No matter how well built an engine may be, it only takes one fault to hinder progress, and marketing is no different.

Of course, campaign construction is less prescriptive than engineering; while there is usually a single way to wire a spark plug, combinations of marketing tactics may perform differently based on specific brand goals. But in both cases, synchronisation is vital. Just as an engine requires the right connections to run efficiently, every element of a campaign – whether display or email, paid search, mobile apps, direct mail, or others – must work in harmony to engage target audiences, enhance their experience, and drive desired results.

But how can marketers ensure the marketing whole is greater than the sum of its fragmented parts? The answer lies in understanding and addressing the biggest spanner in the works for current marketing systems: silos.

Isolated operations: a recipe for malfunction

It’s been said many times that today’s marketers have more opportunities to connect with consumers than ever; social media, video on demand, mobile, digital out-of-home, TV, wearables – the list is infinite. But despite all the talk, marketers are still struggling to tackle the hampering effect of a disjointed infrastructure to find the ideal mix of channels and tactics for unique audiences.

Traditionally, most marketing organisations have operated in silos. These silos can be relatively simple, such as one for marketing (website, content, etc) and one for media (paid advertising), or they can reach to the channel level. The trouble with such fragmentation, however, is that these teams or individuals often work independently, with their own systems, strategies and metrics to measure success.

This makes it hard for marketers to gain a complete view of their efforts across channels and how customers and prospects respond at each stage of their journey. In other words, marketers have no clear picture of how the communications machine is running; including how one channel may influence another, which creative messages, offers and content are working (or not), and the changes that might be needed to enhance consumer experiences and drive business outcomes. Even worse, having separate systems, strategies and metrics may actually mean teams are working against each other.

While building campaigns that resonate with consumers and their specific paths to purchase is challenging, it’s by no means impossible. However, it does require marketers to shift their perspective.

Adopting a people-based outlook

The best solution to this issue comes in the form of people-based marketing. First coined by Facebook in 2014, the term describes a smart communications method that swaps cookies for persistent identifiers (IDs) to produce a comprehensive view of individuals. So, instead of following a sparse trail of cookie crumbs across disparate systems, marketers can track individual activity across digital, mobile and offline environments for a holistic view of the consumer journey.

These anonymous, people-based IDs can also be linked with demographic, intent, interest and other audience data to create robust audience profiles.

With such enticing benefits, it’s no surprise the popularity of people-based marketing has risen swiftly. Indeed it has recently been tipped as the new industry ‘gold standard’, but to realise its full potential, marketers need to know more than just who a user is and what they like. They also need to know which tactics are resonating with different audiences, so they can drive the success metrics they care about most.

Combining people-based identification with a multi-touch attribution measurement approach allows marketers to understand the influence of each touchpoint on an individual’s path to conversion. This not only develops a deep knowledge of campaign effectiveness, but also a view of how to uniquely tailor messages and tactics to suit specific target audiences. In turn, brands can apply this insight to optimise the customer experience and make smarter investment choices within and across channels.

In an age where consumers are constantly bombarded by numerous brand messages, no company can afford to generate communications that miss the mark. To keep a firm hold on audience interest, brands must ensure their marketing is working like a well-oiled machine – and an important part of achieving this is demolishing silos.

By leveraging the combined power of people-based insight and multi-touch attribution, marketers can topple data and organisational silos and gain the intelligence they need to optimise budgets and deliver people-centric experiences that drive meaningful business results.

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