In today’s omnichannel market, do you really know your customers?
Over the years, enterprises have placed great emphasis on developing measures that ensure that each customer is provided with a seamless and personalized brand experience. But personalization has become more challenging in the past years, as triggered by the immense digital shift caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Gartner predicted that 80% of marketers are going to abandon their personalization investment efforts by 2025 because of several key factors. These factors include the associated risks of customer data management, lack of ROI, and a combination of these factors.
Fast forward to 2021 and this prediction seems to becoming true, as most enterprises struggle with the great marketing shifts caused by the pandemic. All of a sudden, organizations have to deal with enormous threats to harvesting significant customer behavior online: fragmented consumer data, customer distrust on providing personal information, and stricter privacy policies and limitations imposed by marketing regulators.
Fragmented consumer data
The PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey on the United Arab Emirates showed that aside from physical stores, consumers also bought products through their PC, tablets, mobile phones or smartphones, and smart home voice assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo. In addition to these variety of devices, customers also have several touchpoints within their disposal such as search engines, social media platforms, online shopping platforms, browsers, and websites.
These variety of consumers choices, however, proved to pose a huge challenge for brand marketers. According to Forrester’s research, 71% of marketers had trouble providing accurate consumer identification because of several offline and online behaviors exhibited by their current and potential customers. Each interaction that a customer made in any channel or device means different individual identifiers and brand journeys. Of course, failure to provide relevant customer journeys can ultimately result to wasted marketing efforts.
Data breaches often lead to destructive results, and customer distrust is one of them. As shown in the Ping Identity Customer Survey results, 81% of customers would stop engaging with an online brand after a data breach and 55% would avoid a brand who would share personal data without any of their permission. On top of that, organizations are placed under the pressure of providing robust data protection. The results also show that 63% of customers rely on organizations to protect their data even if these users are victims of spear phishing scams or using unsecured Wi-Fi connections.
Customer data limitations
In response to these privacy concerns, marketing regulators and technology manufacturers created consumer privacy policies and data harvesting limitations. For one, technology giants like Google, Safari, and Firefox are focusing on the third-party cookie phase-out. Apple is also imposing its App Tracking Transparency Framework, which enables user authorization in tracking location and data across applications and websites.
On the other note, several marketing supervisory boards issue regulations such as GPDR in the European Union, CCPA in California, and global advertising guidelines like Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). These regulations and guidelines assure that consumers have the right to have their personal information be accepted, viewed, processed, and protected. The protocols also protect enterprise data; but for their marketing initiatives, it means researching for more secure and compliant data marketing campaigns.
How a powerful identity resolution platform can help
With growing demands to ensure data privacy and sustainable marketing efforts, organizations should definitely incorporate identity resolution platforms for their brands. Identity resolution software help integrate various consumer identifiers in multiple devices and channels that harvest scalable, privacy compliant, and accurate customer identification profiles.
But not all identity resolution platforms are alike—not all of them can ensure high-quality, efficient, and powerful resolution experience. For this reason, American research firm Dun & Bradstreet reported the characteristics for a powerful and highly-efficient identity resolution platform that organizations should look into.
- Utilizes a global reference database that follows the 3Cs: current, complete, and accurate. An efficient identity resolution software must provide verified identity channels locally or globally. It must also have powerful updating, tracking, and linking data capabilities to close the gap on any dynamic changes made in each individual’s customer journey.
- Proficient in multiple languages and writing systems. A powerful identity resolution platform is language specific, language agnostic, and semantic or ideogrammatic. It must be able to handle language inquiries using a robust language database that are sensitive to specific language attributes, to be able to provide a relevant customer experience.
- Automates rigorous processes in optimizing crucial data. An efficient identity resolution platform must streamline a rich data management capability. It must build comprehensive records of data from analyzing different sources of information.
- Provides quality and reliable confidence levels. A powerful identity resolution platform utilizes a quality and reliable matching process that increases confidence in making data-driven decisions. It must provide unique and dependable resolutions on different data elements, so that organizations can make contextualized business goals.
The best identity resolution software providers in 2021
Enterprises have a vast array of resolution providers to choose from. In addition to robust features, corporations would have to consider their business objectives, workforce management, and financial resources in picking the best resolution software for their organization and customers.
To help corporations in this crucial decision, the 2021 MarTech Intelligence Report identified some of the most trusted identity platforms and their prevailing features.
Acxiom offers global and scalable capabilities that integrates martech and adtech systems, together with first-party identity graphs, identity consulting, real-time services, and universal first-party tag.
Other resolution features include full control of owned and paid media impressions or visits, consumer information look-up and removal, overall campaign effectiveness, and SaaS or cloud-based hosting.
LiveRamp works on an interoperable and neutral infrastructure, a global deterministic identity graph, embedded identity through its non-discoverable database, and a digital ecosystem powered by authentications, privacy, and transparency.
Additional resolution features highlight audience building and modelling, campaign suppression, audience segmentation and targeting through paid and owned channels, and customer consent preferences.
Merkle focuses on first-party identity and data and offers tag-based technology for anonymous digital audiences, terrestrial consumer recognition for offline data, connection to media publishers, martech, and ad-tech systems, and private data and analytics environment.
Other resolution capabilities include confidence scores for matched identifiers, private first-party identity graph, cross-channel addressing, and integration with Adobe’s Experience Platform and Salesforce Customer 360 Customer Data Platform.
Experian focuses on unifying fragmented data points in offline and online channels, measuring multichannel campaign results, and resolving customer identities through different demographics, lifestyle, and other preferences.
Other resolution features include real-world connection to marketing campaign data through app downloads, store and website visits, and sales, and Experian Cloud or SaaS hosting.
- Full Contact
Full Contact operates on real-time identity resolution services which includes online and offline consumer identifier connections, consumer profile enrichment, and accurate omnichannel measurement.
Additional primary capabilities include media reach amplification, anonymous customer recognition, private identity cloud and sharing, omnichannel targeting, and SaaS via API or data return capabilities.
Change is part of the dynamics of marketing technologies. Enterprises may see their most tried-and-tested campaigns lose their efficiency in the blink of an eye, but also unexpectedly find new and smarter marketing initiatives to drive traffic to their brands. Whichever side of the spectrum that an organization finds themselves in, the key is always adapting a flexible mindset of learning and unlearning new marketing tactics.