The Power of People-Based Marketing


Adotas presents a Q&A with Pete LaFond, vice president, marketing, TruSignal, on people-based marketing–an effective approach to audience targeting and reducing fraud.

Q: What is people-based marketing?

LaFond: People-based marketing is a data-driven strategy that starts with people—or more specifically, known, verified profiles as the basis for audience targeting.

Q: How is it different from behavioral targeting?

LaFond: Behavioral targeting typically begins with vehicles like cookies or pixels, and infers that these are people to target, based on specific behavior. Remarketing is a great example: a marketer targets an anonymous cookie profile because it visited a website. With people-based marketing, the marketer targets consumers based on robust profile data, which can include online and offline data points.

Q: Who can use people-based marketing?

Every marketer should be using people-based marketing. The challenge lies in finding the right partners, whether for identifying audiences or activation. Your partner should have the data assets and solutions that meet your specific marketing objectives. Whether looking for new customers or trying to upsell existing clients, you should partner with vendors that understand these complexities and align to meet your goals.

Q: How can marketers activate people-based audiences?

It depends on your partner’s capabilities. Some platforms only activate their people-based audiences through one channel. Others have the ability to onboard profiles across multiple channels and devices. The marketing objectives should drive the complexity of the marketing technology solution.

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about ad fraud – how does people-based marketing fit in to that picture?

LaFond: While people-based marketing is not an antidote to non-human traffic, it is an evolution from the previous solutions that were extremely susceptible to ad fraud. Targeting cookies or IDs with the assumption they are people creates the opportunity for fraud. When you target people—verified profiles—ad fraud is significantly diminished.

Q: So is people-based marketing a cross-device solution too?

LaFond: Absolutely. We start with known profiles that are then associated with IDs. It’s cross-channel by design. After the onboarding process, you can target the exact same audience of known profiles across channels and devices. If a marketer is retargeting a cookie or device ID, it can be almost impossible to connect the dots across different platforms and devices.

Q: What kinds of data make these people-based audiences reliable vs. other strategies?

LaFond: There’s a lot of data available to marketers for targeting. Generally, we don’t think of different forms of data as conflicting, but rather complimentary. If you’re solely using online behavioral data, there are going to be gaps in your strategy. Take my earlier example of remarketing. Verified profiles built from offline data provide robust consumer profile data that is very stable, and can fill in those missing pieces to make your consumer view more complete.

Q: How do you see people-based marketing figuring into the future of programmatic?

LaFond: Data is the fuel for programmatic decisioning. As our industry becomes more comfortable with programmatic decisioning, I think the next trend we’ll see is more marketers using rich, high-quality data to make their programmatic bidding strategy smarter.

About Pete LaFond, Vice President, Marketing

As vice president of marketing, Pete leads TruSignal’s marketing group, including marketing strategy, brand and acquisition advertising, product and vertical marketing, events and conferences, social media and public relations. As an accomplished senior executive, Pete has more than 20 years of experience with a strong background in digital media, ad technology, Big Data and retail.

Prior to joining TruSignal, Pete was the vice president of new channel development for ValueClick where he developed and launched new business verticals leveraging the Dotomi big data and personalization platform. Pete joined ValueClick from Walmart where he was a marketing director and led the Online Media Program and Smart Network. Before Walmart, Pete was the director of sales strategy and programs at Yahoo! where he worked with the sales leadership on strategic programs.

Pete earned a Master of Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Business School at Babson University and received a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from St. Lawrence University.



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