COVID-19 has changed the world. At the forefront of these changes is customer journeys and buying behaviours. A 2020 survey found that customers are now making online purchases for categories they would normally shop in-store. Driven by necessity, encouraged by convenience, these changes could very well be permanent. What this means for marketers is increased pressure to keep up with these changing, flexible customer journeys and provide empathetic experiences, irrespective of the customers’ choice of engagement channel. The omni-channel environment is well and truly here and it demands that marketers quickly and effectively answer three key questions –
– Which customers have permanently transitioned to online shopping?
– Which customers are returning to stores eventually?
– Which marketing touchpoints will be meaningful for each customer?
For marketers to answer these questions effectively, it is critical that they understand their customers inside out. More specifically, it means that businesses and brands must be able to navigate the new normal and have a hold on every individual customer, across the online and offline realms. Omni-channel consumer insights for an omni-channel world – it’s just common sense.
But how are businesses going to be able to achieve such holistic, O2O insights about every individual customer?
Identity resolution to the rescue
Identity resolution will be essential for brands and marketers to truly understand their customers in the new normal. What does this mean?
Up until now, customer data has often been in silos, spread across the organization on spreadsheets, databases, and cloud solutions. This data is often outdated, sometimes unclean. With unavailable PII, it becomes impossible to link behaviours and transactions to individual customers. With siloed data, it is impossible to identify individual customers at scale.
Identity resolution is the technique of stitching together these large volumes of customer data sets to create unified master profiles of individual customers to enable people-based insights, targeting and measurements. Essentially, identity resolution centralizes all consumer insight into a single source of truth, a trustworthy and truly effective master profile which includes every behaviour and transaction, from a click to a store visit, from a social media enquiry to a purchase return and everything in between.
Brands that have automated identity resolution at scale have the competitive edge because it creates efficiencies that enable the marketing org to focus on delivering value rather than wasting time and energy on data collection and synchronization. Most importantly, identity resolution enables businesses to truly understand their customers across their online and offline touchpoints. When brands have such deep insights at hand, they are able to offer meaningful interactions across touchpoints and creatives, irrespective of whether these touchpoints are online or offline. They are then able to reduce ad waste, create memorable experiences, and measure the journey of customers much better.
The new omni-channel world, once in the state of imminence, has arrived sooner than we realized. And it has arrived irrespective of whether brands were prepared or not. There are two ways marketers can go from here. They can either struggle with new age insights and customer journeys, and the flux and churn of change. Or they can use this as an opportunity to quickly pivot to customer-centric like implementing a solid identity resolution strategy.
Which category do you want to see yourself in?
Make the most of this unprecedented change. Change how you look at your customers. Change the very lens which continues to separate the online from the offline and creates inefficient silos. Prepare for the new normal with identity resolution. Get in touch with us for a demo. We’re ready for the new world. And you?