Customer data platforms are increasingly seen as the great unifier of the marketing technology stack, giving brands the ability to link first-party and third-party consumer data and creating a 360-degree unified view of the customer — all with less involvement from IT.
With the right CDP solution, brands can segment audiences to create personalized campaigns delivered in real time across channels, simultaneously tracking attribution and engagement and building lookalike audiences to inform future campaigns.
That said, it can be tricky to gather meaningful analytics to drive measurable outcomes. With identity resolution, brands can obtain a foundational consumer 360-degree view, data modeling and machine learning to power the CDP.
As the leader of a consumer data and ID resolution company, I know that the most effective customer data platforms lean into identity resolution, where customer data is not only continually cleaned, linked and verified, but also can be optimized and activated to enable high-performing omnichannel campaigns.
Why consider identity resolution?
Improved personalization: Brands can connect unique customer identifiers to individual customer identities through identity resolution solutions. A number of companies, my own included, create these types of platforms with the goal to match customer identifiers to the customer IDs that live within a CDP.
By leveraging identity resolution, brands can expand personalization capabilities by moving beyond customer data such as name, email address and physical address to life-stage attributes and insights integrated into a single view. Brands can also leverage this technology to gain insight into lifestyle preferences and transactional data, such as when a customer last made a purchase, what their interests are and what channel they used.
The deeper the identity resolution and enhanced intelligence available within the CDP, the more precise brands can be with campaign messaging and delivery.
Clean data: Data hygiene is crucial for any brand that relies on its customer data to power high-performing campaigns. Seamlessly integrated data cleansing with ongoing data hygiene capabilities ensures customer data is accurate and can continuously be linked. Platforms running on bad data create ineffective systems that produce lackluster results and can cost organizations millions of dollars. And often, data scientists spend the majority of their time unnecessarily cleaning and structuring data for analytical insights.
In addition to data cleansing, it's also good practice for brands to ensure they're “de-duplicating” or linking capabilities and identity completion features. By linking duplicate customer records, a brand eliminates multiple instances of the same customer IDs within the platform, thus ensuring lifestyle preferences and other data are linked to one correct customer profile. These features also add missing or incomplete data to create a full customer identity profile.
Measurable outcomes: It takes more than high-volume datasets to deliver measurable business outcomes. Innovative customer data programs should involve a four-pronged approach:
• Accurately linking first-party and third-party consumer data to build robust customer profiles.
• Implementing rigorous data-cleansing and validation applications.
• Running highly personalized campaigns that maximize a customer’s lifetime value by engaging them at the right time and place with the right message.
• Using sophisticated data modeling and machine learning processes created on top of in-depth consumer intelligence and analytics.
It is the fourth approach — the ability to run sophisticated data modeling and machine learning processes — that pushes a brand’s CDP usage into high gear. Once a brand captures a single source of truth for customers and implements campaigns accordingly, it can leverage predictive analytics to identify new buyers and mitigate churn among existing customers. Brands may also build lookalike audience targeting capabilities via data modeling and machine learning technology and curate new audiences based on their most profitable customer segments.
Further, I've found that today’s consumer expects highly personalized messaging and delivery at every step of the customer journey, no matter what channel they're on. The more granular a brand can get when it comes to customer data in their CDP, the more accurate and precise their ad campaigns will be. Creating this type of seamless experience can benefit engagement.
Leveraging ID resolution effectively
For brands and marketers seeking to tap into the benefits of a CDP for the unification of customer data across platforms and marketing channels, here are some important questions to ask regarding identity resolution capabilities:
Does your identity resolution strategy include verification and scoring? Inbound inquiries such as website form completion or inbound phone calls should be instantly validated and given a score. Marketers can prioritize the leads assigned higher scores based on the identity data’s accuracy or the consumer’s propensity-to-buy score to maximize return on investment and lifetime value. CDPs worth their salt should include verification and scoring strategies.
Do you have an identity completion strategy? Once a CDP ingests data, is that data enriched with additional identity markers, including name, physical address, phone number or email, to complete the profile? Also, it’s important to ask how frequently identities are updated and resolved within a CDP. To garner the most successful inbound and outbound marketing initiatives, lifestyle attributes and predictive intelligence should also be added.
Choosing the right CDP that eliminates data silos, effectively uses all levels of consumer intelligence, automates processes and tracks attribution can feel like spinning multiple plates while riding a unicycle. But by keeping these best practices in mind, you can find the right CDP platform for your company that minimizes challenges and fast-tracks your ROI.