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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.

Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

10 Benefits Of Building Accurate Customer Identity Graphs

It’s crunch time for accurate customer identity. Today, brands are capturing more customer data than ever before across a multiple channels, devices and touch points. But many companies struggle with using that data to create useful customer identity profiles – “identity graphs” – that can greatly improve marketing campaigns, customer experiences and more.

1. Better Customer Experience
Customers increasingly expect brands to engage them in highly relevant, individualized ways, with accurately targeted content. Companies that are successful at customer identity resolution can confidently create content and deploy 1:1 customer engagement strategies and tactics that take customer experiences to another level.

Equally as important, brands can avoid misidentifying or engaging customers in ways they perceive to be intrusive or even creepy. Having accurate identity information also helps Marketing support the company’s commitments to good data stewardship, which reinforces brand trust and reputation.

2. New Revenue Opportunities
Insights gained through identity resolution can greatly increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities and reveal new ways to re-engage former customers.

3. Superior Results with Less Budget
Timely and accurate identity resolution allows brands to market more efficiently and spend less to achieve the same, or even better, results. Accurate ID graphs reduce waste, overlap and duplication.

4. A Single Unified Internal View of Your Customers
Companies that aren’t using quality ID graphs to regularly synchronize and validate their data often end up with disparate views of customers across various business units. They can never be sure who is on the other end of a browser or mobile app.

What’s more, many brands have compiled their internal data by relying only on de-duping across their own data points such as same-name spellings, emails, addresses etc. But that’s insufficient. For instance, the brand may not recognize the same person interacting with two different emails or shipping to work and home addresses. True accuracy requires external validation against a known, proven ID graph recognize bad data, fix it, and fit together fragments and missing pieces of the identity puzzle.

Accurate identity resolution allows companies to create a true, single view of their customers that can be consistently leveraged across a portfolio of brands, business units and product lines. Accurate identity resolution enables brands to continuously enrich, update and share identity data across the entire organization to facilitate greater control and personalization.

5. More Accurate Measurement & Better ROI
Robust data sets and high customer match rates across screens and platforms helps to create a more complete picture of customers. This, in turn, makes marketing measurement and analytics easier and more accurate. Marketers will be able to holistically measure results and fuel their analytics engine.

Without identity resolution, multi-touch attribution results can be misleading because the same person has been counted several times. Marketers need to resolve identity across devices in order to count unique touch points and attribute ad spend to results correctly.

As the number of consumer touch points grows, so does the quantity of data collected, causing analytic teams to struggle at providing an accurate view of marketing ROI. With a well-constructed approach to identity, marketers can create a single, holistic view that more accurately measures customer interactions across all channels including digital, mobile, website, phone, and store visits.

6. Livelier Marketing Creative & Campaigns
Knowing more about customers also allows marketers to create campaigns that are more interesting, relevant, engaging and generally pack more punch. One can avoid campaigns that are dull, generic, and miss the mark.

7. Greater Speed & Flexibility
Marketers must be highly flexible and adaptive to hit constantly moving and changing targets. Having the ability to quickly and accurately identify customers across screens and channels gives marketers greater flexibility and allows them to react more quickly to changing conditions. For example, brands can quickly adjust messaging when they have confidence knowing who a customer is, where they are and what they are doing.

8. Fill Customer Intelligence Gaps
The more data sources there are, the greater the chance gaps will appear if those data sources aren’t properly linked. Marketers can solve that by continuously corroborating, verifying, and appending missing information across customer records, to produce a 360-degree customer view.

9. Identify Customers Online in Real-time
The ability to identify a quality lead or an existing customer in real-time on your website is crucial. With an identity framework in action, brands can identify a prospect the moment a website visit occurs, thus improving the customer experience. Brands will, for example, be able to accurately identify an existing loyalist even if that customer hasn’t been authenticated through a login and act accordingly.

10. Improved Marketing Credibility
Marketing organizations that are able to accurately identify customers and engage them in personalized ways earn greater stature and credibility internally (not to mention budget clout). Painting an accurate picture of customers allows brands to create and communicate compelling success stories, earning more brand equity.

Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

MAIDs: Effectively Leveraging Mobile Ad Identifiers

Looking back at the advertising industry, even as little as five years ago, it’s easy to see how quickly the industry has been forced to focus on cross-device. In just two years’ time, the average number of connected devices per person is expected to climb as high as 6.58 (Statista).

In this always connected world, consumer expectation has changed. Deliver seamless ads and content experiences between all of a consumer’s digital formats or don’t even bother. While still a difficult task for advertisers to muster, the industry is finally coming together to coordinate data sets between devices in order to deliver the cohesive experiences consumers desire. Enter mobile advertising and mobile ad identifiers (MAIDs).

So, what are MAIDs?
A MAID is similar to a cookie in that it helps advertisers identify the person behind a device. A MAID serves the same purpose for marketers as a cookie does in a web browser. Using these identifiers that are connected to certain devices, marketers can reach users based on the data sent by their mobile device. Since MAIDs are set by the operating system, data is easily available, allowing for a more complete and deterministic picture of a consumer.

But the benefits don’t end there. MAIDs are bringing major opportunity to marketers that never before existed on digital. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the go-to platform for just about everything, and businesses have to adapt rapidly to ensure that they are responsive to this unwavering trend. Statista has found that mobile traffic globally has a larger share of internet usage than desktop traffic. (Actually, mobile traffic has been ahead since 2015.)

Here is why you should care:

Identifying A Unique Owner
Computers and desktop browsers can be black holes for marketers. Computers often live within multi-person households and can be used by many different people. This leaves assigning a unique identifier to a distinct person all the more difficult. With one unique owner, marketers can collect a diverse pool of data about their users, all the way from demographics to behavioral data, both of which are often difficult to pinpoint when multiple users are frequenting a single device.

The Key To Personalization
The higher the level of personalization, the better the user experience and consumer retention rate. MAIDs represent a more efficient way for customizing ads based on customers’ interests and the biggest differentiator when it comes to serving users with content that is not only relevant to their needs, but also personally tailored to them. Overall, data from MAIDs comes through more rich and precise and allows advertisers to connect the pieces of a disparate and complicated puzzle.

Connecting Data Across Channels
In this day in age, it’s impossible for marketers to rely on IDs from one channel. MAIDs are the missing link. MAIDs can serve as the bases for a single individual’s online identity and through tools like identity graphs* and company CRM data, linking desktop cookies, MAIDs and other forms of data across channels can be more precise. (*When it comes to identity graphs, the only reliable way to get good cross device data at scale is through an individual level identity graph. Click here to learn more about Throtle Identity Graph and our individual based approach.)

Whether you are trying to reach a specific audience within a device or retarget an audience across other similar devices or connecting consumer identities to a larger data pool, MAIDs are the next generation of cookies that will take your marketing and advertising campaigns to the next level. Consumer are expecting more. It’s time to deliver.

Want to learn more about MAIDs and how Throtle can take your marketing and advertising campaigns to the next level? Contact us today.

Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

A Case For Accuracy In A Multi-Device World

Data drives the marketing industry. From a marketer’s perspective, data is time; data is money. Marketing dollars are trustingly thrown at data to build campaign strategies and targeted advertising across all marketing channels.

Despite the time, money and sophisticated technology shifting towards data mining, many marketers still can’t determine proper attribution across channels in a way that accurately measures their brand’s lift and consumer experience. At the root of this is a persistent lack complacency when it comes to properly matching data to an actual consumer in a way that allows advertisers to reach them with relevant and appropriately timed messages.

Unfortunately, for the most part, data targeting has been focused on scale over accuracy, resulting in an upside down model that benefits everyone but the advertiser. The result – the digital data and identity matching industry gets a bad rep by marketers for high cost and low returns. For consumers, the experience is forgettable at best and, at worst, full of skepticism about the source and quality of data fueling targeted ads. The problem is the glut of low fidelity data that has flooded the marketplace over the past decade in both identity resolution across device and data insights. Yet, advertiser priorities have not changed while accuracy is being scrutinized, verified and measured in more ways than ever before.

Today, accuracy in identity resolution and data targeting is a requirement for all marketers. But all this technology has focused so heavily on proxies rather than delivering individual-level targeting, because resolving to the right individual, onboarding data correctly and serving the right consumer relevant ads is not an easy proposition.

Here’s How Throtle Does it Differently

Identify Sources and Context
One key to building robust, accurate data is to know where the data comes from, including its timeliness and its context. Keep in mind the demographic and other online/offline behaviors, not just transactional data in a single moment in time. For example, we all shop for gifts, whether or not they are personally relevant to us. A consumer may at one point have shopped for a baby gift for an expectant friend. Five months later, that consumer has ended up on a mailing list for baby formula and incessantly receives free samples in the mail, although the consumer in point is not a mother nor expecting in the near future. You can see where the discrepancy lies and why knowing the source and context makes this data all the more accurate.

A Fully Deterministic Approach
Marketers must have a deterministic understanding and approach to their data to ensure accuracy. This means ensuring that a single consumer is accurately matched, with definitive proof, to an organization’s corresponding first-party data. This approach ensures that the person is a single user and not generalized under a household or group of consumers. Measuring every interaction across devices can be challenging, but attribute something to the right person and you can identify trends and patterns across all marketing channels. Without accuracy and deterministic matching at the individual level, cross-device attribution is impossible to obtain.

The Identity Graph
Creating this deterministic approach is easily accomplished through a consumer identity graph. An identity graph ensures that all first-party and third-party identifiers for a single consumer reside and are resolved in one place. This is imperative for marketers who want to accurately read consumer behavior and interactions across multiple touchpoints. If you look at everything separately, the picture is hazy and the 360 degree view of a consumer’s core identifiers are lost.

The Results of This Complexity

CONSUMERS: They want to see relevant, harmonized experiences across content. There will be those that complain that after browsing online for new living room furniture, they see cross-device ads from multiple couch vendors for the next three weeks. However, in a world where customer experience is the majority of the battle (according to Gartner and 89% of marketers), when a consumer experience is accurate and relevant, a brand elevates itself above the competition.

ADVERTISERS: Highly accurate targeting is required to reach the same consumer on different channels and devices. Targeting, attribution and defendable measurement can’t happen using inaccurate data; campaigns will produce better ROI because a marketer is able to determine which specific activities are producing the best results

Our Commitment
In short, many of the old approaches to collecting accurate data no longer work. Ad and MarTech companies should be held to a higher standard and greater level transparency when it comes to the data that they source and provide.

Throtle is a 2nd generation data onboarding company focused on deterministic matching, identity resolution, and closed loop enablement. Our data centric onboarding approach guarantees the highest level of accuracy, scale, and responsiveness for our clients.

Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

Identity Graph: The DNA For Individual Identity Resolution

Identity has become a fundamental component of the digital ecosystem. The more brands understand about their customers and what channels and devices they use, the more effectively they can connect with them.

Everyday, individuals switch between multiple screens (smartphones, laptops, tablets). Trying to understand the individual behind the ever-changing screen through multiple data points is critical for marketing success and the reason why creating a single view of that individual has never been more important. It’s time to look at the consumer holistically from every angle, rather than in silos.

What is an identity graph?

An identity graph allows brands to connect and unify all the known identifiers that correlate with an individual customer.

Each customer has multiple personal identifiers — email addresses, postal addresses, mobile numbers, mobile ad identifiers (MAIDs), logins, usernames, and cookies from web browsing. The identity graph collects these personal identifiers and connects them to an individual profile, which ‘lives’ in the identity graph, along with other types of data, such as demographic, behavioral, lifestyle and purchase data.

What is the Throtle Identity Graph and why do I need it?
The Throtle Identity Graph utilizes a deterministic data matching methodology to absorb cross-channel and cross-device customer information (such as anonymized log-in data or hashed email addresses) to pinpoint an individual identity. Throtle uses this data to locate individuals on whatever device they may be using.

Throtle’s Identity Graph then creates the opportunity for marketers to produce relevant messaging for customers as they switch between various devices. For example, an individual interested in booking a vacation might browse a hotel’s website using their laptop and then again on their mobile device. The hotel’s marketing team can use the data from Throtle’s Identity Graph and onboarding process to ensure a personalized and targeted ad appears as that customer switches devices. This results in a higher conversion rate and more optimized budgets.

Identity Graph

The Growing Importance Of Customer Identity Graphs

When we read a good article, we like to promote it. And, with the recent article published by Analytics Center of Excellence entitled ‘The Growing Importance of Customer Identity Graphs’, we are doing just that. It stresses the importance of customer identity and how brands need to be able to create a single, deterministic view of each unique customer across multiple channels and devices. Read on…
It’s crunch time for customer identity. Today, brands are capturing more customer data than ever before across a multitude of channels and touch points. But many companies struggle with using that data to construct useful customer identity profiles – “identity graphs” – that can greatly improve marketing measurement capabilities and accuracy while helping you create better customer experiences.

Recognizing customers across multiple channels and devices while using multiple data points to create a single view of that customer has never been more important or relevant. Traditional customer data sources such as CRM platforms can’t really help much. Their customer identity capabilities are rudimentary. They merely manage customer contact data, not actual identity. That requires triangulating a great deal more data.

Establishing true identity is a complex and nuanced task. But if you resolve and manage identity right, it will allow you to understand a tremendous amount about customers at specific moments in time. Customer identity can be one of the most valuable, unique and proprietary assets that a brand owns.

Accurately establishing customer identity is one of the most challenging issues facing brand marketers today. But it’s a challenge that marketing organizations must meet since customer identity can be one of the most valuable, unique and proprietary assets that a brand owns.

A good starting point is to create a solid framework for resolving cross channel, multi device, online-offline identity.

Identity Graph Basics
An identity graph is a tool that lets you connect and unify data on individual customers gathered from a variety of channels, devices and touch points. The more channels and devices in play, the more customer identity data there’ll be. You can use it to create more personalized messages and fine tune your marketing measurement.

Identity graphs are not cookie-cutter friendly. They come in many shapes and sizes. As you continue adding data to an ID graph it becomes smarter, deeper and more valuable for targeting customers and improving customer experience.

Marketers deploy a variety of methods for matching data to customers, including direct, or “deterministic” where the customer has facilitated the match via cookies, through a credit card purchase, or some other authenticating action. This creates “persistent” identity which is another way of saying with certainty that you know (at a minimum) who a customer is, where they are and what device they are using.

Another, more scalable method uses sophisticated probability algorithms to put the pieces together. Done right, this can also be highly accurate, though not perfect.

Such AI-based approaches can sniff out data and seek identity matches continuously, and provide answers in real time.

Creating a customer identity framework is vital to filling the inevitable gaps in your customer intelligence.

Filling Identity Gaps
Inefficiencies in how many organizations currently approach the task of identifying customers creates data gaps – or sometimes more like data chasms. Such gaps make it hard to scale marketing, provide personalize customer experience and measure results.

To help fill these gaps, successful companies build a framework that links customer identifiers (name, IP address, phone, mobile, email, cookies, device IDs and physical address) while also adding on a unique (persistent) ID that can be used across channels. Companies also need to install privacy safeguards that are verified and compliant with all privacy standards.

If you can’t accurately and consistently identity customers across devices – quickly and at scale – your results will suffer. You’ll be unable to consistently target customers with the right type of content, at the right time, in the right context – and do it across multiple devices.

The amount of time it takes for you to tap into customer identity data, connect the dots and establish identity is critical. If you can’t do it fast – and that basically means in real time – your efforts may go for naught.

Identity Graph Benefits
Here are six reasons that building out an identity graph framework should be a strategic imperative for your marketing organization:

1. Extend Marketing Accuracy and Reach at Scale
A solid identity management framework will allow you to identify customers as they interact with your brand in real time. This greatly increases your ability to understand what otherwise would look like anonymous customers and prospects. With a solid identity management framework in place, you can engage customers with far greater accuracy and increase marketing reach by as much as 50%.

2. Build More Personalized Customer Experiences
Improving customer experiences depends heavily on being able to accurately identify someone and personalize any interaction. Whether your efforts involve current customers, prospects, or both, the experience you provide ultimately determines the quality of your relationship with that individual. In order to optimize results, identity data should be continuously enriched, updated and shared across the entire organization to facilitate greater control and personalization.

3. Improve Measurement Accuracy and ROI
As the number of consumer touch points grows, so does the quantity of data collected, causing analytic teams to struggle at providing an accurate view of marketing ROI. With a well-constructed approach to identity, you can create a single, holistic view that more accurately measures customer interactions across all channels including digital, mobile, website and phone.

4. Fill Your Customer Intelligence Gaps
The more data sources there are, the greater the chance gaps will appear if those data sources aren’t properly linked. Marketers can solve that by continuously corroborating, verifying, and appending missing information across customer records, to produce a 360-degree customer view.

5. Better Offline-to-Online Matching
It’s important to have a persistent cross channel identifier to unify, personalize, and activate customer engagement. Linking records across touch points while enriching identity with demographic, behavioral, psychographic and geo-location data provides marketers with a single lens of the consumer across screens.

6. Identify Customers in Real Time
The ability to identify a quality lead or an existing customer in real-time is crucial. With an identity framework in place and implemented, your call center, for example, will be able to identify a prospect the moment a call is received, reducing call times and improving customer service. Your digital team will be able to accurately identify an existing loyalist even if that customer hasn’t authenticated.

Original article can be found here.

Identity Graph

Not All Consumer Identity Graphs Are Created Equal

5 Reasons Why Brands Should Invest in a Deterministic Consumer Identity Graph

A consumer identity graph is a vital tool for brands to have in their marketing arsenal. It allows brands to deliver relevant, personalized customer experiences by linking customer data from a multitude of channels, devices, and touchpoints to create unique customer profiles. However, not all consumer identity graphs are equal. Many companies tout the ability for their identity graphs to make distinct deterministic connections to individuals with sizable scale, but are utilizing probabilistic algorithms to make those linkages. Unfortunately for marketers, this methodology leaves room for a great deal of error because probabilistic matching uses anonymized data signals (location, browsing history) and analysis, not 1-to-1 matching for the verification of identity.

Some identity resolution providers also claim to combine these methods of probabilistic and deterministic matching for the best possible reach and engagement, but don’t be fooled. Only deterministic, individual-based consumer identity graphs can accurately unify fragmented customer data to create a holistic view of each individual for better customer engagement, both offline and online.

So, the question remains, if a brand cannot confidently, accurately and consistently identify its customers across multiple devices, channels, and touchpoints, then is the consumer identity graph really doing its job?

Here are the top 5 reasons why brands should invest in a deterministic consumer identity graph.

  1. Marketing Accuracy – Deterministic consumer identity graphs are data-centric. They use a wide array of data points, including email addresses, postal addresses, mobile numbers, device ids, etc., to validate individual identities consistently and in real-time. Since a 1-to-1 direct match is made, brands are ensured the highest level of accuracy for marketing and customer engagement.
  2. Data Hygiene and Identity Management – Consumer identity graphs are complex, ever-changing entities. Unlike probabilistic consumer identity graphs, which use anonymized data points to make inferred connections, providers with deterministic consumer identity graphs carefully implement and maintain in-depth data hygiene processes to guarantee the accuracy of their 1-to-1 matches. Investing in a deterministic consumer identity graph means you are investing in the technology and data management necessary for effective marketing.
  3. Higher Match Rates – Many brands and owners of data are under the impression that there is a trade-off between accuracy and reach, habitually opting for probabilistic (or combination) solutions because they believe they offer the highest match rates and scale for targeting. But that just isn’t the case! Since deterministic consumer identity graphs have access to a constant stream of consumer data sources (email addresses, device ids, cookies, etc.), they can actively validate both offline and online identities, allotting for better offline to online matching with no sacrifice on reach.
  4. Enhanced Customer Engagement – When using probabilistic, household level matching, the ability to enhance customer engagement for consumers with personalized and relevant campaigns is lost. Deterministic consumer identity graphs enable marketers to understand each customer at the individual level, offering the demographic and behavioral knowledge necessary to determine the correct strategy for interacting with each person. This means that Mr. and Mrs. Smith can now be viewed as Jane Smith, 42, who drives a BMW and John Smith, 45, who loves his Ford pick-up truck, and each person can receive customized messaging that will better resonate with them as unique individuals.
  5. Better Attribution and ROI – With deterministic consumer identity graphs, brands can resolve identities and personalize messaging to each unique individual, reducing marketing waste with generalized campaigns or campaigns delivered to the incorrect recipients (I.E. Female running shoe campaign displayed to males). Brands are also able to use the individual-based, deterministic matching to help connect the dots between purchases made and brand engagement, offering better attribution metrics.
Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

Managing Consumer Identity In A Digital World: Ensuring Accuracy Over Everything

When we look at how the advertising industry has changed over the last five years, it’s astounding to see how digital snuck up and rewrote the rules of engagement. Instead of making assumptions, digital forced advertisers to have a more accurate and deterministic understanding of a consumer’s identity to ensure true personalization.

In her annual Internet Trends Report, Mary Meeker painted an eye opening picture of what advertisers are dealing with when it comes to digital. Meeker noted that the amount of time adults spent with digital media in 2016 grew significantly over the past year, with average time increasing to 5.6 hours a day.

As the number of devices and time spent on digital platforms grows, the advertising industry is recognizing that the identity behind those devices is more important than ever. Knowing specific details about the physical being that sits behind something as abstract as pixel or cookie is essential to targeted, meaningful and genuine delivery of ads. Now, everyone is running as fast as they can to get to the point of understanding who those people are before grouping them into segments, showing them advertisements that aren’t relevant and sending consumers running for the adblock button.

Identifying Devices Over People
Amidst all the scrambling, most advertisers are still using probabilistic methods to determine who they think that customer is behind the screen. To do so, they start by looking at, from a device perspective — where that device is resting over time, where that device going, what traffic is coming from that device, what apps are being used, etc. Herein lies the problem.

However, more often than not, those device attributes don’t have a valid email associated with that particular assumed individual. There could be an email tied to that device, but who is validating it?

Artificial Identity Management
In an attempt to validate, digital advertisers have also turned to artificial intelligence. According to Juniper Research, “machine-learning algorithms used to enable more efficient ad bids over real-time bidding networks will generate $42 billion in annual ad spend by 2021, up from an estimated $3.5 billion in 2016.”

While AI has its benefits — it has certainly improved accuracy in analyzing consumer behavior and enabling real-time campaign optimization — the true extent of AI’s capabilities is identifying and learning about an individual on a persistent basis. When analyzing data, outside of other response information obtained, it’s hard to determine the true identity of the person associated with that response. AI can show that an ID is aligned with a particular device and activities on that device over a given period of time, but AI alone can’t determine the WHO. Yes, the data says there is a person there, but who are they really? And with so much data from so many different devices flying around, how are brands supposed to take that data and use it efficiently to gain a deterministic understanding of their customers?

Personalization Lies In Accuracy
We already know that when US internet users receive personally relevant content from brands, it increases their purchase intent. But there must first be an association between various touch points on an individual on a deterministic basis to help advertisers create the level of personalization that consumers so deeply desire. Because in the end, it all comes down to creating meaningful connections with customers by meeting the needs and wants of each unique individual.

Since this level of personalization all circles back to the accuracy of a consumer’s identity, it’s imperative to start by connecting the dots between siloed data points and understanding who that person is. Furthermore, advertisers should look beyond the device level. This is where most advertisers end up getting stuck. Without drilling down past the device or the pixel, advertisers are missing core demographics, psychographics and lifestyle attributes that give us deep insights into these individuals — that personalization is completely lost.

So how can brands fix this? Simple — by bringing into a consumer ID graph authenticated email addresses that are associated down to an individual and matching them to existing data to create a connecting point. This same sequence can then be applied to mobile numbers, IP addresses, social handles, physical addresses — wherever a connector can be found. Now an advertiser has a single individual at the center of each record that is tied to multiple connectors or types of attributes, which provides a more robust picture of who that person truly is. Once you know all of this, you can associate it with a persistent ID at the individual and household level. This allows advertisers to track consumer behavior across any website or location when an ad is presented to that customer. Talk about accuracy and personalization! A win-win for both the advertiser and the consumer.

In the end, we believe that all advertisers should be digging down to the core level of understanding deeply who a person is and then CONFIRMING through multiple instances that that person does indeed belong to a specific record. There aren’t many, if any, that are using a truth set to do that. But we’re here to help initiate that change in the industry and reinstate accuracy and personalization in the world that digital ever so slyly created.

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