Identity resolution

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Identity resolution

What is identity resolution?

Identity resolution is essentially the process of matching identifiers across devices and touchpoints to a single profile. It aids in building a cohesive, omnichannel view of a consumer, thus making it possible for brands to deliver relevant messaging throughout the customer journey.

It combines several identifiers across all your data touchpoints to resolve identities and create a holistic and omnichannel view of your customers.

It is an anonymous profile of a consumer collected from across devices like apps, browsers, email and offline purchases. The process involves compiling all the data that you collected across data touchpoints into a single profile to offer marketers a fuller idea of the consumer.

It essentially deals with the mechanism of connecting several identifiers gathered from multiple devices channels in real-time to create a unified customer profile and carry out people-based marketing and personalized targeting.

It makes it possible for any team in your entire organization to access this profile and use it to serve each individual customer in a better manner.

Why is identity resolution important?

Identity resolution is important because businesses now have access to an enormous amount of data, but the data tends to be duplicative, disconnected and inaccurate. It can be quite hard to tie the data and the consumer engagement together, but identity resolution can help. Identity refers to knowing who a customer is, what they want and need, and at which stage they are at in the buyer journey. This is done by establishing a connection point between all interactions — online and off, past and present — across the web, mobile apps, stores, email, digital ads, social media, and more.

After all the information a brand has about an individual is tied to a single profile it is possible for marketers to recognize individuals bouncing between devices, channels and platforms. Identity resolution offers a persistent view of identifiers, stores historical information, continuously collects new data, and updates profiles, allowing marketers to craft relevant and consistent interactions with these customers.

Identity resolution is of critical importance because 76% of customers expect brands to understand them and their requirements and deliver on these requirements, but more than 51% of customers say that most companies do not end up delivering experiences as good as what is expected of them. 

You need to know about customers and their expectations in order to create experiences that truly delight them. That’s where identity resolution comes in and helps marketers understand their audience in a better way.

Identity resolution engines help you analyze and understand visitors across your touchpoints - both digital and physical. They provide you with detailed insights about those who were anonymous users and those who are closer to getting converted. 

It is vital for marketers to  gather data across all touchpoints and tie them all together in a thread to form a unified customer profile. Post that, they send them personalized and tailored marketing messages to win their loyalty. 

How does identity resolution work?

Identity Resolution Graph

For the purpose of identity resolution, you need to use an identity graph (essentially a profile database that houses all known identifiers correlated to individuals). 

Throught the course of a consumer’s journey, one or several personal identifiers can be associated with an individual: email addresses, physical addresses, mobile phone numbers, device IDs, account usernames, customer IDs, loyalty numbers and more. With identity resolution, these identifiers will be collected and then connected to a single customer profile.

Fragmentation occurs across devices and channels and brands need help to see:

  • All the identifiers tied with a customer so that the brand can engage in marketing activities consistently across a wide range of touchpoints — even channels or sites the brand doesn’t own.
  • A holistic view that includes attributes such as browsing activity, purchase history and demographics — essentially all datapoints that can help drive targeting decisions or more personalized and relevant campaigns.
  • A representation of identity that extends beyond an existing customer base — enabling prospecting campaigns and marketing growth.

Identity resolution providers can make use of identity graphs that work with different data, matching methodologies and technology and offer differing expansion capabilities, connectivity, accuracy, speed and control.

The process of identity resolution starts with uploading offline customer data, such as CRM, into an online environment for the purpose of matching with digital identifiers. After that, the customer data is correlated with known online and offline identifiers. These identifiers can enhance the brand’s view of it’s current customers, expand a brand’s identity footprint to a broader audience, and increase a people-based understanding across attributes. Next, the digital identity profiles get connected to ad platforms, media partners, analytics tools or a combination of endpoints according to the business’s needs.

What is an identity graph?

An identity graph is a database that stores all identifiers associated with a specific customer. It empowers businesses to identify and understand their customers in a better, more comprehensive manner.

Identity graphs offer a single unified view of customers and prospects on the basis of their interactions with a product or website across a set of devices and identifiers. It is used for  real-time personalization and advertising targeting for millions of users. To achieve this, it  linking several types of identifiers to form a consistent, unified view of the customer. The identity graph can even store profile data and connect new consumer identifiers to profiles with great ease.

Through the use of an identity graph, a business can get a 360° view of customers to understand the customer journey in chronological order or make recommendations to close a deal. The graph can even help you build customer data platform (CDP) solutions with a focus on privacy regulation compliance. These graphs are critical for several advertising technology and marketing technology companies, branding and marketing agencies, advertising agencies, holding companies, and web analytics providers.

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