What Is Identity Resolution And What Makes It A Critical Tool For Today’s Brands And Marketers

What Is Identity Resolution
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A 101 guide to a new world of consumer insights

Web browsing. Social media. Messaging. Smartphones. Multiple devices. Online streaming. Physical world check-ins, dating, gaming. Photos and videos. The internet of things. A few apps for every possible human need – e-commerce, work conversations, personal conversations, utility and services, digital payments, banking and fintech, healthcare, fitness and lifestyle, food delivery – you name it. Almost 5 billion internet users around the world. We produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of structured and unstructured data every single day. And this was all before 2020. 2020 hit the world with COVID and inadvertently became one of the biggest pushes for data explosion and digital inclusion in the history of the internet, bringing the most traditional users online because there was no choice anymore. 

What does this data explosion and digital inclusion mean for brands?

Everything! Hyper-personalization and omni-channel experiences, marketing, and measurement have been well on their way for some time now. But now, with consumers demanding seamless user experience and simultaneously, becoming more privacy-aware thanks to big ticket data breaches, marketers have a fresh opportunity to step back for a bit and re-engineer their approach to personalization. This is where identity resolution comes in.

What is identity resolution, exactly?

Essentially, it’s the science of securely identifying a customer at an individual level across multiple data sources, channels and devices. It requires a deterministic or probabilistic  identifier that can be used to unify a person’s data, attributes, and events across multiple data sources. Without identity resolution, customer data sources sit in disparate silos, more often than not rendering the data useless and ineffective within the new ecosystem. Executing a comprehensive customer data strategy means building out an identity resolution component that can merge the silos into a single truth data set.

The core use cases of identity resolution include –

  • Personalization & Targeting – Target the right customers across channels/devices, optimize ad spend by frequency capping and personalize content/ads for improved customer experience.
  • Omni-channel Measurements – Measure interactions across multiple channels and accurately measure marketing ROI and effectiveness.
  • Holistic Customer Insights – Understand customer behaviours across the buying journey and leverage deep insights to make better data driven decisions.

Above and beyond these, identity resolution also helps identify household and their needs and personas in addition to individuals. Building lookalike audience segments then brings unprecedented scale to marketing investments among other data use cases within enterprises. 

The strategic role of identity resolution is to give marketers and brands access to anonymized master profiles of each consumer, allowing them to meet the consumer where they are, in moments that matter. Brands are then able to deliver truly empathetic, memorable customer experiences that translate not only to purchase but to long-term loyalty.

How does identity resolution work

At the core of identity resolution solutions are identity graphs, which are dynamic, ever-evolving databases of customer identities and touchpoints. This database serves as a single source of truth to connect customer data across multiple data sources, that can then be used for multiple use cases such as targeting, measurements, and insights. 

A sound identity graph database provides accuracy, reach and privacy so customer data can be made effective and is protected at the same time. It typically utilizes deterministic online and offline data sets to unify customer profiles and automatically fill in the gaps whenever a new connection is made. With a cookie-less future in sight, every marketer needs to think about utilizing an identity-first approach around their customer data strategy. Without identity, it is impossible to connect the dots across the customer journey, measure engagement, and deliver personalization for empathetic, memorable customer experiences.

Are we ready to deliver empathetic, truly personalized experiences?

Over at Lifesight, our identity graph has been at the heart of our technology right from day 1. By bringing customer intelligence into the marketing and measurement equation, we have already enabled marketers around the world to simultaneously deliver in the interest of consumers and business ROI.  

With the pandemic and the rapid evolution of business, consumers, and marketing in 2020, we are taking it up a notch. Watch this space for more.

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