The demand for privacy and the imminent demise of 3rd party cookies has started a rapid evolution of the adtech ecosystem and brought focus back to people-based marketing. On one hand, a privacy-first mindset is becoming the new normal for marketing. On the other, consumers of the experience economy are spoilt for choice as they rediscover their local brands and newly minted small businesses during the lockdown and hence, promise to be far more evolved in their brand choices and buying journeys in the post-COVID world. In such times, delivering empathetic, delightful experiences across touchpoints – while also delivering the highest levels of data privacy – is going to be the only way to sustain business in the new world order.
Are marketers and brands equipped?
It is too soon to tell. But what we can say for sure is that marketers and brands across the world are starting to notice the big opportunity of taking their data strategy to the next level. They are gearing up to gain an edge and win customers by putting the power back in the hands of the consumer. In the post-COVID and post-cookie era, brands have realized that the time for consumers to come to them is far gone. It’s the brands that will have to meet consumers where they are, in ways that they need to be met. Consumers are back to being the most important stakeholder.
The need to deliver not only what consumers need but also what they want – even erstwhile unusual combinations like value, hyper-personalization, empathy, and data privacy – is once again becoming the most critical business driver in the new world order.
For brands to deliver on these evolving needs, they will have to go back to the drawing board with people-based marketing and identity resolution as their tools of empowerment.
Have marketers future-proofed themselves with a customer data strategy?
Although the initial premise of programmatic and digital marketing in general was mostly based on third party data, we have seen marketers start to leverage the value of their first party data. First party data is incredibly valuable to deliver retention campaigns and understand brands’ existing customers. The challenge? First party data in silos hasn’t quite been able to provide brands true hyper-personalization or even new customer targeting and acquisition. Here is where identity resolution comes in, by helping to unify customer data sitting in separate silos as well as being able to tie in 2nd and 3rd party data sources for enrichment. Understanding holistic customer profiles enables brands to also extend their audience to similar lookalike audiences to reach new potential customers. Identity resolution is the tool that will separate a brand’s message from their competitors across the customer journey.
Identity resolution in the marketing context
New methodologies, techniques, and technologies are revealed every day that strengthen the potential, scale, and possibilities of personalization and privacy within the marketing ecosystem. Converging these different moving parts and fragmented data sources onto a single platform to get a unified view of each consumer is what the future of people-based marketing should look like. Gathering audience insights at scale from online and offline realms will be key.
The new advertising ecosystem powered by identity will open up new opportunities for marketers to onboard, analyze, and implement customer data with high accuracy at scale. It will take into account unique, individuated consumer personas instead of broad-brush segments, geo-demographic nuances, interests and intents, brand affinities, and overall O2O behaviours in order to deliver not only sharp, personalized communication but empathetic experiences across the customer lifecycle.
The work for marketers and their ad tech and data partners is cut out for them
The future calls for marketers to securely onboard first party customer data to a holistic customer intelligence platform that enables identification of each consumer across multiple identifiers in order to scale reach across online and offline realms. Enriching customer data with these new identifiers and attributes will help build far more holistic customer intelligence. Actioning this evolved customer intelligence will require advertising, marketing, and business intelligence connectors.
Eventually, we foresee data sources converging on to a single platform that will allow brands and publishers to get deeper and far more actionable insights on their consumers and segments. Not only will this enable truly empathetic and delightful customer experiences but also higher business value on every marketing dollar.