How ID Management for marketing can reduce CPA by over 50%


Marketers know all too well that the ability to recognize who someone is — and what they want — across devices and platforms is the only way to deliver relevant messages effectively.

And for that, you need superior identity management.

But what exactly are the core capabilities that a data management solution needs to have in order to get your cross-channel, customer-centric marketing where it's going? In our experience, it comes down to 3 vital components. 

1. Accuracy

Prioritize accurate profile matching from the ground up. People aren’t cookie cut-outs.

There are two approaches to identity management: cookie-based and profile-based:

Cookie-based ID management

Many traditional software solutions rely on a single predetermined website cookie as the common identifier — but they have a high risk of collapsing as soon as the cookie is deleted. Not to mention that identifying someone based solely on a website visit reduces marketers to tunnel vision. Taking a cookie-based approach to identity management also leaves out a lot of opportunities for data collection when you consider apps where cookies don’t exist.

Profile-based ID management

Profile-based Identity Management is more accurate: rather than building a profile on cookies alone, it can do so with any identifier you choose.

Why rely on one single common factor when you can populate a profile with multiple identifiers and triggers to match. Profile-based identity management means never being restricted by blind spots.

Accuracy matters, beyond relevant delivery to satisfied customers

Advertisers can achieve a 99-100% match rate when they use accurate identity management as the foundation for their next-generation CDP. We've even seen this lead to a 20-50% reduced Cost Per Acquisition for many of our own customers.

Next up, activation and automation

Building accurate, future-proof profiles is just the first step. After that, you need to be able to activate that data in your marketing campaigns, and then you'll want to automate your new data-based marketing activities in real time. Paradoxically, automation removes human error but allows marketers to build a human connection by triggering messages in real time.

2. Flexibility

Be flexible enough to adapt to any business context: a finance fingerprint is not the same as a travel fingerprint

It follows that single (cookie) identifiers should not be standardized across multiple brands and industries. Your customers are unique, and any method of identity management needs to be a custom solution based on the type of organization; it should also be flexible to the type of identifiers most relevant for your business and specific business rules. In short: identity management should work like a flexible layer, with a far-reaching range of components able to latch onto it — multiple channels, devices, databases, and even actions.

For example, a retail bank might use customer ID via website login as an identifier; while email ID might be the most valuable identifier for a travel metasearcher, due to their click-through rate (CTR). It’s about being able to find the perfect combination of identifiers for your particular customers and context.

What flexible ID management looks like for banks

Let’s look more closely at the bank, and their marketing team’s desire to match people with their interactions across mobile and desktop sites. Existing account holders are required to log into their personal account before proceeding on their journey, which means that based on the first touchpoint, matching a device ID to a user account can be straightforward — and accurate. But what about family members who share devices? In that case, your identity management solution not only needs to assign people to devices, but vice versa. It needs a common anchor — like a unique and anonymized CRM ID — for each person. This way, a first-time home buyer and her property investor parents can use the same desktop and be targeted separately using that static component — a single CRM ID — based on a variety of different components, like browsing behavior, product portfolio, next-best-channel and credit score.

Security: the foundation of trust-based relationships

On the same token, flexibility in identity management should never mean compromising customer data security. In order to orchestrate a secure dialogue with different channels and partners, your software must use commands that are hashed and anonymized, and it must have multiple layers of encryption. Only then can data sharing take place without the risk of your customer data falling into the wrong hands, or becoming polluted by cross-pollinated information.

3. Agility

Swiftly respond to change and stop the snowball effect in its tracks. 

Without the ability to quickly change identifier context, you risk continuously misidentifying users and as a result, botching their customer journey. It is essential to be able to continuously optimize and customize ID management rules based on new insights as you learn more about your customers’ actions and decisions across channels.

When you group attributes to individual people (rather than audiences), their constantly shifting journeys across your touchpoints can (and probably will) change the variables and constants of identification. That's a good thing, because it allows for a truly 1-to-1 approach to the customer journey based on real-time decisions, but it also means that your software needs the flexibility to merge profiles together across channels. It also needs to be agile enough to shift context when your marketing moves to the next level.

Our snowballing world of customer channels, platforms and touchpoints means that brands need the ability to shift focus fast. In other words, change the IDs used to merge a single profile based on changes in business context. This helps avoid a similar snowball effect in irrelevant targeting and selection. Ensure you can make incremental and regular changes to the terms of profile merging — before it becomes harder to manage, slow down or reverse.

Don’t place bets: know your customer’s next best action

When you know without a doubt what your customer's next best action will be, you can easily follow through with relevant personalized messaging and content — without being creepy

The structure of Identity Management fundamentals makes a lot of sense in the real world: eliminate assumptions where you can, and don’t define people by the products they use, the places they go, or even the actions they take — in isolation.

Start with an impartial view, then make sure you have the visibility and flexibility to follow their lead so you can build the bigger picture as they move along their journey.

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