What all brands need today is a multifaceted identity solution built for bridging the gap between consumers and customers. We as consumers haven’t made it easy on brands, with all the devices we own and ability to do near anything at home, at work, or on our way to and from. Challenges aside, this has become THE strategic imperative for brands of all shapes and sizes. The good news is that those who bridge the gap now, will reap the majority of the rewards. The winners will establish and allow free flow of data between the two consumer states, but with toll booths on both ends protecting and preserving consumer choice and adhering to privacy regulations. The result of this flow will increase consumer and customer engagement, loyalty, and conversions throughout the relationship lifecycle.
In our year of experience working with brands, we see some brands who get to work with a great deal of customers. Those customers log in across experiences, shop and browse in authenticated states, and they do so across screens both at home and at work. Brand A looks into their customer data lake/warehouse/data store, or CRM, and sees 100M rows or records, knowing there may be some duplicate rows per person, but is confident that it probably still means 80M people and their respective households. Maybe a few people signed up for separate accounts with multiple email addresses by accident. It happens.
On the flip side, some brands have a very different relationship with their consumers. Those consumers don’t log in until they’re ready to checkout or take specific action. They browse, research, and learn across screens both at home and at work. Shoot, they may never even come to your website or only do so sparingly, if not by accident. Brand B looks into their consumer data lake/warehouse/data store, CDP, or DMP and sees over 200M rows, knowing there are definitely duplicate rows per person, but there may be anywhere between 20M and 120M actual people behind all those rows. Each of these rows represents a cookie or device identifier of the moment. These identifiers may still exist when you want to do something with it, like target it for marketing, but depending on the browser they most likely do not exist, and definitely will not exist for much longer.
We’ve seen both Brand A and B trying for years to make headway here, from solutions like probabilistic cross-device modeling to changing the way their website or ecommerce experiences to entice or force consumers to become customers. Few solutions have worked to the degree needed but we think the time is right to change that. It’s time to work with an identity foundation for today and the 2020s.
Here are a few musts in any next-generation identity solution:
- Bring Your Own
- This identity solution should rely first on any links you sourced and own between a consumer and customer (ie. the customer has logged in across multiple devices with the same email address), and then bring and extend additional links from the privacy-safe ecosystem.
- The solution should support any existing identity-related partnerships you already have, and not get in any technical or commercial way between the two, but also bring plenty of new partnerships off-the-shelf. No muss, no fuss. The solution must enhance value, not extract value. With this you’ll close the gap on the scale of links and resolved identities you have.
- The solution should allow you to prioritize these multiple identity sources and partnerships in any fashion you prefer. Be it for scale, for quality, or for cost. This should be in your own control. You’ll be able to tune your identity solution based on your needs, be it cost, for scale, or for quality.
Together, an extensible, customizable, and BYO-friendly identity solution brings you the best chance today to solve this challenge. Things will change as we move forward, but only a solution that is capable of all of the above can be trusted to adapt to all the future changes in this space. Brands who solve this will beat out peers by providing consumers and customers the best experience and opportunity to engage with you, while still respecting privacy and boundaries.