Marketing Glossary - Intelligence - Identity Resolution

Identity Resolution

What is Identity Resolution?

Identity Resolution refers to the process of aggregating and matching disparate data points related to an individual across multiple databases and channels to construct a unique, consolidated identity. This involves linking multiple identifiers, such as email addresses, social media profiles, and device IDs, to a single individual, even as they interact across different platforms and devices.

Why is Identity Resolution Important?

In the realm of Data Intelligence, Identity Resolution is crucial for creating a unified view of a customer. This comprehensive perspective enables businesses to deliver personalized experiences and targeted marketing campaigns. By accurately identifying and understanding their customers, companies can improve customer engagement, increase loyalty, and optimize their marketing strategies for better ROI.

How Does Identity Resolution Work and Where is it Used?

Identity Resolution works by collecting identifiers from various data sources, including online and offline interactions. These identifiers undergo matching algorithms and data enrichment techniques to link them to individual profiles. It is widely used in marketing, sales, customer service, and fraud prevention, serving industries such as e-commerce, finance, healthcare, and more, to enhance customer understanding and operational efficiency.

Real-World Examples:

  • Streaming Service Viewer Engagement: A global streaming service utilizes identity resolution to combine viewing habits across multiple devices per household. By analyzing consolidated viewer profiles, the service tailors content recommendations and advertisements to individual preferences, significantly increasing viewer engagement and subscription retention rates. This approach uses advanced matching algorithms to link various device IDs and viewing patterns to a single user profile, despite the lack of directly identifiable information.
  • B2B Marketing Automation: A B2B technology company implements identity resolution to unify data from its marketing automation, CRM, and website analytics platforms. By creating comprehensive profiles of potential clients, the company personalizes its email campaigns and website content, leading to a higher conversion rate of website visitors into qualified leads. The technical backbone includes integrating data points like IP addresses, email interactions, and content engagement metrics to form a unified view of each prospect.
  • Retail Banking Customer Insight: A retail bank employs identity resolution to merge customer data from online banking, mobile apps, and in-branch interactions. This consolidated view enables the bank to offer personalized financial advice and product recommendations, such as suggesting a higher interest savings account or a credit card with benefits aligned to the customer’s spending habits. The process involves correlating transaction histories, account interactions, and digital engagement data to identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities accurately.
  • Insurance Claim Fraud Detection: An insurance company uses identity resolution techniques to combat fraudulent claims by linking claim data with external data sources, including social media and public records. This approach helps to identify discrepancies in claim reports, such as a claimed injury conflicting with active social media posts indicating physical activity. The technique hinges on the ability to match seemingly unrelated data points to a single identity, enhancing the insurer’s ability to detect and investigate suspicious claims.
  • Airline Customer Service Enhancement: An airline integrates identity resolution to improve customer service and operational efficiency. By recognizing a passenger across multiple touchpoints — from online bookings to airport check-ins and in-flight purchases — the airline offers a seamless travel experience. This includes personalized in-flight entertainment recommendations and expedited service recovery in case of disruptions. The technical process involves syncing passenger data across loyalty programs, booking systems, and operational databases to anticipate and fulfill individual passenger needs proactively.

Key Elements:

  • Data Aggregation: Gathering data from diverse sources, including CRM systems, social media, and transaction records.
  • Matching Algorithms: Employing algorithms to find connections between different data points and identifiers.
  • Data Enrichment: Enhancing data quality by updating and correcting it, adding missing information to create a comprehensive customer profile.

Core Components:

  • Data Sources: Various origins of customer data, including online interactions, offline transactions, and third-party data providers.
  • Identity Graph: A database structure that maps the relationships between different identifiers belonging to the same individual.
  • Privacy Management: Tools and processes to ensure data is collected, processed, and stored in compliance with privacy laws and regulations.

Use Cases:

  • Unified B2B Customer Profiles for Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Companies leverage identity resolution to aggregate data across touchpoints, including website visits, social media engagement, and direct communications, creating a unified customer profile. This comprehensive view allows for highly targeted ABM campaigns, where marketing efforts are precisely tailored to the needs and interests of specific businesses or decision-makers, resulting in higher engagement rates and conversion opportunities.
  • Enhanced Lead Scoring and Segmentation: Financial institutions integrate identity resolution to consolidate leads' activities across various channels, such as seminars, webinars, and website interactions. By understanding the depth of engagement and interest level, companies can more accurately score leads and segment them into categories for personalized follow-ups, greatly improving the efficiency of sales teams and increasing the conversion rate of prospects into customers.
  • Optimized Supply Chain Communication: Manufacturers and distributors use identity resolution to streamline communication across the supply chain. By identifying and linking contact points across suppliers, logistics partners, and B2B customers, businesses ensure that critical information flows seamlessly, reducing the risk of miscommunication and delays. This use of technology leads to more efficient inventory management, production scheduling, and order fulfillment processes.
  • Personalized B2B2C Customer Experiences at Scale: Retailers and e-commerce platforms that serve both businesses and consumers implement identity resolution to personalize marketing efforts and product recommendations at an individual level. By recognizing and understanding the behavior of each customer, regardless of whether they shop for personal use or business needs, companies can tailor their messaging, offers, and shopping experiences, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Compliance and Risk Management: Firms specializing in compliance and risk management services utilize identity resolution to help their clients adhere to regulatory requirements, such as KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering). By consolidating data from various sources to confirm the identities of individuals and entities, these firms enable their clients to mitigate risks associated with fraud, financial crimes, and regulatory penalties, ensuring a safer business environment for B2B and B2B2C transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What makes Identity Resolution challenging?

Identity Resolution involves complex algorithms to match diverse data points and requires continuous data quality management, making it a sophisticated yet crucial task for businesses aiming to unify customer data from multiple sources.

How does Identity Resolution benefit consumers?

It allows for personalized experiences and targeted offerings, significantly enhancing consumer engagement with brands by providing content, products, and services that are more relevant to their interests and behaviors across different channels.

Can Identity Resolution work with anonymous data?

Yes, it effectively utilizes anonymous identifiers, such as device IDs, to construct meaningful profiles without compromising personal privacy, enabling businesses to gain insights and improve customer understanding.

How does machine learning improve Identity Resolution?

Machine learning enhances Identity Resolution by refining data matching algorithms and adapting to evolving data patterns, thereby increasing the accuracy and efficiency of creating unified customer profiles.