The downfall of inference-based targeting, however, is in its limited scalability and accuracy and privacy issues, particularly in “confusion about persistent device-based [targeting] versus more ephemeral inference-based targeting — that scares many marketers,” O’Connell noted.
Although a perfect targeting solution does not exist, there are several ways marketers can increase their chances of successfully communicating with the right customer at the right time, she said. According to O’Connell, data-management platforms and third-party providers, among other approaches, can help enrich user profiles. Making sure a company has a measurement system and clear privacy policies also is important.
The bottom line, O’Connell noted, is that “it’s time for marketers of all stripes, not just the customer relationship management (CRM) team, to embrace the idea of relationship management — continuously endeavoring to positively engage with users across the customer life cycle from acquisition through retention — and use that to drive their broader approach to targeting.”