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What Is Identity Resolution and Why Is It Essential for Modern Brands and Marketers?

September 19, 2023
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In today's digital landscape, our online activities span a multitude of platforms and devices, from web browsing and social media to messaging and smartphones. We're immersed in a world of diverse apps catering to our every need, from e-commerce and work conversations to personal interactions and digital payments. The Internet of Things further adds to this data explosion. With nearly 5 billion internet users worldwide generating an astonishing 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily, the landscape was already rapidly evolving before 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transformation, forcing even the most traditional users to embrace the online world out of necessity.

So, what does this data surge and digital transition mean for brands? Quite simply, everything! The concepts of hyper-personalization and omni-channel experiences in marketing have been gaining momentum for some time. Yet, today's consumers, increasingly conscious of privacy due to high-profile data breaches, demand seamless user experiences. This presents an opportunity for marketers to reassess their approach to personalization, and this is where identity resolution comes into play.

But what exactly is identity resolution?

Identity resolution is, essentially, the art and science of securely identifying an individual customer across various data sources, channels, and devices. It relies on a deterministic or probabilistic identifier to consolidate a person's data, attributes, and interactions from disparate sources. Without identity resolution, customer data remains trapped in isolated silos, rendering it ineffective in the new digital landscape. Implementing a comprehensive customer data strategy entails developing an identity resolution component that can merge these silos into a cohesive, accurate dataset.

Key applications of identity resolution include:

  1. Personalization & Targeting: Precisely target the right customers across various channels and devices, optimize advertising budgets through frequency capping, and tailor content and ads for a superior customer experience.
  2. Omni-channel Measurements: Accurately measure interactions across multiple channels and gauge the return on investment and effectiveness of marketing efforts.
  3. Holistic Customer Insights: Gain a deep understanding of customer behaviors throughout the buying journey, leveraging these insights for data-driven decision-making.

Beyond these core functions, identity resolution also facilitates identifying households, their needs, and personas, in addition to individual consumers. Building lookalike audience segments opens the door to scaling marketing investments and unlocks numerous other data-driven use cases for enterprises.

The strategic importance of identity resolution lies in providing marketers and brands with anonymized master profiles of each consumer, enabling them to engage customers in meaningful moments. This, in turn, allows brands to deliver truly empathetic and memorable customer experiences that not only drive purchases but also foster long-term loyalty.

So, how does identity resolution work in practice?

At the heart of identity resolution solutions are dynamic identity graphs—a continually evolving database of customer identities and touchpoints. This database acts as a single source of truth, connecting customer data from various sources for targeting, measurement, and insights.

A robust identity graph database ensures accuracy, reach, and privacy while effectively utilizing deterministic online and offline datasets to unify customer profiles and fill in gaps when new connections are established. With a future devoid of cookies on the horizon, marketers must adopt an identity-first approach to their customer data strategy. Without identity resolution, it becomes impossible to connect the dots across the customer journey, measure engagement, and deliver personalized, empathetic customer experiences.

Are you prepared to deliver personalized experiences?

At Retention.com, our identity graph has been integral to our technology from the outset. By incorporating customer intelligence into the marketing and measurement equation, we're empowering DTC marketers across the U.S. to personalize the experience and retain customers to achieve robust returns.


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