A common misconception about identity resolution is that it is a one-time process. This school of thought holds that when identity resolution is used to create an accurate, pristine Golden Record, it’s a fixed output. Like an investment in a long-term CD, the principal is unchanging. The reality, however, is more like storing valuables in a vault; you can continually add to a growing pile of jewels and priceless artifacts, increasing its value and providing a rich layering of depth with each addition.
Identity resolution continually knits together first-party data. New web behavior, IoT data, transactions, a new address, a new email, a new device, geo-location data – all enhance a resulting Golden Record, providing depth and context that are important for understanding a customer in perpetuity. Third-party data, such as the NCOA database, also have a role to play in identity resolution, but the phasing out of third-party cookies is placing more value on investments in first-party data to form a personal understanding of a customer.
Another reason for the elevation of first-party data is that it the output – a contextual understanding of a customer – is fundamental for providing a personalized customer experience, which drives new revenue. In a Harris Poll commissioned by Redpoint, for instance, 82 percent of consumers surveyed said that they are loyal to brands that demonstrate a “thorough understanding” of them as a unique customer, and 69 percent said that in the post-pandemic era it is even more important for brands to possess an individual understanding. And 39 percent of those surveyed said they will not do business with any company that fails to provide a personalized experience that reflects such an understanding.
First-Party Data and a Contextual Understanding
The need to use first-party data to develop a personal customer understanding is growing amidst falling excuses organizations have used to neglect first party data. Either they harbored the misconception that “some” first-party data combined with third-party data was enough to provide a snapshot in time of a customer good enough for basic personalization, or it was too expensive to mine and store first-party data that the organization never used.
The reason those excuses are fading away is because technology makes it possible to link every piece of first-party data to create and enhance anonymous and known customer records. As new data comes in, records are continuously enhanced. Anonymous records become known, and known records become more layered and provide a more contextual understanding.
Redpoint rgOne optimizes an organization’s investments in first-party data by continually applying advanced identity resolution capabilities the moment new data is ingested. The result is that the ensuing Golden Record links all data aggregates and attributes with a unique identifier that is continually evolving with new behavioral, transactional, demographic and preference data. Processing and linking every piece of first-party data the moment it is sourced and updating the Golden Record in real-time is how business users profitably differentiate one customer from another.
Drive Revenue with Continual Identity Resolution
Real-time open emails is one use case that demonstrates how advanced identity resolution in the creation of a persistently updated Golden Record is a profit differentiator.
Consider a marketing team that queues up an email campaign for an end-of-summer bathing suit blowout sale. After segmenting its audience based on an updated customer profile, the brand sends an offer to 10,000 customers. But between creating its list and sending the email, 5 percent of the audience purchases a bathing suit at full price.
That is a direct consequence of failing to stitch together every piece of first-party data, or perhaps even relying on a nightly or weekly batch update of transactions. If, for example, a customer purchases a bathing suit under an identity that may vary by channel – a name, address, email, loyalty card ID etc. – the identity may need to be resolved at the individual and/or household level. When probabilistic and deterministic matching resolves the customer’s identity to an existing record and the resulting Golden Record is updated in real-time, real-time open emails changes the content of the email for the 5 percent of the customers who have purchased the product, reducing friction and creating an opportunity to send a more relevant offer.
A mindset that linking together first-party data is a one-time process limits an organization’s view of a customer to the point in time of the last link. Just as a team is only as strong as its weakest link, identity resolution is as strong as its latest link. By continually resolving and updating a customer’s identity using every piece of new data, brands are always in lockstep with a customer throughout an omnichannel customer journey and the entire customer lifecycle.