What Is Identity Resolution and Why Should You Care?

Do you wonder why you need Identity resolution? Imagine about having a process that combines multiple identifiers all across the data touchpoints to resolve identities and create a holistic and omnichannel view of your customers?

With several users using several channels and devices, now you can reach them everywhere, and every time they make a buying decision. And of course, reaching your most lucrative set of customers won’t be a challenge anymore.

Enter ‘Identity resolution‘.

Here is a list of everything that this article focuses on.

  • What Is Identity Resolution?
  • Why Do You Need It?
  • Why Is It Important?
  • How Does It Work?
  • The process to Create and Utilize Identities
  • What Are Its Basic Approaches?
  • Benefits of Identity Resolution
  • Finally, What Is the Future Ahead

Want to understand better? Read along!

What Is Identity Resolution?

Identity is about identifying a customer, be it whoever and wherever. It refers to an anonymous profile of a consumer collected from across devices like apps, browsers, email and offline purchases. While the resolution is compiling all the gathered information into one profile to give the marketer a fuller idea of the consumer.

So, now let us join the dots. Identity resolution definition deals with the mechanism of connecting many identifiers gathered from multiple devices channels in real-time to create a unified customer profile and perform people-based marketing and personalized targeting.

Why Do You Need It?

Here is an example why you need identities. For instance, the proud owner of a business owns an online and a physical store. Naturally, he shall get a massive footfall in his store.

What if a customer explores one of the products from his online store and goes on to buy it from his physical store? This brings out the confusion in the customer identity.

The business owner now holds an ambiguous database of a single customer which makes it difficult for him to contact that customer further. He may take account of the same customer multiple times and create chaos.

Only if he had a definite profile of that customer and a single customer view, it could have been easy and targeted communication. That reveals its dire need to marketers.

Why Is Identity Resolution Important?

  • 76% of customers expect that brands would understand them and their requirements and deliver accordingly. But around 51% of customers claim that most companies fail to deliver great experiences as expected out of them. (source: segment)
  • That is to say that it is so important to know about customers and their expectations wholly to delight them in ways they look for. Here comes the need to give them an identity to target their audience better.
  • The software is important in understanding and analyzing visitors across websites. It gives deeper insights into who were the anonymous users and who are near to be converted.
  • Marketers are in an urgent need to gather data across all touchpoints and tie them all together in a thread to form a unified customer profile. After that, they send them customized and tailored targeting messages to win their loyalty ultimately. Hence the resolution of identity approximation is put to use.
  • With customer identity resolution solutions, marketers are able to stay connected to their customers without information gaps. This is important because missing even a single link in the process is a loss to business.

How Does Identity Resolution Work?

It is a vital need in a customer-centric market. An entity framework works with the help of identity resolution tools and technologies that are referred to as identity graphs.

. An identity graph is a database that keeps customer profiles with all known identifiers (mobile number, account username, physical address, email details, browser-based cookie data, etc.) that constitute a customer.

The ID graphs are responsible for aligning such data to build up profiles that match with individuals, including their behavioural data. With the help of ID graphs, if a customer shifts from his channel or device, you can still access him as you have other important attributes intact.

So, with this, losing on a customer doesn’t really happen, and that’s some great news. Isn’t it?

What Is the Process to Create Identities and Utilize It?

After knowing about what it takes to perform its mechanism, it leads us to count on the steps towards it. Broadly, it comprises of the following steps:

  • Firstly, you identify the various platforms, devices and channels that constitute a customer journey map.
  • Second, comes the phase to connect the dots between those platforms, devices and channels that move along the path of a customer purchase up to his life journey with the purchase.
  • They match the individuals to each device/ platform according to a defined set of identifiers or attributes.
  • Next comes the step to validate the customers with confidence. That is to say that the same user is present across all platforms and devices.
  • Lastly, you activate the data to harmonize the relevant and personalized campaigns across channels, devices and platforms based on your adtech/martech/madtech strategies.

So, specialists follow a comprehensive step by step process done by marketers to form customer profiles and carry out effective campaigns. 

What Are Its Basic Approaches?

Now that you know how it works, you need to understand its two approaches.

(i) Probabilistic approach

In this approach, the user profile undergoes matching by tallying the anonymized identifiers like IP address, OS, location, browser, and behavioural data etc.

For instance, suppose you have a list of multiple similar records in an omni retail environment. All of them are using different devices and can be linked to some identifiers.

What next? You further conclude that this could probably be the same person. The probabilistic approach is useful for lookalike modelling in segmenting and targeting purposes.

(ii) Deterministic approach

In this approach, the user profile is matched by tallying the personally identifiable information or PII, which includes the first-party data(email, mobile number, credit card number, login information or physical address).

For instance, a user logs in to your website on their desktop, and after that logs into the mobile app from their smartphone. You can conclude that this is definitely the same individual on the different devices.

Moreover, a deterministic approach as the name suggests seems like a sure shot approach to it in a multi-touch ecosystem.

What Are the Main Benefits of Identity Resolution?

It helps in knowing the entire customer journey and encourages a unified view or a single customer view. It brings a point of difference between a specific user and another individual. 

So, what are the main points of benefits reaped out of it? They are:

  • Firstly, it helps in understanding audiences. It links anonymous and unique IDs with the attributes found and in creating robust customer profiles to deliver relevant and personalized content.
  • The identity resolution marketing software allows cross-device targeting that is unavoidable to reach their potential users.
  • It accentuates the ROI by ensuring that the uniqueness of the data is maintained.
  • These platforms offer businesses with enriched data to serve the customers in an integrated manner across multichannels which helps in hiking customers.
  • It locates a specific customer with a simple input they make. The algorithm brings them with a comprehensive, absolute and an accurate view of his past records.
  • The process combines a user’s device ID, offline ID and cookie ID into a single anonymous identifier. This helps marketers to de-duplicate unique users and also monitor the complete consumer journey across all touchpoints.
  • In addition, it empowers better business decisions of business with the latest, consistent, and flawless customer data.
  • Finally, by formulating acute campaigns for a specific set of audience, it decreases the cost of customer acquisition.

The Future Ahead?

Its market size and performance is phenomenal. Looking at the trends and foresight tells you more about it. Have a look:

  • Over recent years, marketers have witnessed a lack of second-and-third-party data and interest-based data. This leads them to learn about consumers’ behaviours to target the right audience and ensure that they reach those audiences and get converted.
  • It is becoming an important step increasingly at every stage of a customer data lifecycle. Its tools are helping for continuous engagement in real-time.
  • Knowing well about a customer profile allows for proper segmentation and targeting. This helps in optimizing the budget for overall marketing effectiveness.
  • Moving ahead in future years, the identity resolution companies like Informatica and Liveramp will be focusing more on buyer intent rather than other targeting factors like demography, geography or preferences.

Concluding with the Key Takeaways

Marketers should be aware of how data brings in monetization and their marketing strategies drive engagement, prospective leads, conversions and so on. It provides marketers with unmatched insight into the creative experiences that shall resonate with different audiences.

Using machine learning and insights, marketers can tailor their strategies to audience targeting and spending optimization. It is time that marketers use insights to tailor their relevant tactics for each target audience, and thereby optimize their spend within and across channels to maximize business results.

Getting Started with Audienceprime

With Audienceprime, make your marketing omnichannel, audience-centric and highly result-oriented. The platform empowers marketers to know & reach consumers like never before. 

It helps you to reach your audiences and makes omnichannel marketing experience extraordinarily seamless. In addition, it provides you with a haven for data onboarding and activating data accordingly.

Audienceprime’s dynamic team of data experts here to talk to you and guide you through the next steps to success.

Want to know more? Connect with us today!

About Sonali Gupta

Sonali is a technical content writer who loves to blend her creativity with rational ideas of business and technology. She intends to keep it up with the digital trends and accommodate within herself the upcoming trades. She writes expert resource materials related to the Martech and adtech world. Previously worked as a banker, she has been a student of Economics and Human Resources. An ardent believer of Universe and optimism, she writes poetry and quotes to satiate her soul. Always keen about nature, travelling, music and photography.

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