People-Based Marketing: Everything Old is New Again

This article first appeared on MediaPost on October 30, 2017

On the surface, people-based marketing appears to be a relatively recent innovation. The term was coined by Facebook in 2014 to describe how CRM data could be matched to Facebook accounts for targeting. Now the term has grown to encompass both targeting and measurement at the level of real individuals across any addressable channel.

While the language we use to describe this practice is new and continues to evolve, the fundamental concept at the heart of people-based marketing is as old as marketing itself – engaging real people with relevant offers based on what you know. Strip away the arcane technical complexity that shrouds people-based marketing today – using identity resolution to unify, augment, and activate data – and the connection to decades of best practice becomes more clear.

Marketing has always been about connecting with real people in ways that build trust and loyalty to a brand. The earliest shopkeepers knew their customers intimately – everything from basic demographic and intent data to detailed purchase histories. With a good memory, this insight could be applied in real time to great effect. At a fundamental level, the evolution of our craft over the past 50 years can be summed up as an effort to replicate this experience at scale across an expanding set of touchpoints. Throughout most of this history, marketing has been fundamentally ‘people-based’. The advent of easily accessible mailing and phone lists (comprised of real people, of course) enabled direct mail and telemarketing to take off in the ‘60s, inspiring Lester Wunderman to coined the term ‘direct marketing’ in 1967. In the nascent digital era of the early ‘90s, Peppers and Rogers popularized CRM as a strategy for using customer data to fuel one- to-one interactions, and new addressable channels appeared with the emergence of email and website cookies.

The first search and banner ads also appeared in the ‘90s, but people-based targeting on these channels wasn’t possible until much later – and this is where things took an interesting turn. For more than a decade, cookies were stretched far beyond their intended purpose and served as a crude, device-based mechanism for targeting and measurement. An entire generation of ‘digital’ marketers emerged who had no choice but to use cookies as a proxy for the people they ultimately wanted to reach.

Fortunately, ‘people-based’ approaches to addressability emerged for digital channels over time. In 2009, large database marketing companies created the first integrations for people-based targeting on social networks, internet music services, and online publishers that had a high volume of logged in users. More recently, Mobile Advertising IDs brought addressability into the world of apps, and it became a mainstream practice to onboard CRM data into the programmatic ecosystem to enable people-based marketing campaigns across both the walled gardens and the open web.

Understanding this historical context helps us see people-based marketing today in it’s proper light. On the one hand, it’s a new phenomenon – a way to use identity resolution to bridge offline and digital channels. On the other hand, it’s just the latest name for what marketers have been doing for 50 years – using data to engage real people with relevant offers at scale.

Why is this insight important? Many organizations have direct mail and email teams that have been honing the way they model audiences, plan campaigns, and measure results for years. As marketing becomes increasingly omnichannel, the insights these teams have – and the discipline of continual refinement that they’ve mastered – can be applied across all ‘people-based’ channels. In a world where everything old is new again, smart digital marketers are suddenly finding that their counterparts in traditional channels have a lot of expertise to offer.

Performics Named a Leader in the Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2017

Of 12 agencies evaluated, Performics received the top score in Current Offering and among the highest scores in Strategy

CHICAGO (October 31, 2017)—Performics, the performance marketing agency of Publicis Media, has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2017, with the top score in the Current Offering category and among the highest scores in the Strategy category.  Forrester evaluated 12 agencies based on 25 criteria.

According to Forrester, “Performics’ paid search offering and vision to be its clients’ premier growth driver has helped this agency make a splash.”  As part of its top ranking in the Current Offering category, Performics received among the highest scores in the Paid Search criterion, and received 5 of 5 possible points in the subcriteria of paid search strategy, landing page optimization and paid search channel experience, in which agencies were evaluated for their experience buying keyword-targeted ads for specific traditional (e.g. Google) and non-traditional (e.g. Amazon, Pinterest) search engines.

In the Report, Forrester noted that “differentiation comes from supporting discovery beyond Google.”  David Gould, Performics Global Brand President, commented, “The rise of Direct Commerce marketplaces like Amazon inspired us to create technology and process to make our clients’ marketplace ‘search’ campaigns more effective.  We believe that being named a Leader in the Search Wave is a testament to our relentless approach to driving performance not only in traditional search, but also now on marketplaces and all platforms where consumer intent is expressed.”  According to the Report, Forrester “like[s] . . . Performics’ proprietary technology to create visibility in non-traditional search engines like Amazon.”

Performics believes that Forrester rewarded its forward-looking vision and action plan. As part of its ranking in the Strategy category, Performics received a 5 of 5 in the Execution Roadmap criterion.  According to Scott Shamberg, Performics U.S. CEO, “We’re laser focused on delivering Demand and Response Management across all performance channels for our clients.  We’ve prioritized Direct Commerce, Conversion Optimization, our Intent-Based Planning framework to understand how consumers make decisions and Analytics as a Service, our proprietary suite of tools to power efficiency and increase revenue for our clients.”

Performics also received the second-highest score in the Market Presence category.  With offices in 57 countries, Performics’ global scale enables it to create custom operating models for complex, multi-national clients.  Overall, Forrester noted, “Marketers that are looking to expand their definition of search marketing into places like Amazon, Pinterest, Trivago, and others, and require a partner with a large global footprint, will find a well-suited partner in Performics.”

The report is available for download, compliments of Performics.

About Performics

As the original performance marketing agency, Performics is the premier revenue growth driver for many of the world’s most admired brands. Across an expansive global network operating in 57 countries, Performics leverages data, technology and talent to create and convert consumer demand wherever it is expressed—search, social, display, commerce and offline channels. Performics is built for the relentless pursuit of results.  Headquartered in Chicago, Performics is a Publicis Media company. To learn more, visit

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Forrester Research Recognizes 360i as a Leader in Search Marketing

Forrester Research has just released “The Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2017” naming 360i a Leader in Search Marketing. According to Forrester, “Marketers will appreciate this agency’s ability to stay on top of trends but also have a level-headed perspective on what is industry hype versus real market changes.” The report goes on to say that U.S. companies who “want a lead agency with deep heritage in search and digital will find 360i a perfect fit.”

The report provides an overview on the state of the search industry and evaluates the most significant agencies against 25 criteria in three main categories: current offering, strategy, and market presence. The final evaluation shows how these agencies stack up against one another and helps guide B2C marketing professionals to make well-informed decisions.

360i received the highest scores possible in the market research and reporting & analytics criteria, as well as the service vision criterion within the strategy category. Stating that differentiation comes from supporting discovery beyond Google, Forrester looked at agencies “ability to create organic visibility in non-traditional search engines” and cited our proprietary insights software, “Voice Search Monitor” (VSM) as an example. The recently-released tool tracks how intelligent agents like Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Siri respond to questions, and helps brands better understand how these voice agents are communicating back to consumers.

“Since our founding in 1998 when Google was redefining how consumers searched for information, 360i has been a pioneer in Search Marketing, helping brands get discovered,” said our President Jared Belsky. “To be recognized as a leader in this space twenty years later demonstrates, in our opinion, sustained excellence in specialized capabilities, even as we continue to develop new practice areas to help brands address what’s next.”

This honor follows Forrester’s recognition of 360i as a Leader in its report “The Forrester Wave™: Lead Agencies, Q4 2016” which noted “360i sets the new pace for lead agencies with its ability to both deliver digitally-led strategies and help clients adapt internally to fully realize those strategies…”

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Mum’s the word for better marketing

Returning to work after maternity leave can be challenging for many new mums – regaining the art of holding an adult conversation, for example, for longer than the five minutes it takes the Tesco driver to deliver shopping, or learning to think above and beyond how many nappies you’ve changed that day. However, the real challenge lies in employer attitudes and the need for a mass culture shift towards more mum-friendly flexible working.

I’m one of the lucky mums who works for a marketing agency that values the important contribution we make in terms of skills, experience, commitment and loyalty. I’ve been with the business for 10 years (minus two years maternity leave) and my colleagues currently share 23 babies of various ages between them – almost half of the company.

Is the business suffering as a result? Hardly! Revenues are increasing year on year, and we’re repeatedly winning industry awards for our work. So why don’t more employers take this approach?

Research published late last year by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that pregnant women and mothers now face more discrimination at work than they did a decade ago. The EHRC estimates that 54,000 new mothers lose their jobs across Britain every year, and since 2005 that number has nearly doubled, yet only 1% of these lodge a complaint at an employment tribunal. This is something that the likes of top blogger ‘Mother Pukka’ is trying to change through her ‘Flex Appeal’ campaign.

The cost of this attitude to families and businesses is significant. British women forced out of their jobs – either by being dismissed, treated so poorly they had to leave, or made compulsorily redundant – could lose in total as much as £113m a year, according to the report. Meanwhile, the costs of hiring and training new staff, redundancy payouts and lost productivity after women were pushed out of jobs amounted to £280m a year.

With employers seemingly happy to blow millions on getting rid of new mums, you’d think they were actually a liability. Working mums are often said to be stressed and distracted – juggling everything but not quite managing to make it work. However, a recent Ernst & Young report found that women in flexible work were the most productive members of the workforce, stating: “In an average year, these women effectively deliver an extra week-and-a-half of productive work, simply by using their time more wisely.”

Studies like this show that it makes economic sense to create a working environment where women feel comfortable taking maternity leave and are encouraged to return to work afterwards rather than the current trend of pushing them out of the workforce.

Beyond productivity, working mums are, after all, real people and as such are a key consumer group that totalled almost 8 million people in the UK in 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics. What’s more, research by Yankelovich and Greenfield Online shows that mums decide on 85% of all consumer purchases on average, ranging from food and pharmaceuticals (93%), holidays (92%), homes (91%), bank accounts (89%) and healthcare (80%) to computers (66%) and new cars (65%). This makes mums particularly valuable in marketing positions, as they are able to bring their personal experience to bear as the key decision-maker when promoting products.

In fact, in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, Michael Roth, CEO one of world’s largest advertising and marketing services companies Interpublic Group, said this was a key reason for his business deciding to employ more women.

When it comes to attracting mums to work for you, the Working Mums Annual Survey 2016 revealed that the best ways to create a family friendly company were flexibility in terms of hours, home working and offering part-time roles.

But flexibility won’t just help attract working mums. New research shows that it’s also vital to retaining Millennials in general. The report from Digital Mums reveals that 73% of Millennial employees would be more loyal to a business if they could work flexibly, which is a major part of the wish list of working mums.

So come on employers. Offer greater flexibility to your workforce and you’ll not only attract Millennial talent, but also working mums – and benefit from the boost in productivity and marketing intelligence they bring.

Helen Bryce is Senior Staffing Manager within the Real People staffing team at Sense.

This article was first published in Campaign.

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Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is vital for any business. If you’re considering growth and expansion, as most organisations are, you need a marketing plan that helps you to grow your bottom line. So, it is imperative to create marketing strategies to attract potential customers. To attract new customers, it is helpful to reach out to them at multiple points during the sales cycle – to gauge their interest, to nurture their curiosity, to peak their desire, and to encourage them to convert. The AIDA model springs to mind (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) when considering this process. Connecting with them at various points and on multiple occasions in appropriate ways with the right messaging becomes an extremely important factor in the sales conversion process. This is the essence of marketing automation. Of course, marketing automation works better for some organisations than others. You will need to consider a variety of factors, such as quantity of customers, volume of transactions, potential for repurchase, cross-selling and up-selling, and so on, before making up your mind if it is necessary for your organisation to invest in a marketing automation solution.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is essentially a software tool that automatically communicates you’re your prospects and customers through a variety of different media, but mostly through email. It is often connected to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which helps companies to build up personalised communications with their customers in order to deliver relevant offers. This data also helps to build up customer personas that assist marketing departments with understanding how to target audiences in different ways to deliver the most effective results.

What are the advantages of marketing automation?

The key advantage of marketing automation is that you can programme the software to perform certain communication tasks at certain times, and then the hard work is done – although you will still need to manage it on an ongoing basis. Also, it helps companies to improve their marketing strategy and it is a great tool for tactical lead generation and sales nurturing. It can also reduce marketing costs and it provides measurable results and KPIs for both tactical and strategic campaigns.

What are the disadvantages of marketing automation?

Firstly, it requires a lot of effort and commitment to learn how to use it effectively in order to define the target audience and the appropriate messages to communicate to them along the sales pipeline journey. Also, it can be a significant investment, and it can’t fix everything. Despite the major benefits marketing automation offers, it is not a “cure all.” This is perhaps the number one issue we have seen in the marketplace, with some clients thinking that their marketing automation software is their marketing strategy, rather than a tool used to deliver their strategy. We think of this a little bit like the tail wagging the dog…

What is customer lifetime value (CLV)?

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a prediction of the net profit of your entire future relationship with a customer. It informs you how to allocate your efforts towards the most profitable channels and audiences, thus resulting in a better ROI. Not all customers are equal, and gaining a thorough understanding of their differences allows you to gauge how much to invest in communicating with each one. After you have segmented your audience, the next task is determining how best to connect with target customers at a personal level. Having identified which high-value customers to address, defined their lifetime value and drawn a profile of their priorities, you can then make informed decisions on which media to use. Marketing automation, when executed correctly, allows companies to market to and nurture customers with personalised and useful content via a multitude of channels.

Some useful tips

Don’t confuse your audience with poorly defined communication channels. There is an abundance of communication channels available to marketers in this day and age. Communication between you and your audience should always be a welcome event (or at least not an unwelcome one). Don’t alienate or anger your audience by forcing correspondence to happen, or by reaching out too often. Always ask prospects to opt in. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, but you’ll also be able to steer clear of any legal issues and reinforce a positive image around your brand to new prospects and current customers alike.

Don’t initiate communication on a channel you cannot use for the entire correspondence. Communication is a two-way street. If you have implemented a well-devised marketing automation process – one that accounts for incoming and outgoing correspondence between your system and your customers with an ability to listen to the other party, you will have a clear picture of their needs and be one step closer to closing the deal. Not having the capability to listen to responses via channels used for customer engagement is a failure, but it is even more so if you lack the ability and the process in-house to follow up. Align sales with marketing. If you ask questions or want responses via the channels you use to engage with your audience, be sure to have the capabilities and process in place to receive them and lead them to the next step.

Don’s smother your audience with irrelevant and unwanted content. During the process of nurturing leads, great marketers uncover a host of intimate details that paint a picture of who they are doing business with. Marketing automation then kicks in and utilises this information to serve tailored and personal content that will push leads further down the sales funnel. Sending content to prospects, especially if you are initiating the action, is quite intrusive, so if this is a part of your workflow you must absolutely make sure that what you’re sending out aligns with their needs and interests. If you don’t know what these are, take a few steps back and review your process of collecting data.

Don’t send duplicate content or correspondence. Flawless marketing automation is difficult to achieve even for the best of brands. It requires a strong top-of-the-funnel base that produces a consistent flow of sales leads. It doesn’t matter if you have to spend a great deal of time carefully reviewing your programmed workflows to automatically send out correspondence. Always ensure you’re not sending out duplicates on any correspondence.

Marketing automation software companies

There are many reputable marketing automation software companies in the marketplace for you to consider, such as HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Eloqua and InfusionSoft. We recommend you take time to consider which one best suits the needs of your business. Read reviews from other customers to see which ones best resonate with your business needs.

Conversation LAB wins Conosco account

Conversation LAB has welcomed client win Conosco to its London office to help boost its global digital credentials. This comes off the agency’s recent South African wins – Markham and Kinky World of Hair.

Conversation LAB has been contracted as Conosco’s digital agency of record and is responsible for search and content management, UX, data, and analytics. The agency also manages all bought media with a strong focus on Google demand generation.

Conosco provides technology support, service, and strategy to United Kingdom-based businesses. Conosco says that IT belongs in the boardroom, and all its services are delivered with business goals in mind.

Speaking from London, Conosco director Max Mlinaric says, “Conversation LAB was recommended to us through our South African network, and we were impressed by their offering – a broad skillset all under one roof – as well as their competitive pricing. The fact that they now have an office in London is very exciting, and we would like to congratulate them on the expansion of their business.”

Kevin Power, group managing director of Conversation LAB, adds, “It is great to work with Consoco, one of the leading outsourced IT companies in London. They have a superior offering and are single-minded in creating the best possible technology solutions for London based companies. Their focus and dedication to going ‘beyond IT’ really excited us about partnering with them on their next phase of growth.”

For more information, visit Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.




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Is Civics Still Necessary? How Americans Engage with Citizenry

According to a C-SPAN survey conducted earlier this year, only 43 percent of likely U.S. voters can name a single Supreme Court justice. With the Dow hitting record highs and unemployment levels at record lows, this raises an important question: is civics still necessary? What role should it play in our society today?

Civics is defined the study of the rights and duties of citizenship, but the term is not often heard in modern conversation. In fact, Google estimates usage of the word “civics” in books actually peaked in 1928 (although a slight uptick began in the late 1980s). Today, its absence portends increasing political apathy and passivity around the obligations of citizenship.

Former President Barack Obama recently announced his foundation’s goal to “[promote] civic engagement for students and young adults.” David Simas, CEO of the Obama Presidential Center, stated, “[we’re] going to be focusing like a laser beam on this idea of active citizenship.” Such duties include effecting social and political change and engaging in scholarly civic pursuits to learn the country’s history and understand public policy issues.

In fact, promoting civics has been the impetus for several initiatives launched by people who occupied roles in the highest echelons of government. In 2009, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor established the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute to “[solve] important social, economic and political problems through civil dialogue leading to civic action.”

Citizenship also extends to humanitarian efforts. Former President Jimmy Carter embraced this back in 1984 when he established the Carter Work Project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Together, the groups build housing all over the world for families in need. Since that time, corporations have joined the effort by donating materials and/or their employees’ work time to help build housing alongside Habitat workers.

Former President George H.W. Bush founded Points of Light in 1989 to instill a culture of volunteerism. Spawned by his inaugural speech where he stated, “all the individuals and community organizations spread like stars through the nation, doing good,” Points of Light partners with companies, foundations and other non‑profits to connect people with volunteer projects across the globe.

Finally, in 2005, former Vice President Al Gore established the Climate Reality Project, an international environmental initiative focused on raising awareness about climate change and promoting ongoing solutions to it.

But while the civic initiatives of prominent and accomplished civil servants are laudable, it is important to note the contributions of everyday people as well. Here at Acxiom, for example, we see active citizenship displayed when employees contribute time and money to Backpacks for Education, the Community Pantry Food Drive, Adopt‑a‑Family, Holiday Cards for Troops, and many other programs.

In a recent Acxiom study on civic engagement, we mined Acxiom’s data to learn what citizenship looks like in action. A clustering analysis of over 1 million individuals revealed three types of citizens and the activities they are likely to undertake in their efforts to influence decisions in their communities and at the state and national levels. Our findings indicate that people across the demographic spectrum engage in citizenship activities where and how they can.

Click here to see the infographic for insights into the three citizen segments and the ways each puts citizenship into action.

Job vacancy: PR Account Manager

We’re on the lookout for an experienced Account Manager to take charge of our PR portfolio. Ideally, you will have at least 3 years’ account management experience as well as a proven track record in and in-depth knowledge of PR as well as other areas. Alongside helping us to grow our PR business, you’ll also be taking care of some of our varied client base; take a look at our case studies to find out more about the brands we work with.

That’s just a quick summary of the role. Get all the details below, and to apply email hello@togetheragency with your CV and cover letter.

To be successful, you’ll most likely need…

  • 3 to 5 years of account management experience
  • Good experience working in a dedicated PR role
  • Additional experience across at least two of the following areas: web build, packaging, digital campaigns, photo shoots, brand development
  • Some client-side experience (though this definitely isn’t essential).

You’ll need to be…

  • Confident and self-assured in your relationships, both in-agency and with clients
  • Persuasive when meeting with and presenting to clients
  • A good communicator with effective listening skills
  • Highly organised, especially under pressure
  • Able to prioritise when dealing with several projects at once
  • Ready to fit into a collaborative and close-knit team
  • Positive and enthusiastic with a can-do attitude.

While we think experience is more important than qualifications, generally we’d expect you to have…

  • A good degree in any subject (a marketing degree is a bonus, but not essential)
  • Excellent writing and grammar
  • Good numeracy skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel
  • A UK driving licence (though again, this would just be a bonus)
  • Ability to travel to client locations anywhere in the UK and abroad.

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