As technology changes, marketers continue their pursuit of data-driven strategies that reach the right customers, at the right time and in the right place. This vision hasn’t changed much over time, yet most marketers have not achieved this goal in a practical way.
As they continue to use third-party channels — inside walled gardens and social media platforms — marketers aren’t able to capture the data and insights they need. These platforms obfuscate a complete view of customers, preventing any attribution that might help marketers improve their strategies and messaging.
This is quickly changing. Identity resolution is the process of integrating identifiers across available touchpoints and devices into a common, always-on profile, provided to assist with marketing decisions in the crafting of awesome customer experiences. This process is now at the epicenter of people-based marketing and informing return on ad spend (ROAS).
With successful identity resolution technology, marketers can identify and engage key segments quickly, in a way that resonates with customers in any context.
Overcoming Fragmentation Across Marketing Touchpoints
Consumers are everywhere — they have both online and offline ‘identities’’ that stem from mobile activity, in-store purchasing habits, social media usage, and other cross-channel behaviors. Companies who deal with consumers in multiple channels often cannot recognize, target, and engage with the same consumer consistently; each consumer has multiple contact records that don’t match up across departments and data silos.
According to Forrester Research:
“Today’s sophisticated [ad] buyers find themselves chasing down inventory in a lot of disparate places in pursuit of well-rounded cross-channel media programs. This is operationally onerous, to say the least, but can also have an inverse effect on performance: All those disconnected inventory sources are being optimized in siloes, and the smart buyers know this is suboptimal… Fragmented buying means a fragmented consumer experience.”
Marketers must bridge the gaps between these touchpoints to achieve a complete profile of their customers; only then can they engage them properly and effectively. Identity resolution is foundational for creating the holistic customer profiles that marketers need for effective engagement and attribution.
Consumers expect brands to engage them with highly relevant, personalized content. Content strategies based on resolved customer contact records — which allow marketers to identify customers as they move fluidly across devices and platforms — are more likely to meet those expectations.
Still, 90% of marketers struggle to seamlessly connect more than three channels on the buyer journey, according to Gartner. For most marketers, missing data and poor data quality give them an incomplete picture of their customer and prevent them from optimizing customer experiences.
Marketers must be able to continually enrich, update, and share consumer insights across their organizations to achieve greater control of segmentation and consistent personalization. That is essential to creating the connections that build brand loyalty and capture the attention of new customers. Specifically, marketers must be able to:
- Identify individuals at any time across channels and data silos
- Update customer profiles that support long-term engagement
- Deliver exceptional, consistent experiences no matter how and where customers choose to interact
When marketers achieve a more complete and accurate view of their customers, they can adopt a true ‘people-based’ approach to engagement. They can tailor their marketing to every customer opportunity, showing each consumer only what resonates with them personally. This type of personalization is a key driver for growth and loyalty.
Inadequate third parties, patchwork internal solutions, and ‘walled gardens’ that do not provide a complete picture cannot support these personalized capabilities. But combining and maintaining customer contact records and owning resolved internal customer data will.
Driving Revenue with Attribution and Smarter Ad Spend
As far as consumers are concerned, their needs are simple — convenience, relevancy, and consistency, no matter how they interact with brands. That’s why progressive marketers are using sophisticated ‘identity graphs’ that incorporate those otherwise fragmented data points — demographic, behavioral, lifestyle, purchase, and other contextual information. These data points stem from multiple sources, including purchase history, survey data, email addresses, and even public records to provide a complete picture and help marketers deliver on those needs.
Accurate identity graphs extend the reach of marketers and open doors to cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Marketers who build campaigns using identity graphs as their foundational data source can use resolved contact records and enriched customer profiles to engage new customers and re-engage existing ones. Leveraging identity graphs allows brands to reduce data decay as well, ensuring marketers maintain an accurate picture of customers and prospects.
When marketers fully leverage the power of identity resolution, they do more than improve customer relationships — they remove the attribution and ROAS ambiguities associated with incomplete customer profiles and the low visibility into their campaigns from walled gardens. This can dramatically improve ROAS measurement and results as marketers transition the bulk of their ad spend into new channels with significant, trackable and measurable returns.
As marketers learn more about how consumers behave in specific contexts, they set out on a path to improvement and change. They establish methodologies that remove the guesswork associated with engaging and investing in channels that cannot be measured and don’t produce results.
The message is clear: Marketers must use identity resolution as the foundation of their people-based approach, perhaps the best long-term investment in today’s data-driven world.
Visit www.fullcontact.com/IDR to learn more about how your brand can use identity resolution to establish authentic personal connections with consumers.