the partners to the use case

So, let’s eat pie with the right customers and prospects, and not with the uninvited device who sheds on the furniture and chases the neighbor’s cat.

About the Author: Jonathan Ricard is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Resonate