Identity, Identity, Identity

/ 10 August 2021

Understanding consumer identity has always been the core driver behind any marketing or advertising campaign. Historically, archetypes were employed to zoom in on a particular tranche of individuals, but in most cases, knowing the consumer as an individual was not possible unless within a brick-and-mortar setting. Therefore, targeting would have still largely been offer-led and brand-focused, not based on the individual’s preferences.

Today we have the internet. Hallelujah. Meaning we can track an individuals’ footprints across online and offline environments, giving us the best possible chance to offer relevant, timely, and suitable product suggestions – albeit, until we say so-long to surveillance-based cookies. The cookie conundrum has shone a light on what brands need to market successfully: clear identity resolution.

Experian says accurately identifying customers is an essential prerequisite for marketing analytics, orchestration, and execution. We would have to agree.

The ability for advertisers to resolve data and identifiers at the household and individual levels has long been critical to implementing efficient targeting and measurement strategies. However, as the industry heads into a new future, it’s not enough to replace the third-party cookie; it’s time to rethink how we fundamentally view identity and the role of consumer privacy in digital advertising. But how?

Here’s three ways you can move towards clearer identity resolution:

Connect the Dots

Marketing to the individual means recognizing that the customer journey does not just occur through one platform, one device, or even just in the digital realm. For starters, a user accesses the internet from four different devices on average throughout the day.* Within many sectors, brands have the challenge of connecting an individual’s activities across multiple touchpoints through multiple channels if they are going to achieve the levels of personalization that consumers increasingly expect.

In essence, this is about always continuing the conversation. For example, if a consumer is browsing a specific product on your website, but then goes into a physical store to complete the purchase, your future delivered content should be aware of this connection and adapt accordingly. They should not then receive retargeted ads for the product they have already purchased.

Many digital marketers will still be relying on matching a single email address to create customer profiles; however, martech advancements now allow us to create a much more detailed picture than that. For example, a modern identity resolution system will collate first-party data into a single customer data platform to create a unique individual profile of each customer, which updates in real-time. Marketers can then feed this into an identity graph to enrich each profile with owned and external behavioral data to inform marketing campaigns and personalized customer experiences.

Providing a seamless omnichannel customer experience and generating real-time personalization is an effective way to connect, engage, and build long-lasting relationships with your consumer base.

Conversion Is a Journey, Not Just a Destination.

Moving towards an omnichannel experience allows brands to follow their customer’s journey from awareness to purchase to loyal advocates. Analyzing this behavioral data will provide critical insight to inform marketing campaign strategy and provide more significant ROI. For example, identifying key customer decision-making moments and the channels that delivered each conversion allows companies to allocate their marketing budgets towards the platforms with the most significant impact.

Similarly, recognizing that different customer personas take different customer journeys and have different experiences with your brand. An example of this on LiveRamp features an online restaurant reservation service that distinguishes between the customer journeys of two key personas, regular foodies and casual diners, to send each differing incentives depending on their historical behavioral patterns and geographical location.

Ultimately, personalizing the customer experience and providing the proper assistance, or the right incentive at the right time in the customer journey, can be critical in developing lasting relationships and maximizing business value. A solution such as 3radical’s Onboarding StreamTM helps effectively chaperone your customers and prospects through your brand in a way that puts them in control yet maximizes discovery and understanding of what your brand has to offer and how best to engage with it.

Trust IS the Process.

Like many things in life, we believe that you should choose quality over quantity when it comes to data. Leveraging rich data sources that allow your customers to express their preferences, rather than implied preferences through behavioral data or similar, will generate richer data sets to glean more reliable insight. To gain this insight, however, you need to earn it.

The appropriately named Earned Data is a crucial method of developing a clearer picture of your customers by incorporating directly provided data into your Identity Resolution system. It builds upon the traditional behavioral and interaction data with descriptive and attitudinal data for a rich, actionable, and fully consented data set that creates strategic differentiation for brands.

Not only does the Earned Data provide richer data, but it also presents a privacy-conscious approach to personalization. Approaching data capture with transparency and gaining permission to use consumer data develops trust with your brand – the foundation to any long-lasting relationship – and ensures compliance with worldwide regulations. Ultimately, Earned Data solutions can help you understand the people behind the data.

Wherever you are at in your journey towards clearer identity resolution, keep in mind that there are more ways than you may think to leverage your existing marketing ecosystem. It’s not necessarily about sweeping the cookie crumbs entirely under the carpet, but learning the smarts to fill the gaps – while retaining and growing trust with consumers. Look for audience engagement vendors who help their clients identify the gaps in their data and develop strategies and tactics that will enhance relationships with their consumers. We love challenges and would love to hear yours; get in touch today.

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