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Data, Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

5 Trends to Inform your 2020 Identity Resolution Strategy

The old adage, uncertainty is the only certainty, rings true in the new decade, but there’s one other thing we can add to this sentiment with absolute assurance. The future of digital marketing will be identity-driven. A consumer’s appetite for highly-personalized brand experiences is motivated by something far more potent than trends in consumer behavior; it’s their basic human need to be understood, and that need isn’t going away any time soon. Individuals sense that they belong when they feel recognized and understood by a group (aka, your brand). Think about the last time you felt misunderstood. In turn, you probably thought differently about whomever it was that pegged you wrong, and that intuition is difficult to change. Alas, consumers don’t plan to make personalization easy on brands this year. Here’s what’s in store for identity resolution in 2020 and beyond.

Trend #1: Data accuracy is about to become more challenging than ever.

A database full of data doesn’t mean a brand is capable of targeting individual consumers across numerous channels. Accuracy is everything. Unfortunately, accuracy continues to be one of the most prominent pain points for most brands, and it’s about to get worse. On average, consumers use 3 to 4 internet-connected devices throughout the buyer’s journey.  By 2021, that number is expected to escalate to 13 connected devices. In other words, the data flood gates are about to open. Without a strong strategy for cleaning, appending, and keeping data up-to-date, this sudden influx will result in considerably more inaccuracies. Even if brands succeed at synchronizing all of this new data, matching the right data with the wrong customer profile instantly makes the data inaccurate. This is why identity resolution is crucial and necessary for brand survival in the new decade.

Trend #2. Connected TVs will become a priority focal point for brands.

The proliferation of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and Apple TV+ coupled with the widespread adoption of internet-connected TVs opens up a robust new data source for marketers. Over the next few years, marketing strategies will leverage connected TVs in a variety of ways, but the most powerful tactic will be using IP tracking to identify the highest quality leads within a household and bidding strategically to ensure messaging is placed in front of them while they are a captive audience. Using cross-device mapping, brands can then measure the success of their carefully-placed messaging by observing a consumer’s online activity after they viewed an ad—for example, visiting the brand’s website on a device connected to the same WiFi network as the TV.  But beware, deciphering between individual household members is no easy task. IP addresses continuously change, requiring advanced algorithms and data science to identify trends and draw accurate conclusions. Those who succeed at leveraging connected TVs will be few and far between, which represents a major competitive advantage.

Trend #3: Data privacy will put consumer expectations at odds with marketing objectives.

Despite predicting that the CCPA will have a lesser impact than the hype suggests, brands must be prepared for how the emergence of privacy protection laws will change the targeting game. Already, New York, North Dakota, Utah, and Washington are working on legislation similar to California’s. Industry goliaths like Google, Facebook, and Apple are actively implementing measures to prevent certain forms of intelligent tracking. Make no mistake, data sources will be affected by these activities, requiring brands to adapt quickly if they want to sustain a frictionless, personalized, omnichannel brand experience. Agility will depend on widening the scope of identifiers integrated across touchpoints and devices, particularly those that deliver behavior, transaction, and contextual information.

Trend #4: The demand for identity resolution services will skyrocket.

According to a recent Forrester report, less than 25% of marketers feel confident about their ability to manage customer IDs with enough depth, accuracy, persistence, and scale. Nevertheless, they also see identity resolution solutions as “a significant or major assist in achieving their objectives.” Rather than focus time, energy, and budgets on in-house ID resolution solutions that present their own subset of challenges, more brands will look to specialized technology providers with the latest innovations and best practices already built into their services. Here’s why:

  1. Identities are moving targets that constantly change. Marketers admit that they lack the technology, skills, and institutional knowledge required to properly manage data as it evolves over time, which jeopardizes data accuracy and value.
  2. Brands are unable to keep up with the rapid release of MarTech innovations, both in terms of cost and onboarding.
  3. Many marketers still rely on a limited scope of identifiers, which will prevent them from adapting quickly to compensate for changes in privacy and data laws.
  4. As the volume of identifiers, devices, and touchpoints continues to increase rapidly, brands that rely on siloed tracking methods and disjointed consumer identities will miss promising new opportunities to deepen their understanding of individual consumers.

Trend #5: The demand for greater data transparency will drive new standards in ID resolution.

Without a doubt, security breaches and consumer distrust will follow us into the new decade. If marketers are to regain consumer confidence, they need to know that the data they receive is accurate and responsibly sourced. In other words, a mere data match percentage isn’t going to cut it. Moving forward, identity resolution firms will be held accountable for having a transparent data supply chain and stringent criteria for measuring data quality. They will need to implement a rigorous, multi-step data process to ensure that all data is properly cleansed and prepared. Furthermore, brands deserve a transparent, comprehensive report that discloses how the data was collected, built, and validated. Identity resolution provider should showcase the following:

  • The recency and frequency of the data
  • Email and attribute append rates
  • Address standardization
  • Number of devices per record (after removal of record/device duplicates)
  • Net usable records and unusable records
  • Distinction between
    • proprietary data vs. white labeled data
    • individual match rates vs. household match rates
    • probabilistic match rates vs. deterministic match rates

Simply put, there is no competing with a brand that can track a single consumer’s omnichannel journey and customize their buyer experience with relevant, valuable information and offers—period. Responsibly onboarding all the data required to achieve this level of personalization consistently amid changes in data sources, data capturing tactics, privacy regulations, and MarTech will require an identity resolution strategy far more advanced than the solutions of yesteryear.

Data, Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

Why Identity Should Be at The Forefront of Your 2020 Marketing ‘Resolutions’

It is no secret that identity has become a fundamental component of the digital ecosystem. The increasing volume of consumer data and sheer number of devices and channels in-market, coupled with privacy-first policies like GDPR and CCPA, has created increased demand for identity resolution.  Though identity resolution brings much promise, with it also comes many challenges.

As the number of touchpoints grow and become more complex, so will the challenges for marketers as they attempt to collect, analyze and build a unified customer profile. A study on the state of identity resolution strategies in marketing conducted by Forrester Consulting reveals that less than half of marketers are fully capable of identity resolution management.

If marketers plan to be grow and continue their success into the upcoming year, identity resolution needs to be at the forefront of their strategies. Below, we highlight some of the most important benefits of identity resolution for marketers:

Effective Personalization: If you don’t know with confidence who the customer is, you can’t personalize your messages or experiences to them. That, in turn, lowers the quality (and probably the duration) of your relationship with that individual. With trusted identity resolution, marketers can obtain an in-depth understanding of their customers, ensuring that the right message gets delivered to the right customer, on their preferred channel and device.

Better Customer Insights: Identity resolution helps marketers better understand who’s on the other end of a browser, mobile app, CTV, or IP address.  Accurate identity resolution allows companies to create a true single view of their customers that can be consistently communicated and deployed across brands, business units, and product lines. You should be able to continuously enrich, update, and share identity data across your entire organization in order to facilitate greater control and personalization.

Privacy Compliant Identity: Well-executed identity resolution embraces industry best practices and principles that ensure data is harnessed in ways that are ethical, compliant, and privacy safe. In the wake of GDPR, CCPA and others to soon follow, identity resolution ensures secure data transfer and encrypted storage, data processing controls and access restrictions as well as regulatory compliance.

Data and Consumer Accuracy: To properly execute 1:1 marketing, the data and methodology you use to identify customers on a truly individual basis must be accurate. If it isn’t, you’ll risk sending the wrong messages to customers at the wrong time. Identity resolution provides a constant stream of data to dynamically validate customers as they interact in offline and online channels. Accuracy data is vital to the success of personalization efforts.

Ultimately, identity resolution is a must have, not a nice-to-have for 2020 and beyond.  To remain competitive in the age of the empowered, connected consumer, marketers must be able to connect customer data into a cohesive whole. Those who leverage identity resolution will be able to provide a seamless customer experience that is consistent and personalized across channels, creating increased engagement and relevant interactions that improve loyalty, thus ensuring long-term success.


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Data, Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

Identity Resolution and Why It Matters: Q&A with Throtle CEO, Paul Chachko

Understanding who and where your customers are across all screens and channels is no easy task. Identity resolution creates a valuable asset for brands. However, the explosion of devices and touch points, combined with siloed or inaccessible data, has left most brands with only a fragmented view of their customers.

We sat down with Paul Chachko, founder and CEO of Throtle, to get his take on the importance of identity resolution and the advice he has for brands.


How do you define identity resolution?
At Throtle, we define identity resolution as the continuous mapping of disparate consumer data accurately associated with a single individual.

As the industry is starting to realize, an accurate identity resolution strategy is critical to the success of every marketing campaign executed today. It not only fuels customer experiences, but it allows brands the ability to create and build richer customer profiles overall. With the ability to view the entire picture surrounding one individual customer, their buying behaviors, demographic and geographic data, a brand can create more tailored marketing messages and campaigns that drive loyalty, engagement, and success.

In your words explain why brands need identity resolution?
Today, consumers own an estimated 3-4 different devices, and use these devices in different ways to research, browse, view and purchase products.

Without identity resolution, brands can’t associate and understand a customer from one device to another leaving them with a very fragmented view of the consumer. Identity resolution is the process by which a firm collects all of these various identifiers across all devices and touchpoints and unifies them into one holistic view of the individual behind them and makes them available for targeting.

As an identity resolution provider, how do you keep up with the industry and the ever-changing consumer?
Throtle continues to heavily invest in not only our underlying data technology, but also in sourcing the most accurate and rich data currently available in market. We are constantly looking to expand our network of like-minded data and media partners that are leaders in their spaces and are very tech forward. Accuracy is one of the most crucial data elements of identity resolution, and unfortunately, we see this lacking most in current data practices. If you don’t have a constant stream of integrated multi-sourced customer data such as email addresses, MAIDs, cookies, etc., then you will fail to have accurate identifiers to validate individual customers on a deterministic basis.

For brands looking at identity resolution providers, what advice do you have for them?
First and foremost, ask if their identity graph is deterministic or probabilistic. Deterministic matching is the gold standard. It is important to understand that what some companies call “deterministic” matching, really isn’t. Some think that if they find a single 1:1 match between two data points that it’s a confirmed deterministic pairing. Others, including Throtle, hold themselves to a much higher standard of quality and accuracy that requires multi-source corroboration of all data before declaring that a match is deterministic.

I would also suggest having identity providers explain the logic behind their match rate. A match rate depends heavily on a steady flow of multi-source data that is accurate and validated. At Throtle, we view the match rate as our ability to match to a unique individual rather than unique cookies or device IDs. If we match to John Doe and we see he has 3 devices, we count him as (1) unique match because all 3 devices belong to one unique individual. Other providers count each device or cookie match as a unique match regardless if they belong to the same (1) unique individual. As such, match rates are often inflated and do not accurately depict the match rate against unique individuals in a client’s file. We always advise to ask for apples-to-apples data from all partners you are evaluating so that you can be sure that match rate definitions and calculations are consistent across partners.

Finally, the best identity resolution vendors deploy a variety of “data hygiene” steps such as email validation, de-duplication, National Change of Address (NCOA), etc. to ensure a customer’s data is at the highest level of fidelity PRIOR to match to allow for the highest possible match rate. Lastly, we always recommended a data match test before any contracts are signed. It’s important that both sides understand the depth and wealth of the data and how it might or might not perform prior to entering into a partnership.

Do you see a threat with the upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) going into effect in January and identity resolution?
I don’t see a threat at all. In fact, I see this as an opportunity that continually validates identity resolution providers like Throtle, and the steps that we take in championing accurate, privacy compliant, transparent data. CCPA will showcase the ability for a provider to deliver transparency and ensure CCPA privacy compliance. This includes the ability to apply a high level of data protection and security in relation to personal data that our clients and third parties entrust to us.

Data, Privacy

California Releases Draft Rules for CCPA

California’s Department of Justice has developed and released a draft of implementing regulations for the state’s upcoming data privacy law. The rules clarify how the state will enforce the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and explain what businesses have to do to ensure they are following the law.

The draft implementing regulations for CCPA groups the actions businesses have to take around five key components: how to notify consumers about what data is being collected; how to handle the consumer requests for information; how to verify the identity of consumers making the requests; how to handle requests for information for children younger than 16 years old; and what needs to be done to avoid discriminating against consumers who don’t want their data or sold. The comment period for the draft rules end Dec. 6.

Privacy is an “inalienable right” in California, and CCPA will reset “the power dynamic between [consumers] and businesses,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a press conference announcing the draft implementation. The CCPA “allows you to pull the curtain back and see what information companies have collected about you, so that if you want, you could have that data deleted.”

The implementation rules lay out the things businesses have to think about as CCPA becomes law. “We want businesses to understand consumers have rights,” Becerra said. “Everyone has an obligation to know their rights and responsibilities under CCPA.”

The CCPA isn’t just for businesses that collect data online. A business that “substantially interacts with consumers offline” also has to notify the consumer about the data being collected and provide an offline opt-out mechanism.

The new law also requires businesses to be “transparent” about the data’s value, so that “consumers know how their information is valuable to the business,” Becerra said. Towards that end, businesses have to clarify the “service difference” a business may offer in exchange of personal information, so that the consumer can make an informed decision.

California may be the first state to have such a far-reaching data privacy law, but it isn’t alone. However, most local laws have focused on one or two aspects of consumer privacy, such as opt-outs and collection. The breadth of California’s law means that companies have to make changes all across the data lifecycle. “We may be the first, but we won’t be the last.” Becerra said.

The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, but the rules implementing and enforcing the law won’t go into effect until July 1, said Stacey Schesser, California’s supervising deputy attorney general.

Data, Privacy

Device IDs: Driving the future of digital advertising

Mention a “cookie” and most people expect a chocolate chip treat to appear. However, when talking about digital marketing, cookies are references text files on a browser that associate bits of data to a specific user.

Cookies are created when a user visits a website to keep track of their movements within the site, helping the user remember their login, preferences, and other information. Many online retailers use cookies to keep track of the items in a user’s shopping cart as they explore the site. Without cookies, your shopping cart would reset to zero every time you clicked a new link on the site. That would make it impossible to buy anything online.

Types of Cookies
The two most common types of cookies are first-party and third-party. Both types of cookies contain browser information and can perform the same functions. However, the real difference between the types of cookies has to do with how they are created and used.

  • First-party: These cookies are originated from the primary domain visited by the user, used to personalize that users experience on that primary domain.
  • Third-party: These cookies don’t originate from the primary domain visited by the user. The most common use of third-party cookies is to track users who click on advertisements and associate them with the referring domain.

Cookies have become the most common method of identifying website users and allowing for a personalized browsing experience on a desktop (we discuss mobile below). However, with growing awareness of privacy issues, the introduction of laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CCPA, Apple’s ITP, Firefox’s ETP and now Chrome’s ITP, some are saying the end of cookies is near.

More on Third-Party Cookies
For the MarTech industry, ad targeting is a huge deal. Third-party cookies are used to gather the information on user behavior such as websites visited, time spend, clicks, location, and more. This information creates a unique profile of the user to show them only relevant and personalized ads.

The lifespan of third-party cookies has been threatened for a while. In 2017, Apple first released ITP aka Intelligent Tracking Prevention for the Safari browser. With ITP 1.0, Safari wanted to prevent third-party cookies from tracking users across different sites. And now, they have ITP 2.2 coming soon to strengthen that protection against user tracking.

Why You Should Care
Chrome is following in Apple’s footsteps and released a new set of controls that allow users to see all of the cookies currently stored by the browser and give them the option of blocking any trackers they don’t like. With Google Chrome accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global desktop internet browser market share, the MarTech industry is getting nervous.

The cookie also poses obstacles in the mobile space — if they even work at all. There is a new term called ‘the unreachables’, the mobile-only users, who don’t really engage on desktop computers and don’t interact with traditional media. No cookies for them.

Goodbye Cookie, Hello Device ID
The cookie isn’t dead yet, but as protection against user tracking, browser privacy and the growth of mobile users continues to grow, device IDs will be redefining the role and the usefulness of cookies.

Cookies don’t deliver the holistic view that device IDs do. Device IDs provide better and more reliable data. They present a clear view of a user based on deterministic data across longer, if not indefinite, stretches of time. Cookies only track a single session and the average “lifespan” of the cookie is no more than three weeks, creating discrepancies when measuring long term user journeys.

Device IDs are a more efficient way of targeting and reaching customers via connected devices more accurately. There is a science of how to properly collect and curate accurate device IDs to an individual and if done right, ad spend will be utilized wisely and profitably, if it’s done wrong, spending and ROI will be disastrous.

Device IDs will drive this future; cookies will not.

CCPA, Data, Privacy

How is CCPA Different from GDPR?

The California Consumer Privacy Act has been coined California’s GDPR, referring to the comprehensive data protection law that took effect in May 2018 in Europe, just one month before the CCPA was passed. The CCPA, which is set to take effect January 2020, creates new rights for Californians and other obligations for businesses handling their information. The CCPA is said to be a model of the GDPR, however, there are some clear differences between each legislation.

Both the CCPA and the GDPR give individuals certain rights to how their personal information is collected and used, but there are several important contrasts to be aware of. Because California has a much larger economy than the UK, the implications of penalties may be even more severe than that of the GDPR. Even though the CCPA does not go into effect until 2020, we are already seeing it influence federal legislation.

Understand the similarities and differences between the GDPR and CCPA.

CCPA GDPR
Who It Protects
‘Consumers’ who are California residents ‘Data Subjects’ in the European Union
Personal Information
Defined as any information that ‘identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonability be linked directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.” This includes not only identifies like name or address, but extends to browsing history, behavioral data and more. Defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, directly or indirectly. This usually mean data like address, license plate numbers, SSN, blood type, bank account information, and more.
Rights Granted
Grants consumers five rights:

1. The right to disclosure

2. The right to deletion

3. The right to access

4. The right to opt-out

5. The right to non-discrimination

Grants data subjects eight rights:

1 . The right to be informed

2. The right to access

3. The Right to rectification

4. The right to erasure

5. The right to restrict processing

6. The right to data portability

7. The right to object

8. Rights in relation to automated individual decision making, including profiling

Right to Deletion
CCPA right to deletion applies to data collected from and about the consumer GDPR right to deletion applies to all data collected about the consumer
Who Must Comply
“California businesses” of substantial size (with regards to revenue or number of consumers affected) that collect consumer personal data Any “data controllers” (who determine the purpose and means of processing the data) and “data processors” (who process this data for the controller) that holds personal data of EU citizens.
Basis for Consent
Allows sites to collect and sell your data if you sign up or make an online purchase and only offers consumers the right to opt-out. Requires consumers to opt-in to data collection by instructing sites to get consent before collecting data.
Time allowed to respond to a request
Responsible parties have 30 days to respond to a request Responsible parties have 40 days to respond to a request
Financial Penalties
Organizations in breach can be fines up to $2,500 per violation for negligent violations and up to $7,500 per violation for intentional violations. Organizations in breach can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or EUR 20 million.

 

While in many ways the GDPR and the CCPA align, there are notable differences between the two regulations. The GDPR’s definitions are often broader, while the CCPA has taken a more specific approach to its scope. That does not mean however that companies that are GDPR compliant don’t need to worry about the CCPA.

 

Don’t expect this to be the last privacy act, either — there are many more on the horizon. Companies should be prepared to meet more stringent data privacy regulations that focus on data discovery, security, and classification. Stay tuned…

CCPA, Data, Privacy

The California Consumer Privacy Act: CCPA 101

Just when you settled into a post GDPR routine, there is a new consumer privacy law looming. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, also known as CCPA, goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and will have implications for marketing to consumers.

In a nutshell, CCPA will empower people to know the types of personal information businesses collect about them, and give them the right not to agree to the sale of their personal data to other parties. More specifically, CCPA introduces the following:

  • Right to know all data collected by a business on you
  • Right to say NO to the sale of your information
  • Right to DELETE your data
  • Right to be informed of what categories of data will be collected about you prior to its collection, and to be informed of any changes to this collection.
  • Mandated opt-in before sale of children’s information (under the age of 16)
  • Right to know the categories of third parties with whom your data is shared
  • Right to know the categories of sources of information from whom your data was acquired
  • Right to know the business or commercial purpose of collecting your information
  • Enforcement by the Attorney General of the State of California
  • Private right of action when companies breach your data

What Businesses Will Be Affected by the CCPA?
While the CCPA could be influential in shaping additional consumer data regulations, for now the law’s scope is limited to mid-to large-sized businesses that do business in California. Companies are subject to the terms of the CCPA when they meet one of the following conditions:

  • Annual revenue exceeds $25 million
  • Company receives data from at least 50,000 people, households, or devices every year
  • Company earns at least 50 percent of its annual revenue from selling personal data

Are There Any Penalties?
Currently, penalties in the law can include up to $7,500 per incident. Meaning that a data breach involving 10,000 customers could end up costing a business as much as $75 million.

When Does the CCPA Go into Effect?
Technically, the CCPA went into effect when it was signed into law on June 28, 2018. However, the requirements will go into effect on January 1, 2020. That said, January 1 is not the end of the line. The California Attorney General has until July 2, 2020 to publish regulations. (Legislation is what the legislative body passes. Regulations are the standards for enforcing the law.) Also, the Attorney General cannot bring legal action against violators of the CCPA until either July 1, 2020 or six months after the final regulations are published, whichever comes first. More to come…

Identity Resolution

Choosing an Identity Partner? Make Sure You Are Asking the Right Questions

In a crowded marketplace full of buzzwords, it’s more important than ever for brands to be equipped with the right questions to ask potential identity resolution and onboarding providers. This will ensure the solution they sign-off on will do what they need it to do, work how they need it to work, and help, rather than hinder, their overall data practice.

In this blog post we will highlight the key questions brands should be asking identity resolution and onboarding providers and why these answers matter.

These questions include:

  1. Is your graph deterministic or probabilistic?
  2. Where does your data come from? How recent is it?
  3. How are you validating the data?
  4. Do you perform data hygiene on incoming client files?
  5. What is behind your match rates?

Understanding who and where your customers are across all screens and channels is no easy task. Identity resolution creates an incredibly valuable asset for your organization. Think of an identity graph (or ID graph) as an elaborate jigsaw puzzle where each interconnecting puzzle piece contains an element of information that helps brands accurately identify the customer behind any screen or device. The explosion of devices and touch points, combined with siloed or inaccessible data, has left most organizations with only a fragmented view of their customers, an unfinished puzzle.

Valuable data that comprise these puzzle pieces include everything from names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and cookies, to social handles, mobile device IDs, demographics and lifestyle traits – regardless of whether or not the user has logged in to reveal their identity, even in an otherwise anonymous setting. Faulty identity resolution (low quality, inaccurate or missing data) is just as bad, if not worse, than none at all.

Identity graphs come in many shapes and sizes. It’s essential for brands to distinguish the real, holistic identity graphs from those that provide only partial linkages. Unfortunately, a single label (ID Graph) is used in the marketplace to represent many variations – with few standing up to the real definition.

Brands need to work with vendors that link full profile identities across all touch-points to reap the benefits of individualized marketing that elevates brands and delivers high marketing ROI. Here are the essential questions to ask when evaluating identity vendors:

Is your graph deterministic or probabilistic?
Deterministic matching is the gold standard. It uses a wide array of data to consistently validate individual identities for the highest achievable accuracy. Probabilistic matching uses probability algorithms and other techniques to put the pieces of the identity puzzle together. It’s more like glorified guesswork and is far less accurate, although tends to yield more volume.

Note what some companies call “deterministic” matching, really isn’t. Some think that if they find a single 1:1 match between two data points that it’s a confirmed deterministic pairing. Others, including Throtle, hold themselves to a much higher standard of quality and accuracy that requires multi-source corroboration of all data before declaring that a match is deterministic.

Where does your data come from? How recent is it?
The building of an accurate identity graph is pure data work. An identity graph is not a licensed consumer file, it is a living, breathing entity that needs to be cared for and cultivated in real-time. Each day, people experience transitions in their lives.

Vendors should have access to a constant stream of multi-sourced consumer data sources (email addresses, MAIDs, cookies, etc.). This allows active validation for both offline and online identities, empowering brands with better offline to online matching without sacrificing reach.

Vendors should also have a rolling exercise to update their sourced data daily, if not in real-time. They should also have policies in place to completely rebuild their graphs on at least quarterly basis to ensure the highest level of accuracy.

How are you validating the data?
As stated above, an identity graph is a living, breathing entity that needs to be cared for, cultivated and validated.

Vendors should have a process in place that ensures the highest level of validation and accuracy. We suggest the minimum standard should be validation from no less than three different, independent sources. Additionally, validation should validate identities consistently and in real-time using personal and persistent data points like an email addresses or device ids.

Do you perform data hygiene on incoming client files?
Identity resolution and data onboarding is a DATA business. If a vendor does not have capabilities to manage, cleanse, analyze, and understand data, they cannot onboard correctly. Technology only enables data to be utilized, distributed, and analyzed efficiently, but if you do not have an excellent data pedigree to start with, none of the technology will repair poor data pairings. Data onboarding platforms that are tech-only solutions leave themselves vulnerable to garbage in/garbage out scenarios with low matching and fill results.

Your vendor needs to have a data hygiene process in place. At the end of the day, onboarding must be data-centric. Brands demand individual and deterministic matching. The only way to accomplish this is by doing a lot of data work up front.

First, an onboarder needs to work on the data being provided. This includes data hygiene, deduplication, NCOA (National Change of Address) procedures, and reviewing for data gaps within emails, postal addresses, or intelligence. Ensuring the brand’s data is standardized and able to be accurately matched is the most crucial first step of the onboarding process.

What is behind your match rates?
The rate at which customer data is matched – the “match rate” – depends heavily on a steady flow of multi-source data. An identity graph provides a constant stream of such data in order to dynamically validate a brand’s prospects or customers as they interact in both offline and online channels. The match rate is vital to the success of personalization efforts.

Data accuracy doesn’t happen by itself. The best identity resolution vendors deploy a variety of “data hygiene” steps such as email validation, de-duplication, National Change of Address (NCOA), etc. to ensure a customer’s data is at the highest level of fidelity PRIOR to match to allow for the highest possible match rate.

Conclusion
As the number of consumer touch points grows, so, too, does the quantity of data collected, causing brands to struggle with obtaining an accurate single view of customers.

Working with a vendor that understand the importance of a holistic, deterministic identity graph can help brands overcome these challenges and can do so in a privacy-safe manner. The key is for accurate data to be top priority. Without accurate identity resolution and activation, brands run the risk of alienating loyal customers and wasting valuable marketing dollars.

The overall impact of individualized marketing driven by timely and accurate customer identity resolution is overwhelmingly positive in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The sooner brands embrace it, the sooner they’ll begin realizing those benefits.

Identity Resolution

Solving The 1:1 Marketing Puzzle

Understanding who and where your customers are across all screens and channels is no easy task. Identity resolution creates an incredibly valuable asset for your organization.

Personalization is ready for its close-up moment,” says McKinsey in a recent report. “Technology and customer expectations are converging to propel personalization – the process of using data to customize the timing, content and design of every customer experience in real time – from promise to reality.”

This isn’t yesteryear’s simplistic personalization of merging a name at the top of an email communication. Today’s top marketers are achieving exquisite forms of highly individualized marketing that achieve the highest levels of relevance, audience targeting, offer selection, creative, and messaging. Personalization has become a code word for 1:1 marketing at scale.

Accurately establishing customer identity in order to pursue individual-based marketing remains one of the most vexing challenges facing brands today.

For brands that get 1:1 right (Hint: this requires robust customer identity capabilities), the results have been stunning. According to McKinsey, 1:1 marketing at scale can drive 5-15% revenue growth for companies in retail, travel, entertainment, telecom and financial services. For instance, a global retailer saw sales from its brand-owned stores triple in one year following implementation of personalization into its marketing strategy.

The ability to recognize customers across screens and channels dramatically improves marketing measurement accuracy as well. Most brands have good analytics on “how many” but do a poor job of understanding the “who” that goes with those numbers.

Nearly all marketers say that individualization is a top priority, but a scant 15% believe they’re actually doing it well. One challenge is that many CMOs still consider it a nice-to-have add-on to their broader data and measurement efforts. In order to realize the benefits of individualized marketing, a shift in each organizations mindset is required, focusing on what is relevant for each individual.

Changing Your Organizational Culture

Newly released research studies by both Forrester and McKinsey show that companies with mature data, measurement and analytics cultures ingrained in their organizations achieve significantly better outcomes than their counterparts without such cultures. And both studies discovered that the performance gap between organizations with mature data and analytics cultures and those just starting down that path is wide and expanding.

Forrester found that companies with mature analytics cultures achieved an average:

  • 9.1% increase in marketing ROI over the last 1 to 2 years.
  • 10.5% improvement in marketing efficiency.
  • 10.4% greater agility and faster consumer response times.

An individualized marketing culture is part of having a mature measurement and analytics profile. It requires an installed internal process for:

  • Creating accurate customer profiles from a variety of cross-platform data sources.
  • Using those customer insights to inform decisions around targeting individuals — who, when and with what messages and creative.

In a separate report, Forrester points out that accurately establishing customer identity in order to pursue individual-based marketing remains one of the most vexing challenges facing brands today.

Identity Resolution

The Importance Of Accuracy

To properly execute 1:1 marketing, the data and methodology you use to individually identify customers MUST be accurate. If it isn’t, you’ll risk sending the wrong messages to customers at the wrong time. Not only is this annoying to customers, but also quite costly to brand marketers.

The best methodology for establishing customer identity is to be data-centric and deterministic. This requires using data from a wide range of sources, such as email addresses, postal addresses, mobile numbers, mobile ad identifiers (MAIDs), cookies, and many others.

For brands to utilize an ID graph, it’s essential to work with a provider who will cleanse customer data, not just rush things through and match to the graph. A brand’s data is compared to the ID graph as an external truth set, to validate, de-dupe, and repair data, resulting in a true single customer view. Then, the ID graph serves as a Rosetta Stone to match to digital IDs, enabling reach and visibility across all channels, even when individuals are browsing anonymously online.

When direct, 1:1 data matches are made against a quality source, brands can be sure of peak accuracy, meaning their marketing messages will be delivered more accurately too.

The rate at which customer data is matched – the “match rate” – depends heavily on a steady flow of multi-source data. An ID graph provides a constant stream of such data in order to dynamically validate a brand’s prospect or customers as they interact in offline as well as online channels. The match rate is vital to the success of personalization efforts.

Data accuracy doesn’t happen by itself. The best identity solution providers deploy a variety of “data hygiene” steps such as email validation, de-duplication, National Change of Address (NCOA), etc.

Customer Use Cases

– Audience Insights and Segmentation
– Highly Individualized Emails
– Location-Based Marketing
– Measurement & Attribution
– Offline-To-Online Marketing
– Location-Based Marketing
– Retargeting
– Website Personalization
– Product Development

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