Why Identity Resolution is key to Enriching Customer Experience

January 28, 20197min

There is no such thing as a typical consumer journey anymore; thanks to digital transformation, consumers have endless choice and the power to interact with brands whenever, wherever, and however they want.

But where does this shift leave marketers?

The explosion of connected devices and platforms has given marketers a lot more ways to reach consumers, but it’s also made measurement much more difficult. Consumers now expect tailored and streamlined interactions, but reaching the same consumer across multiple devices and environments is challenging. 

What marketers need is a way to understand consumers and how media and marketing influences their behaviour, so they can create experiences that fulfil their growing demands for relevancy and convenience. In other words, they need identity resolution.

Tackling unpredictable purchase paths

Today’s consumers crave simplicity when it comes to collecting product information and weighing purchase options. For them, specific channels and tactics matter far less than their overall experience.

This makes it vital for marketers to acquire an in-depth view of consumers and their journeys across multiple channels, devices, and touchpoints. And that is precisely what identity resolution can help provide. By reconciling all available data points into a single anonymous identifier, it gives marketers the means to deduplicate individuals across the broadest range of channels, publishers, and devices, to gain a valuable understanding of their end-to-end journeys. Plus, when existing customers opt in to data sharing, it can also be harnessed to collate specific insight about loyal shoppers.

Delivering more effective communications

Among the use cases for identity resolution is improved targeting, frequency, and reach. Linking data from multiple sources into an anonymous ID means marketers can accurately analyse how consumers move through the funnel and reach them on their preferred channels and devices.

Messages and ads can be targeted more precisely based on specific audience segments (e.g. prospective customers versus current customers) and behaviours (e.g. in-store buyer, responds to retargeting, etc.). Perhaps most importantly, ads can be delivered at the right frequency, reducing the waste caused by over-exposure, while positively impacting conversions and other desired outcomes.

Yet better targeting, frequency, and reach aren’t its only application: identity resolution can also assist in revealing consumer needs and preferences. When anonymous IDs are linked with associated demographic attributes, it creates a more complete, 360-degree customer view that marketers can use to further personalise communications. This not only means messages have greater individual resonance, but they are also more likely to fuel positive responses. After all, tailored experiences are both a sizeable differentiation, making 80 percent of consumers more likely to do business, and a proven driver of measurable uplift.

Improving performance

Identify resolution doesn’t just aid in personalisation; it’s also the foundation for better measurement.

Marketers recognise that different email offers, display placement, search keywords and other tactics offer different kinds of value to consumers at different stages in their journey. They also know they need to understand the effectiveness of those tactics and make adjustments quickly to have an impact.

When identity resolution is the foundation of daily multi-touch attribution (MTA), marketers can analyse the consumer journey in near real-time, measure the influence of each touchpoint along the path to conversion, and uncover the creative messages and offers that drive the best results for each audience. And since MTA is based on observed, user-level data, it provides the most accurate picture of performance and where to prioritise future investments. Marketers can then use this insight to tailor their tactics for each target audience and optimise spend to bolster sales, revenue and other desired results.

Staying compliant

Identity resolution requires access to types of data that marketers may not have relied on previously. Privacy regulations are imposing stricter requirements on data, and collecting and maintaining first-party data can pose technical challenges. When collecting insights for identity resolution, marketers must take all of the newest legal regulations into account and ensure data is harnessed in ways that are ethical, compliant, and privacy safe.

This includes allowing consumers to easily opt-out of data collection, being transparent about how they intend to use consumer data, and providing a readily understandable privacy policy that details information about data collection and information sharing policies.

As consumer journeys become increasingly intricate and their demand for relevancy and convenience grows, marketers will need to adopt a consumer-centric approach if they want to succeed. Customer Experience is the next frontier for brands looking to establish a competitive edge. Identity resolution, paired with MTA, provides the unmatched insights marketers need to get ahead, and stay ahead.

Ben Samuel

Ben Samuel

Ben Samuel is VP EMEA at Nielsen Visual IQ.

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