Guest blog: Why identity resolution matters to every marketer – Richard Foster, LiveRamp

Marketing in all its forms must work wherever consumers are – and that is everywhere. Identity resolution is at the epicentre of a successful marketing strategy in today’s digital industry, and arguably the most important aspect of people-based marketing.

Research suggests that long-term customers spend 67%more than new ones. These are the people that marketers want to keep sweet, while driving the interest of new customers. Brands are looking for smarter ways to target people based on their preferences, but it is far from easy.

The current challenge for brands that interact with a customer across numerous platforms, offline and online, is the build-up of multiple identifiers for each single real-life human being. According to Gartner[2], more than 90% of marketers struggle to seamlessly connect more than three channels on the buyer journey. How can brands avoid disengaging customers, and demonstrate how much they value them when they continuously bombard them with the same message?

Identity resolution gives brands the ability to reliably target people interested in a specific event, such as advertising trips to Tokyo to those following the 2020 Olympics (where the event is taking place).

The difficulty is, marketers must either target audiences in the same walled gardens where their preferences are shared or use cookie data without much context beyond their customers’ browsing history. Option one limits the available channels. And option two relies on impersistent data.


A brief history of targeted marketing and how identity resolution fits into it

Identity resolution is the process of connecting the hundreds of identifiers used by different channels, platforms, and devices, so marketers and the companies that support them can tie them all back to the same person. This enables a secure method for marketers to accomplish people-based targeting, measurement, and personalisation.

There is no avoiding the fact that sometimes things can get messy. With so much data available, it’s easy to make the wrong connections between data points, or miss them entirely. This means marketers and the companies supporting them could be overlooking valuable audience segments, duplicating effort, and creating a confused, incoherent customer experience.

The whole vision of digital, data-driven, tech-powered marketing was originally about reaching the right people, at the right time, in the right place. Over time, the aim has stayed the same, but marketers still haven’t all adopted this method of marketing.

Consumers are everywhere, and this needs to be looked at as an opportunity for brands, rather than a difficulty. However, no-one has a complete picture, which poses a challenge for marketers when it comes to resolving consumers identities. When you consider that each person has multiple data identities, be it email, mobile, and address, the digital ad platform can very quickly become an overcrowded place to navigate.

Going forward, marketers must ensure that they are aware of this fact: the more you learn about how consumers behave in different contexts, the smarter you get at improving your offers and personalising your campaigns. This is a win-win for both consumers receiving ads they are open to, and marketers who can get smart with the way they work.


The importance of taking a people-based approach to analyse data and understand customers

 Picture this: in the space of a week, you receive an email, a text, a letter, and an internet advert, all for the same product. What marketers need to be able to do to effectively market to their target is to understand that they are one person. This needs to be done by combining and condensing the multiple data avenues together.

For any business, personalisation should be considered a key factor for growth –  65% of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer in-store or online that sends them relevant and personalised promotions. It has been proven that a people-based approach works. Of the 92% of marketers that engage in people-based advertising, 83% of them see better results[3].

Some 40% of consumers said they have left a business’ website because they were overwhelmed by too many options when trying to make a decision[4]. Marketers should be doing what they can to help customers by tailoring their marketing on every opportunity.

Using a people-based approach to marketing ensures more effective targeting, omnichannel measurement, and personalisation everywhere. And what are marketers doing if not striving to show more people more of the things that are right for them?


Move towards a people-based approach

If marketers haven’t already, they should approach the opportunity to use people-based marketing as a chance to advance. It is vehemently undeniable that personalisation should be considered a key factor for growth, but some marketers are yet to adopt this mindset. For their business to flourish, marketers need to ensure they are not bewildered by the sheer amount of data available to them – it should excite them. Identity resolution does the hardest job for them.


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