Identity resolution, digital marketing
Peter Spoleti / Vertex Markets Inc.

Identity Resolution, Identifying Customers across Multiple Devices & Touchpoints.

By: Peter Spoleti, Vertex Markets Inc. | September 21, 2020 

…Identity resolution helps marketers be sure about who’s on the other end of a browser, mobile app, or location.  Accurate identity resolution allows companies to create a true single view of their customers… 

Your Clients are using multiple devices.

In the current digital business environment as people move across devices, mobile phones, desktops, connected and TVs throughout the day.  Identity resolution has become increasingly important for businesses, helping them to provide a complete view of their clients and prospects.  Also, the able to communicate with them in the most engaging, and relevant way possible.

Do you know who your Clients Really Are?

If you don’t know who someone genuinely is how can you expect to help them?  An individual’s behavior is expressed across different channels as they represent themselves in different ways, leaving information fragmented, siloed and an incomplete digital footprint across the web. 

Now more than ever businesses need to understand someone beyond just their, email, shipping name and address from their order form or profile.  In this customer-centric marketing environment you have to understand who that person truly is, including their professional and personal identities to make sure your message impacts them in a meaningful way.  

What is Identity Resolution?

Identity resolution is the practice of identifying you customers and or prospects by the devices they use their browser behavior, and the online activities they participate in, then connecting those behaviors to a specific identity in order to create a complete picture of your customer/prospect and where they are on their Buyer’s Journey.

Identity resolution allows you to create a highly personalized user experience with your brand and a higher ROI.

Is Identity Resolution needed?

This relatively simple description contradicts the intricacy of truly coalescing client/prospect activity in the current digital environment.   

The number of interactions clients/prospects can have with your business has increase dramatically in the last decade. In a single day it’s possible for one person to be on a number of devices and numerous platforms creating multiple opportunities for interaction with your brand.  As I write this article, I’m writing on my laptop with 4 other screens in front of me.  Who amongst us hasn’t researched a product on our phone, only to convert that sale later on our desktop, laptop or through Amazon’s Alexa.  

How can marketers compose a complete picture of their clients/prospects and deliver the appropriate messaging at the critical time on the right platform?  Identity resolution along with customer data management platform technology, provides us a process to create a “segment of one*” (*The segment of one refers to tracking the activity and preferences of a single potential customer, then tailoring products/services or ads for that individual according to their behaviors.) where each specific client/prospect receives their own personalized brand experience based on their characteristics, behavioral triggers, and where they are in the sales funnel.   

Why is identity resolution important?
  1. If you are a customer-centric marketer, identity resolution is an indispensable tool to provide the seamless and valuable client/prospect engagement you are wanting to achieve.

The level of insight opens many opportunities.  The current digital environment has grown in complexity, the average household has eleven connected devices, while using multiple platforms, Google reports that 90% of web users move between devices to complete a task.  Salesforce reports that “76% of consumers expect brands to understand them and their needs,” yet 51% of them say “most companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences”, Source: Salesforce State of the Connected Customer, Second Edition.

If you’re looking to traverse this intricate digital terrain and connect the dots between an individual using multiple devices to complete a transaction, you’ll need to rely on identity resolution.

  1. Identity resolution helps you understand and analyze unknown website visitors. Anonymous visitors account for as many as 98% of all website visitors, they could be prospects who haven’t converted yet. Or maybe they’ve converted but aren’t log in on arrival.  By ignoring the data generated by these visitors means leaving a great amount of data on the table, reducing your marketing ROI.  By using identity resolution, you can reunite anonymous visitor data with your known visitor data creating a better understandings into client/prospect behavior potentially increasing ROI.  
  2. It establishes a consistent customer experience. As mentioned earlier, clients/prospects aren’t using just a single device to communicate with you.  They’re using multiple devices across multiple platforms.  Identity resolution helps you to ensure your clients/prospects have a consistent relevant, quality experience no matter which of their devices they are using to reach you.
  3. It increases your marketing ROI. It’s been reported that over 20% of every marketing dollar spent on advertising is wasted due to poor data quality.  Attributable to, most marketers are forced to work with a limited view of their client/prospect based on breadcrumbs collected from inconsistent interactions.  It’s like trying to put together a puzzle with less than half the pieces.  Resulting in untargeted, poor performing advertising reducing your marketing ROI. 
Identity Resolution Challenges?

As many businesses are moving towards customer-centric marketing plus the enormous number of individuals searching online for products and services.  Businesses are encountering many obstacles creating a consistent and complete profile of their clients/prospects:

  1. Incomplete data on their clients/prospects,  behavior and preferences, from all the devices they’re using to communicate them, and the platform they’re using for that conversation.
  2. Marketing campaigns designed around ill-informed suppositions instead of facts derived from a complete profile built with all relevant information.
  3. Engaging prospects with a one size fits all marketing campaigns due to lake of reliable data identifying specific customer preferences and their location in the sales funnel.
Identity Resolution Software Solutions.

Is your client/prospect data complete, are you using it to develop a holistic profile of them? Are you offering them a relevant, consistent marketing experience. Or are you working with a patchy ineffective client/prospect profile.  And, using generic unengaging marketing campaigns, unaware of where your prospects are in your sales funnel. 

Identity resolution software is designed to provide you a comprehensive image of your individual clients/prospects by:

  1. Combining data from all devices and sources into a central platform to create one specific clients/prospects profile, providing your marketing department with solid relevant data.
  2. Developing a complete profile of each specific client/prospect with current data from multiple devices, changing behavior, channels, platforms, and addresses.
  3. Developing an identity graph including 3rd party data, including, other device identities such as email, usernames, phone numbers, IP address, and cookies.
  4. Incorporating into other martech systems initiating marketing campaigns.
  5. Keeping compliant with government regulations.
Identity Resolution, taking your Marketing to the next level.

Implementing identity resolution into your marketing methodology can improve your marketing by linking a countless number of data points and information across all devices and platforms where clients/prospects are communicating with your business.  Some of the advantage’s identity resolution can bring to your marketing department are:

  1. Increased Marketing ROI: By combining communications from all devices and platforms, reducing waste and duplication, irrelevant campaigns, and reducing cost of client acquisition and retention.
  2. Higher campaign results: Thanks to a holistic data driven campaign results are improving. Due to knowing the whys and why nots of your KPI’s, and which devices and or platforms produced those results, business can use that information to fine tune their campaigns.
  3. Better segmenting: Businesses are able to drive conversation, retention, loyalty and growth at the macro and micro levels by using detailed data points, allows for improved segmenting and targeting.

As the marketing industry transitions into a cookie-less future with higher levels of data privacy. Identity resolution will provide three areas of interests, quality, transparency, and flexibility.  Businesses should use these standards to evaluate their clients/prospects while creating their identity solutions.

Quality: Data quality should be priority one when bringing data points together, but too often businesses tend to favor scale over quality, often leading to subpar results.  The strategic linking of multiple signals isn’t always conducted with the precision resulting in a quality identity resolution platform, or effective action.  Today, businesses need to make sure their decisions are based on solid data points.

Flexibility:  A data platform should be flexible in terms of how technology is implemented for the individual business.  Making sure to meet the needs of the business, especially those in move heavily regulated industries, i.e. telecommunications, and financial services.  Also, adaptability is essential to success due to the ever changing regulator environment. 

Transparency:  Identity resolution has also been caught up in the complications surrounding the current environment of data collection

As well as its uses; First, the origin of the data is important, and its collection needs to be wholly compliant with relevant regulation.  Second, any subsequent activity should have consent traceability as well as transparency on the nature of the data manipulation and utilization.  Third, there is certainly a role for truthful sculpting and artificial intelligence in identity resolution.

As the economy begins to return to normal, businesses will need to be diligent with their marketing budgets, concentrate on and demand an ROI for the new technology they implement.  By using this down time to redesign and install the right technology that will provide the opportunity to increase potential rewards when businesses are allowed to get back to normal.

Data Laws.

Privacy regulation has been front and center in recent years.  There have been a number of laws and regulations passed governing the use of personal data such as California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These laws and regulations are a strong encouragement for marketers to invest in first-party data in order to work with a user’s consent.


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