“Two-thirds of customers use more than one channel to shop”, as per Franklin (source 1). Here’s when the question of customer identity occurs. So, to map your customer buying journey through multiple touchpoints, identity resolution platform is very much important.
Also, it’s essential to resolve the identities of customers to create an effective omnichannel marketing strategy.
Interestingly, “Companies with an efficient omnichannel strategy observe a 9.5% increase in the annual revenue every year”, as per Ecommerce Germany News (source 2).
So, in a way, all these are interconnected and aid in improving the ROI. That’s why identity resolution plays a huge role in creating a consistent customer experience.
Let’s scroll to understand more about user matching or resolution through the following topics:
- Identity Resolution Definition
- What is an Identity Resolution Platform?
- How Does Identity Resolution Work?
- Onboarding Your CRM Data
- Anonymizing the Data
- User Matching/ Resolution
- Why Do You Need Identity Resolution Platforms?
- What Are the Challenges to Achieve Identity Resolution?
- What Are the Benefits of Identity Resolution Platform?
- AudiencePrime Identity Resolution
Identity Resolution Definition
Identity resolution is the process of combining multiple identifiers (offline and online) of customers to get one unified identity. The matched ids will help you spot your customers wherever they are in the online environment.
In fact, the identity resolution software will not only match the cookie ids or ad ids but also considers the behavioural data, transactional data, loyalty card details, etc. All these together will enable omnichannel orchestration.
Hence, identity resolution platforms are a go-to source to get a holistic view of your customers. Interesting, isn’t it? Let’s know more.
What is an Identity Resolution Platform?
Identity resolution platform vendors often provide a variety of features along with user matching/resolution features. Hence, an identity resolution platform is a destination where you can maintain your database and create complete customer profiles. Ultimately, allowing you to enhance your audience targeting and campaign personalization.
Along with that, identity resolution platforms display multiple capabilities such as data onboarding, data anonymization, ID graph, data activation, etc. And, all these are designed to work in a privacy-compliant manner.
As a matter of fact, many CDPs also have identity resolution features nowadays. Therefore, helping brands to easily navigate and leverage their data to get complete customer profiles.
So, an identity resolution platform provides a wide range of features to create effective marketing strategies and consistent omnichannel customer experience as well. Furthermore, we’ll see how identity resolution platforms function.
How Does Identity Resolution Work?
In this tech-driven environment, customers don’t just depend on one device or stick to one channel while making a purchase. Since they have so many options, customers take a journey through different channels and finally buy a product.
Of course, it isn’t easy to gather so much information about each customer and get a single id. Therefore, identity resolution platforms have come into play and indeed made it easier.
Customer identity resolution takes place in 2 essential steps:
Data onboarding: It is the process of bringing offline data into an online environment.
User matching/resolution: Matching offline and online data sets of customers.
Yes, it all begins with data onboarding or CRM onboarding.
Step 1: Onboarding Your CRM Data
Here you will gather your siloed data and onboard it into the identity resolution platform. Then, you can proceed to the next step – data anonymization.
Note: You need to either onboard anonymized data or hash it after onboarding. It usually depends on each identity resolution software/platform. However, to carry out user matching, it will only allow you to proceed with anonymized data.
So, anonymization of data ensures that your identity resolution process is privacy-safe and is compliant with data privacy policies.
Step 2: User Matching/ Resolution
Every identity resolution platform consists of an inbuilt User Identity Graph. So, your customer data is tallied with this ID Graph to combine the different identities of your customers.
What is ID Graph?
An identity graph is a database/source which contains complete customer profiles that map to an individual customer.
Identity resolution tools work on algorithms to match and map your data. Finally, providing you with persistent, unified identifiers of your customers.
Why Do You Need Identity Resolution Platforms?
Apparently, “85% of customers begin a purchase on one device and end it on another device”, as per a study (Kinsta).
A few decades ago, customers could only buy from physical stores, but now the trend has changed. Not only do customers shop in an offline store but also in online stores.
Additionally, there is a transition from the only desktop to other devices like mobile phones, tabs, laptops, etc. where customers shop.
In fact, “By 2021, mcommerce sales are predicted to account for 54% of eCommerce sales” as per BigCommerce.
Henceforth, your brand needs to have an omnichannel presence and reach customers wherever they are. To do that, you need to know their identities.
Identities here doesn’t mean their names or age; it means customer information such as customer journey, interactions with different platforms, phone numbers, email ids, transactions, subscriptions, purchase history and so on.
Since each platform or channels assign different identifiers for each customer, you can’t easily route them all to an individual. Also, due to restrictions such as privacy policies and data privacy laws, it isn’t a cakewalk.
Therefore, identity resolution technology comes into existence.
If you are an offline brand with or without an online presence, the identity resolution tools enable you to target your offline customers in the online environment.
If you are an online brand, then you need to onboard your online data (first-party data, second-party data or third-party data) to enrich your customer profiles and get a single customer view.
Ultimately, the identity resolution platform allows you to carry out user-level or people-based marketing in a privacy-compliant way.
What Are the Challenges to Achieve Identity Resolution?
Customer identity resolution is all about identifying the different identities of customers and mapping it to one customer. But, there lies the challenge when you have so many identities of every customer. Similarly, there are many challenges which brands need to overcome while achieving user resolution.
Gathering Quality Data:
One of the main functions of an identity resolution platform is to match and map datasets and obtain a reasonable match rate.
As per data lifecycle, your customer data will become outdated or inaccurate after a certain period. In such cases, the match rate differs, and the identity resolution software can’t give higher match-rate.
Though the first-party data may be more accurate, some brands also use second-party data or third-party data while performing user matching.
In such scenarios, marketers need to ensure that the information they collect is accurate. Hence, in many cases, gathering good-quality data itself is a big challenge.
Lack of Skills in Streamlining the Data:
Gathering data will not solve the problem but structuring it is what makes the difference. Hence, without segmenting your audience data and deriving comprehensive insights, the data will not serve the purpose.
Many businesses fail in getting a good match rate because their data is not structured. And, due to this, they can’t identify their target audience.
Collecting Data From Multiple Sources:
You already know that customers are fragmented across multiple channels. Each of your customers has various identities. So, the challenge occurs in gathering customer data from different channels or platforms.
Even if you can gather information, it may not be as accurate. Ultimately, the identity resolution platform may not be able to give you the proper results.
Dealing with Data Privacy Issues:
Adhering to GDPR or CCPA guidelines is more critical while dealing with data. The regulations create roadblocks while gathering customer information from multiple sources.
You can only use anonymized data in your online marketing efforts. Therefore, it affects the match rate while performing identity resolution.
Moving on, we’ll discuss more about the role of data privacy in achieving identity resolution.
Identity resolution companies have to be compliant with global privacy policies while leveraging customer data.
So, you need to anonymize your data or conceal the PII of your customers through data security mechanisms before you opt for identity resolution solutions.
Most software accepts only the hashed data while performing user matching. Hence, identity resolution platforms are one of the privacy-compliant ways to leverage data in the MadTech space.
What Are the Benefits of Identity Resolution Platform?
By now, you know that the Identity resolution platform is vital to get unified ids from the fragmented customer identities. There are several other advantages for brands who opt for user matching. They are:
Customer Journey Mapping
With a single, real-time unified id, you can easily map your customer buying journey. It helps you analyze your customer’s behaviour and interactions with multiple touchpoints. Along with that, you can create multi-touch attribution models to understand which channels are working better and whether they are improving conversions. Identity resolution platforms help you in creating an effective customer journey map.
Create Omnichannel Experience for Your Customers
Identity resolution marketing will aid you in targeting customers across online and offline channels. You can tailor hyper-personalized ad campaigns and create a consistent omnichannel experience for your customers.
Get a Holistic View of Your Customers
Identity resolution platforms combine multiple identifiers of your customers into one identity. Further, providing you with a single view of your customer. You can thereby understand your customers’ interaction with your brand at every touchpoint in a holistic way.
Enhance Your Customer Experience
When you understand your customer’s pain points, it’s easier to solve them. An identity resolution platform helps in identifying these pain points and resolving them. Therefore, enhancing your customer experience with your brand.
AudiencePrime Identity Resolution
AudiencePrime provides you with a DIY identity resolution platform to perform data onboarding as well as user matching/resolution.
The platform has an inbuilt user identity graph which comprises customer profiles taken from a wide range of data gathered from varied sources. Therefore, assuring you with a high percentage of match rate.
In fact, AudiencePrime identity resolution technology will only accept hashed data, thereby maintaining the privacy of your customer data.
Please register with us today to leverage your data for identity resolution and enhance customer engagement with your brand.
Resolving the identity of customers has become very relevant to the present context. More businesses are opting to identity resolution platforms to get a unified identity of customers. It is not only giving them accurate customer insights but also helping them in optimizing their marketing strategies.
Identity resolution has greatly helped the brands in improving customer engagement and increasing the ROI. In turn, promoting omnichannel retailing and maintaining customer retention.
Hence, identity resolution platforms are aiding businesses to achieve people-based marketing effectively.
Franklin – Source 1
Ecommerce Germany – Source 2