The Beating Heart of Identity Resolution: The Graph

The growing expectation for personalization and consistent customer experience has marketing departments across the country evaluating identity resolution providers. There are a dozen or so companies that perform identity resolution in some capacity, but there are still a few that lack the one clear indicator of a sole identity resolution provider: a patented identity graph. While many companies make claims about their identity graph, they are often relying on the graph of other companies or a combination of other solutions to accomplish similar functions.

What is an identity graph and why is it important?

Though it is made up of complicated formulas and equations, simply put— an identity graph is a series of sophisticated algorithms that stores all offline and online identifiers that correlate with individuals.

When you have a single piece of information about an individual, that is an identifier. A few identifiers like email address, device ID, or Twitter handle are associated with a single individual. Combining those identifiers together creates a contact record with which you can 1) identify and verify information about individual consumers and 2) market and message to individuals in a more direct way.


Data about individuals is constantly changing and strategies have to change with it. In a recent report, 61% of operations leaders said it is difficult for their operations to change direction when markets, customer needs or enterprise strategies change. Brands need a solution that is flexible and refreshes multiple times a day so when changes happen, they can act accordingly.

An identity graph is constantly learning and linking data elements and identifiers to the individuals within it. The ability to link, and more importantly, unlink data points from individuals requires a complex process and engineering effort. Because consumers access information and interact with brands in a variety of ways, having the ability to unlink identifiers is essential.

If consumers are in a rush and enter their email address incorrectly, the identity graph can still resolve their identity and make sure the contact record stays correct.

Okay, but what about the customer data I already have?

You can use the first-party data you have from your customers and link identifiers and attributes about that individual into the identity graph. Once you do, the identity graph will provide a unique ID for that individual and combine all of the data about that individual into one complete record.

Resolving identities across internal silos helps not only to deduplicate customer information but also cleanse and maintain a single customer view.

A sophisticated graph will consolidate the data not only first-party silos like your CRM, marketing automation, or other places that you may store customer data, but it will also link enrichment data to that unique individual ID.

To create contextual marketing messages and campaigns, you’ll need more than just your first-party data. For a complete customer profile, you can ingest attributes like purchase behavior, lifestyle data, affinities, etc into your graph for segmentation, personalization, look-alike modeling, and so much more.

This helps brands to better:

  • Recognize customers across their entire organization
  • Create unified, single customer views
  • Understand their customers across channels
  • Engage customers in relevant, authentic ways

To best enhance your customer profiles with additional data attributes and integrations, using a SaaS provider for identity resolution can provide a better ROI due to the ease of integration and real-time updates via API.

How can my brand leverage an identity graph?

  1. Create a better customer experience- know exactly who your customer is instantly, and across channels. Gain unique insights into your customers at an individual level, ensuring programs and campaigns are more relevant and targeted, leading to improved ROI and brand loyalty.
  2. Know your customer is who they say they are-Authenticate individual customers accurately, instantly, and at scale, to prevent identity theft and to increase revenue while minimizing risk.
  3. Make informed decisions on marketing strategies-Use online and offline behavior to inform your marketing strategy and build audiences.
  4. Find more high-value customers and increase revenue-Increase customer retention and lifetime value with richer, more complete data and analysis that reveal the patterns and motivations of high-value customers
  5. Provide top-tier customer care-Give customers the confidence that you know and care for them by recognizing their whole history with your company, regardless of the department or channel in which they are currently engaging


What else can an identity graph do for my business?

Using an identity graph that combines U.S. census data, built on an algorithm that enables real-time data updates, with the most accurate and unique data points available, will provide your brand an unparalleled advantage over your competitors.

You can use identity resolution for:

  • Identification, authentication and identity proofing
  • Contact record enrichment
  • Lead scoring and qualification
  • Segmentation
  • Strategic insights, measurement, and analytics
  • Audience creation and development
  • Personalization
  • Multichannel activation
  • Customer care and support

Want to know how identity resolution can enable an enhanced experience for your customers?

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