Using Identity Resolution for Business Success

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“The ability to accurately identify customers is the most basic prerequisite for marketing analytics, orchestration, and execution. Identity resolution is becoming more critical for firms planning to link systems of insight and engagement to foster seamless and relevant cross-channel customer experiences,” – Forrester.com

Technology and innovation have powered the progress of human beings since the advent of Homo sapiens on earth. The discovery of the many uses of fire, the wheel, the creation of tools and implements, construction techniques, and other inventions have marked the journey of human civilization. Similarly, modern technology has changed the interactions between commercial organizations and their consumers. Modern brands and businesses have access to a wide range of technologies to connect to consumers. However, the multiplicity of touch points has created multiple identities, thereby underlining the importance of using identity resolution in marketing practices. We will examine some techniques below.

Marketers can deploy various techniques of identity resolution to target specific sets of customers. Electronic footprints and mobile technologies can combine to create specific customer profiles. For instance, a commercial telecom service provider can ‘push’ custom in-app advertisements for certain sections of customers based on their mobile browsing habits. In line with this, customers that seek information on new motor vehicles can be shown in-app advertisements that portray these products. In a similar vein, mobile phone users that peruse marketing materials related to drapes and household accessories may find similar in-app promotional messages on their mobile platforms. These instances illustrate the benefits of identity resolution for mobile marketers.

In-store beacon devices can be engineered to deliver relevant product and service advertisements. We note that this instance of identity resolution hinges on the use of electronic information and digital footprints. For instance, a large-format shopping establishment can elect to position beacon devices that project specific advertising messages to distinct sets of customers. Regular customers may receive messages that specify deals of the day, while first-time visitors can receive a wider variety of advertisements on their connected devices. We note that these techniques have the ability to boost in-store sale, thereby driving profit margins for the business operator.

Detailed and immediate sets of customer information enable brands and businesses to re-engage customers. This tactic is an important outcome of identity resolution because disparate pieces of information can be collated to form a detailed customer profile. For instance, the internal systems of an e-commerce business operator may raise a flag when a certain customer failed to browse its mobile apps or visit its flagship website during a set time span. This type of customer behaviour may indicate disengagement; the business operator may choose to create special marketing communications for such customers in a bid to re-engage. We note that such actions are essentially information-driven and an outcome of using successful identity resolution mechanisms.

Modern customers frequently interact with brands through multiple connected electronic devices. These include smartphones, tablets, personal computers, interactive televisions, etc. The interactions generate multiple trails of digital footprints that can be organized through identity resolution mechanisms. However, consumers may change or upgrade their devices while retaining their intrinsic personal identities. In response, brands and businesses must work to monitor and document such changes in a bid to build deeper, up-to-date customer profiles. These updates can be implemented through customer relationship management systems and the adoption of new technologies.

Marketing collaborations can empower brands and businesses to achieve identity resolution for mutual benefit. For instance, travel operators and hospitality services providers can team with sporting event organizers to identify frequent customers. Major sporting events attract thousands of fans that travel to various destinations in a bid to witness live sporting spectacles. These events represent tens of millions of dollars in terms of business opportunity. The aforesaid business operators can team to serve package deals that enable spectators to travel, stay, and watch sporting events in stadiums. We note that these business tactics hinge on a certain measure of identity resolution. Further, these pools of customers can be targeted with custom marketing campaigns that offer special prices and select accommodation for future sporting events.

People-based search is a manifestation of modern identity resolution techniques. We note that this approach to marketing embodies the belief that customers are more likely to invest in products and services that offer a distinct value proposition at a personal level. For instance, an insurance services provider can elect to differentiate its pool of customers based on their current insurance policies. In line with this, the provider may fashion marketing communications for car owners that already subscribe to a home insurance policy. We note that this approach can be viewed as a variation of upselling strategies. In addition, it is likely that home insurance policy holders will own personal vehicles that need policy coverage. Further, the targeted communications enable the business to efficiently allocate its media budgets, thereby gaining greater return on marketing investments.

Identity resolution processes can help brands and businesses to expand their market footprint and enhance sales. These techniques can be extended to expand the customer base at the expense of market competitors. For instance, a home improvement and hardware business operator can use identity resolution techniques to delineate its loyal customers from the patrons of competing businesses. This approach hinges on the fact that open markets offer goods and services that provide the best value for a customer’s dollars. The said business operator can choose to offer competitive discounts to win business at the expense of its competitors. In addition, a raft of free services can serve to encourage customers to pull their dollars from rival businesses. This technique enables the said operator to grow the ranks of its loyal customers and impart velocity to the achievement of business objectives.

Tapping customer preferences and utilizing third-party data can be useful techniques to arrive at customer identity resolution. For instance, a sporting goods manufacturer can use commercially available information in conjunction with data that indicates modern customer preferences to extend its product lines. We note that this technique essentially enables the enterprise to expand the scope of customer choice in an intelligent manner. The new product lines will likely resonate with customers (or a section thereof) thus enabling the business operator to pull ahead of market competition. In addition, this tactic enables the business to respond to the voice of the customer, thereby winning the goodwill of significant swathes of the market.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the techniques that enable businesses to arrive at the goal of identity resolution with a view to accelerate sales and marketing campaigns. Brands and businesses must embrace modern, information-driven commercial practices in a bid to survive in competitive markets. Identity resolution assumes significant importance in light of the fact that modern customers face a surfeit of brand choices and are willing to pay top dollar for the best market offerings. Therefore, business operators must work to identify and profile their customers in order to ring-fence customer dollars and ensure their own commercial survival. Data-rich customer profiles also enable brands to anticipate future customer trends and demands. This information can be deployed to create new products and services that will enjoy consumer demand, thereby buoying sales and reinforcing brand reputations. In addition, identity resolution enables brands to ‘bucket’ groups of customers based on their shared values and perceptions. This enables modern enterprises to target customers more efficiently with marketing spiels that resonate with customers.

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