Identity management in a world without third-party cookies

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Restrictions on data collection via third-party cookies have made customer identification more important than ever. And while many marketers focus primarily on developing new ways to acquire and analyze data, some professionals argue that improving the customer experience helps achieve the goal more effectively.

“We talk about customer experience – classically this can mean outbound, product-focused or brand-focused campaigns, but it can also mean modern inbound campaigns where we try to map and track a customer journey,” said Steve Zisk. , senior product marketing manager at Redpoint Global, in a recent webinar. “In this context, we all understand that the customer data we are looking at today is based on the number of different channels and the devices they like to use.”

“The real core question becomes, ‘What can we as marketers do to improve the customer experience?'” he added.

Successful customer identity management starts with orchestrating high-quality customer experiences. This means marketers need to solve their data problems and ultimately create engaging journeys that help build complete customer profiles.

Data quality issues

“One of the challenges we see with our customers is getting quality data,” Redpoint’s Kris Tomes said in the same webinar. “The struggle becomes, ‘Is my data dirty? Is there consistency in how it is formatted and stored? »

“In the end, there is [often] insufficient data,” he added.

Source: Kris Tomes

Bad data prevents brands and marketers from communicating effectively with their customers. Zisk and Tomes highlighted some of the most common data quality issues brands face:

  • Dirty, missing, inconsistent or erroneous data
  • Noisy, contradictory or misleading data
  • Sparse data, which has too few values ​​or too many attributes
  • Inadequate data, which was not fully collected or used biased sampling

In an age of third-party cookie deprecation and privacy concerns, these issues can be effectively resolved with identity resolution platforms. Tools of this nature comply with privacy legislation while providing valuable insights to marketers by connecting customer data from multiple touchpoints.


Identity resolution is not only critical to successful marketing, but is essential for compliance with consumer privacy laws such as CCPA and GDPR. Explore the platforms essential to identity resolution in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

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What should marketers do with third-party data?

“We all recognize that the customer data we have is flawed and incomplete,” Zisk said. “To overcome these issues, we often turn to other things to get more information about our customers. Sometimes it can be very reliable… Other times we seek other information from adtech or something else. At some level, we feel that the information is not relevant or personal enough.

Zisk noted that marketers may also use third-party data to “shake the tree” or attempt to procure customers from larger platforms such as Amazon. However, this information may not be the most actionable.

“[Third-party data] is cheap and it’s easy, but there are potentially problems with that,” Zisk said. “Consumers may not like ads following them on the network. They may not want to come back if we did something to tire them out.

He added, “39% of consumers say they will not do business with a company that doesn’t provide a specific, personalized experience, so if I misuse the data, I’m going to be in trouble.”

Zisk argues that getting first-party data is a more effective way to understand consumer preferences. Instead of relying on a slew of advertisements on third-party platforms, marketers can use the information gathered from their own resources to gain insights and resolve any signals from customer journeys. This can help improve personalization and, therefore, engagement.


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Why brands are turning to identity resolution platforms

To get the most out of customer data, more and more marketers are turning to identity resolution processes. This data collection method works to create a picture of the customer, including their preferences and needs, using information from relevant touchpoints.

Tomes says that identity resolution is “finding commonalities within an entity across disparate data sources.”

“It’s about identifying the elements that we would use to create the [customer] identity,” he said. “It’s about pumping all that data into an identity resolution process that uses those [data] fields to compare records.

“Through these disparate data sources, we are able to identify a person,” he added.

Source: Kris Tomes

He and Zink recommended that marketers prioritize building a “gold record” during the identity resolution process. This information is designed to serve as a single source of truth for customer profiles, helping to ensure that marketers maintain the most accurate view of their audience.

Source: Kris Tomes

“This file shows the best way to identify a person,” Tomes said. “It could be based on any number of rules…It is usually reduced to elements of PII [personally identifiable information].”

PII is the cornerstone of identity resolution and management. Without it, marketers are unlikely to deliver engaging, personalized experiences.

Tomes suggests marketers create their golden profiles using this information gleaned from identity resolution platforms. And once collected, they can use them to create better environments for their customers.

“Ultimately, we can start creating summary datasets,” he said. “Then we can look at web transactions and behavior and start creating a one-stop shop.”

Watch this webinar presentation at Digital Marketing Depot.

Identity Resolution Platforms: A Snapshot

What it is. Identity resolution is the science of connecting the growing volume of consumer identifiers to an individual as he or she interacts across channels and devices.

What the tools do. Identity resolution technology connects these identifiers to an individual. It pulls this valuable data from the various channels and devices that customers interact with, such as connected speakers, home management solutions, smart TVs, and wearables. It’s an important tool because the number of devices connected to IP networks is expected to soar to more than three times the world’s population by 2023, according to Cisco’s annual Internet report.

Why is it hot now. More and more people expect relevant brand experiences at every stage of their buying journey. One-size-fits-all marketing doesn’t work; buyers know what information sellers should have and how they should use it. Plus, inaccurate targeting wastes campaign spend and doesn’t drive results.

This is why investments in identity resolution programs are increasing among brand marketers. These technologies also ensure that their activities remain compliant with privacy regulations.

Why we care. The most successful digital marketing strategies rely on knowing your potential customer. Knowing what interests them, what they have already purchased, and even what demographic group they belong to is essential.

Read next: What is identity resolution and how are platforms adapting to privacy changes?


About the Author

Corey Patterson is an editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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