Love is blind—but your marketing doesn’t have to be

Do you know how to make your customers fall in love? 

Well, maybe not love. Marketers are constantly figuring out the best way to get their products in the hands of consumers, whether they're new or regular customers. And while falling in love can be a lot more complicated than driving the right engagement for conversion, the principle is very similar.

In recent weeks, we saw the finales for two shows all about love: Netflix's hit Love is Blindwhich brings together strangers who get to know one another without ever meeting face-to-face, and ABC's staple The Bachelorwhere several contestants vie for the love of one lucky man or woman. Reality shows like these are founded on the premise that human connection is partly based on looks, but more based on a series of compatible personality traits.

Using key characteristics, experts (see: producers) help couples find love with one another, and viewers predict who will make it to the bitter end. But as we all know, these relationships are not always built to last (I was rooting for you and Hannah Brown, Pilot Pete). 

Similarly, marketers struggle with this too. Finding prospective customers can feel a little bit like finding the perfect love match. Not only does a product need to be good, the messages around that product and the ability to reach people who might prefer that product are integral to its success. Marketers need to have strong indicators for potential customers before they try to woo them. And if they do it incorrectly—or inconsistently—they set themselves to be in Shaina, Shayne and Natalie territory

Here for the right reasons

Right now, most marketers rely on some form of audience segmentation to define who their potential customers are. This isn't necessarily a bad form: You're looking at customers based on who you think they are, and, more than likely, some of those assumptions are correct. 

But what if you knew with certainty who your customer was, and, conversely, what if you could look for similar people like them to target as prospects? 

Picture this: I match with a guy on Tinder. He has a golden retriever, an athletic build, likes long walks on the beach (aww) and works in finance. Based on other men I've met with similar interests, I assume he likes baseball. Except he hates baseball. He hates all sports, actually. So much so that my first message to him ("Let's go to a Cubs game!") is greeted with an immediate rejection. 

For marketers, these types of assumptions happen with audience segmentation. Sure, some guys that match my ideal dating profile might like sports, but what if some don't? Then my opening line doesn't work at all, and I've wasted my time and theirs. 

But marketing isn't like Tinder, thank goodness. With data activation, we don't have to rely on vague segmentation. We can activate digital media campaigns on a 1:1 level. You can know and market to people not by segments, but by knowing they don't like baseball and maybe actually prefer ballet. It's marketing without assumptions; you can stop guessing who your customers are and simply know what will resonate with them most. 

One in a million

How does all this work?

Privacy-compliant consumer profiles--bolstered by first-party data--demystify the prospecting process. Recognizing existing customer behavior on a granular level, both online and offline, makes it easier to uncover new trends and reach other consumers like them. Coupled with AI, modeling and audience activation becomes even more effective as it reads signals across all customers and prospects. And even as their preferences change, data that continuously learns from new signals and inputs tell you what each person needs today and what they might need tomorrow--at scale. 

Match Game: Artificial Intelligence edition

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Epsilon PeopleCloud lets marketers anticipate those signals and activate on them--meaning you can reach millions of people at the moment they're most likely to act across all channels and devices. 

Matchmaking can be hard—especially for the people competing on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette—but marketing doesn't have to be. Don't let customers slip out of your hands because you don't know enough to entice them.