BREAKING IT DOWN: WHAT IS IDENTITY RESOLUTION?
Published on July 06, 2020
In today’s digital age, more data is created now than ever before as consumers interact with brands across a range of devices and platforms. With every new interaction, a new data point is created. If this data could be turned into actionable insights, marketers would be able to deliver more meaningful and targeted experiences. And while this creates the potential for marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, the sheer volume of data being produced makes it difficult to connect the dots to form one complete picture.
As marketers traverse an increasingly omnichannel landscape and a growing number of platforms, data complexity continues to be one of the biggest challenges today. According to a report by Clicktale and CX Network, more than half of marketers don’t believe that they have a strong understanding of their customers’ behaviour across their digital channels. Yet at the same time, 53 percent of those surveyed still believe that businesses can never have ‘too much’ data. With this maximalist approach to data collection, identity resolution is a necessary stepping stone to ensure that customer insights can be gathered efficiently, effectively, and accurately, in order to allow for the data to be put to good use.
What is Identity Resolution?
As part of a multi-platform, device-driven world, today’s consumers aren’t receiving and experiencing ads separately anymore—instead, these messages are being consumed as facets of one cohesive brand. As such, it’s no longer enough for marketers to focus solely on one channel, whether that’s online or offline, or across email, mobile, or social. At the same time, the fragmented consumer identity landscape creates the challenge of understanding customer behaviour across various different touchpoints.
This is where identity resolution comes in.
Identity resolution is defined as the process of creating multiple identifiers across devices commonly used by your target audience and their touchpoints, and combining them with data points collected from them along the way. With the use of technology, the disparate data gathered from sources such as laptop browsers, cell phones, email subscriptions, public records, and offline purchases can be mapped together to form an identity. By recognising and connecting the individual data points from their interactions across a range of offline and online platforms, identity resolution creates a unified profile for every single customer. This is done to build a holistic, omnichannel view of your customers, to ensure that you are engaging with them at the right places, at the right time, and with the right marketing messages.
What Does Identity Resolution Enable?
Identity resolution offers marketers a way to turn data complexity into exceptional customer experiences. The level of insight it uncovers could potentially open up a whole host of opportunities for both brands and marketers.
Personalised Customer Experiences
In a time where personalisation takes precedence, consumers are more likely to shop with brands that truly recognise and understand them at an individual level. Identity resolution provides marketers with an effective way to understand their customers’ unique buying journeys along the path to purchase. Once you’ve combined different pools of data to accurately identify who your customer is as an individual, this data can then be dissected to effectively personalise specific messages to each customer.
Improved Brand-Customer Interactions
Armed with these insights, marketers can more effectively tailor their messages and engage their target audience with relevant content, improving the value of brand-customer interactions. If marketers can provide customers with the personalisation and experience that they expect, they will in turn reward the brand with trust and loyalty. Conversely, a lack of identity resolution increases the likelihood of misidentifying your audiences and delivering a disjointed, inconsistent customer experience.
Efficient Budget Planning
Decisions that are backed by accurate, high quality data insights rather than assumptions are far more likely to produce targeted and meaningful customer-focused outcomes. Marketers can then be more confident in their decisions when allocating budgets, potentially spending less while achieving better results. On the other hand, without an identity solution to uncover actionable insights about specific customers, marketers will be forced to “spray and pray,” resulting in inaccurate targeting and wasted ad spend.
To make informed decisions, a marketer must first be able to measure accurately. Fragmented customer data presents a major challenge for marketers to piece together individual consumer profiles and holistically measure results across multiple platforms. With resolved identities, marketers not only get a complete picture of an individual customer—they can also track that specific customer’s journey from interest to purchase, right down to pinpointing which particular campaign or creative led to this result.
Streamlined Views of the Customer Journey
Accurate identity resolution is imperative to delivering a consistent brand experience, irrespective of what device, platform or channel the customer chooses to engage. A true and comprehensive identity solution should be able to track a customer’s journey through multiple engagement and data touchpoints, to build a single customer view that can be consistently communicated and deployed across every brand, channel, and product line.
A Privacy-First Approach
With regulations like the GDPR driving the need for privacy-safe data collection, commitment to ethical data use is vital to any successful identity resolution strategy. Marketers need to reinforce maintaining best practices around data privacy to establish trust between them and their customers. As such, well-executed identity solutions should enact clear policies for consumer consent, while ensuring that their data is treated securely and with dignity.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all marketing approaches. With today’s consumers using more devices than ever and expecting hyper-personalised interactions, marketers need the ability to strategise, target, and measure their marketing efforts to deliver effective communication across multiple touchpoints. Against this backdrop, identity resolution could provide them with the insights needed to better understand their customers—by recognising the real person behind the data points.