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Know thy Customer – How Identity Resolution Plays Key Role in Modern-day Marketing


Without a doubt, the one mantra that all digital marketers today must follow is, “Know thy customer”.

But that’s easier said than done. For example, if you are a marketer, ask yourself this: how many times have your team members or you thought Mobile Customer Jean and Desktop Customer Jean were two different people?

That’s the challenge omnichannel shopping presents today. A customer, lead, or prospect no longer uses a single channel to browse or shop. In their online journey, he/she switches between channels like a website, social media account, or even devices.

That’s why identity resolution – tying someone’s online behavior to a unique identity – has become very important.

What is identity resolution?

In one sentence, it means establishing a customer’s identity across all the channels he uses and creating a unified view of his/her profile. Identity resolution means not leaving any ambiguity about a person’s identity. Going back to my example above, it means knowing fully well that Jean on the mobile who’s shopping on your e-commerce site now is the same Jean who was browsing your site on her desktop yesterday.

Why is identity resolution so important?

Omnichannel marketing may present countless opportunities for consumers, but at the same time, it poses a challenge for retailers, particularly because no two consumers are alike. Marketers, thus, need to be aware of the journey each customer takes to buy across all channels, be it offline or online.

How does identity resolution really work?

Data points, that’s the simple answer. The more you know about your customer and his/her habits, the better. You need to collect and merge all available data points of Customer X to build a comprehensive profile. This includes data collected by first, second, or even third parties, although now, the latter is legally frowned upon in many parts of the globe. Once these data points are reconciled, a composite that provides a 360-degree view of your customer is built, along with his/her journey.

At the center of identity resolution is the identity graph or ID graph. It is a marketer’s strategic tool. The ID graph involves the plotting of a customer journey against other data such as patterns or what are called “identifiers” for individual customers.

An ID graph has no standard modeling. On their journey, every customer gives his/her approval for various pieces of marketing information to collect, like email addresses, phone numbers, loyalty scores, and so on. He/she also leaves behind signals like the number of website visits or pages opened. This is the information that makes up one axis of the ID graph, to be matched with the identifiers on the other side.

Essentially, the ID graph is a database that is part of your customer data platform (CDP) that has all your customer profiles and their known identifiers.


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How does identity resolution help?

First and foremost, it sucks the guesswork out of a marketing strategy. It also allows a marketer to send out customer-centric messages to individual customers.

Another very important fallout of identity resolution is to accurately track leads, prospects, or customers along their journey, thus helping the marketing team present personalized offers or even individual-centric content at relevant points in that journey. Last but not least, marketers can extract much more meaningful insights from the CDP, which, in turn, helps them in better customer segmentation.

Advances in identity resolution:

These days, enterprises have started deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for better matches. And, in real-time.

Real-time identity resolution means relying on an “always-on” model, removing the latency found in the batch approach.

Real-time identity resolution means instantaneous access to a first-party identity graph, which, in turn, allows the real-time exchange of customer data across platforms or devices. So, it means this – instant identification of a customer and marketing in the moment.

In conclusion:

To be successful in marketing, there’s no doubt left that you need to adopt a customer-first approach. Management of every individual customer is the other vital component of successful marketing. For both, the start-off point is identity resolution.

An Engine That Drives Customer Intelligence

Oyster is not just a customer data platform (CDP). It is the world’s first customer insights platform (CIP). Why? At its core is your customer. Oyster is a “data unifying software.”

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