Marketing superpowers are a real thing. Indeed they are real. I’m talking about true extraordinary marketing abilities like the X-Men you see in movies.
If you have the power to see a person’s behavior, reading the mind of that person is not necessary. We can see the behavior of that person on your website and clearly understand the decisions, the direction that person is going and why they do what they do. You’re most likely thinking you’ve seen heat map technology and real-time session tracking for websites years ago. Here’s the thing, the collection of that type of anonymous data is great for UI design and website optimization, however, up until now, there’s been a huge piece of data missing. That critical piece of data is the key to the extraordinary marketing abilities I’ve mentioned. Identity is the key piece of data. Yes, the identity of the person on your website. You pay Google and Facebook an arm and leg to get people to your website and you don’t know who those people are. You see, now you can see. For the first time, ever, you can see WHO the people who are visiting your website. It’s still anonymous, however, now, you have the ability to see the identity, capture the hashed (encrypted) identity of the anonymous person. Meaning the person is boiled down to a unique hashed code or ID number that remains anonymous. Google and Facebook are called Walled Gardens for a reason, they don’t ever show you who viewed, clicked or engaged with your advertising campaigns and they never will. Why? Because it’s considered PII, personally identifiable information from online behavior and it’s a huge privacy issue. It is of paramount importance to maintain 100% anonymity and to protect the encrypted nature, the hashed identity of the person visiting your website. Doing this allows for the proper protections under our privacy laws for both sides, consumers and marketers.
So I ask, do you want marketing superpowers? If you do, then you want and need identity resolution.
If you’re a marketer looking to find the perfect audience for your product or service then identity resolution is the beginning of the journey. For the past 4+ years, the data technology known as identity resolution has been steadily growing and recently crossed a significant threshold. A threshold percentage of people matched outside of the two major walled gardens. Meaning, for every 100 people who visit your website, 55 can be matched to an anonymous Identity Graph, 55% on average is a really high match percentage. This number is rapidly growing too, soon it will be at a 70% match rate.
Why is identity resolution so important? Well, because it’s the basis for all other marketing you’ll do or want to do from the point of initial identity-forward. Once you have an identity established, you can start building a unique profile on the hash ID of the person, the people who become your perfect audience.
There are many opportunities that open up with identity resolution. We’ve created a simple process to start pursuing those opportunities.
A simple process:
- Identify & store 50%+ of all the people who visit your website with one SmartPixel. (Building a permanent & portable Audience Lake)
- Weekly, load ID’s as custom audiences into Facebook & Google as the perfect seed data to create hyper-responsive Look-a-like audiences.
- Run your most successful ad campaigns to your new hyper-responsive look-a-like audiences. (enjoy the improved results)
- Weekly, segment the newly identified audiences with the highest lead score and create new hyper-responsive Look-a-like audiences from each segment. (Optimization Gold)
- Repeat the above loop weekly, then start stacking more channels.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: When adding new website visitor audience data to a custom audience, DO NOT update your existing custom audience with the newer audience data. Instead, each week, create a brand new custom audience under your existing campaign, then generate a brand new hyper-responsive look-a-like audience. This is the difference between the protocol working and not working. PLUS+ the way this protocol can be improved is by using GTM to measure and additionally segment number of times to your site and time on site. These micro segments produce killer campaigns that will even beat your most seasoned retargeting data.
The above simple process is derived from a concept I call, stop trying to out Google Google or out Facebook Facebook. Most industry data veterans, the Pros of the Pros I talk to, see this simple process and say it cannot be that easy. I’m here to tell you, it is that easy if you let Google out Google Google and Facebook out Facebook Facebook. Confused? You see, when you start with People-Based data that is deterministic, you’re getting ahead of the retargeting data derived directly from the Google & Facebook pixel. Yes, I’m saying it’s not only possible to outperform your Google & Facebook retargeting data, but I’m also telling you it’s the very very rare occasion that we cannot smash the campaign performance when compared to even the most seasoned retargeting data derived directly from the Google & Facebook pixel. And anyone using 3rd party data to create a predictive or probabilistic audience model cannot hold a candle to the simple process I listed above.
Everyone who’s dealt with programmatic data modeling is always on a quest to find the best way to define the perfect audience targeting. Probabilistic data sets from 3rd parties cannot and will not ever outperform the native Google & Facebook algorithm when loading your first party data into those platforms to create look-a-like audiences. Again, the key to improvement, is first to identify and lead score the most engaged People visiting your website, then regularly (weekly) segment the most engaged People to create new hyper-responsive look-a-like audiences. Within day(s), sometimes even hours you will start to outperform just about anything you run with your new hyper-responsive look-a-like audience. And yes, again, it is that simple.
After you’ve fully leveraged Facebook & Google, the goal is to increase the number of channels i.e. email, postal, radio, tv, and many, many other digital networks - Twitter, LinkedIn, Outbrain, Quora.
What makes opening all these channels possible, identity resolution.
“Campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300%.” (Gartner Research)
Did you even know you can send an email to the people who visited your website? I’m not talking about the small percentage of people who opt-in to your list. I’m talking about all the people who visit your website and consume your content on a regular basis. Yes, you can, it’s perfectly legal and within the Can-SPAM laws as well.
Email retargeting isn’t something you run on its own, by itself. Instead, email retargeting is a channel you add-on to a Google or Facebook campaign. You will see an immediate decrease in banner blindness when you add-on email retargeting. As I’ve said time and time again, you’ll see a better ROAS with every new channel you add-on and sync with identity resolution.
The future of retargeting is identity resolution, now. Beyond identity, is engagement, engagement matters most. Engagement is everything, focus on it with everything you’ve got.
The Chief Rainmaker