Identity Resolution - Customer Experience Core Infrastructure

April 13, 2020

Leveraging What You Have

Most companies already have everything that’s needed for identity resolution. It’s not about centralizing more data in yet another application - it’s about creating the relationships when it matters most - at the point of consumption.

Said another way - identity resolution is the process of connecting multiple identifiers into a single one representing a unified or 360 view of an individual.  That is across devices, platforms, content and solutions. 

Core Use Cases for Identity Resolution

Why this matters to you is that every argument about identity resolution is centered on two things.  First that identity resolution is important for X (insert your use case here) - it likely is. Secondly, you need another specialized application or magic technology box to make it happen - only you don’t.  

Use cases include scenarios like hyper personalized messages, cross platform customer experience, compliance audits, increased efficiency,cost containment and performance attribution to name a few.

Translating Theory To Reality

Solving for identity resolution is not a one time event or a one size fits all.  This is deep plumbing that will impact your career and will impact your operational ability for years to come. Get it right and it’s a path to continued success, get it less than right and it will be a shackle around everything needing to get done.

In theory what it looks like is generated from a very linear view of how we engage with our audiences - whether that’s customer, employees, partners, members or citizens.  Each touch point generates something of uniqueness. For example, looking at the following B2B customer journey can generate dozens of separate identifiers about who the user is based on their consumption and behavior.

Figure 1.  Shows the linear view of a marketing campaign with the non-linear relationship of identifiers across it.

One other fact about identifiers that is critical - they’re not permanent.  Meaning that they shift depending on context, time and stage of engagement.  

So how does something like the above get translated into reality. Something that can change over time as needs change.  

Seeing the Answer - What it Really Looks Like

The answer is two have a dynamic and adaptive engine that can handle multi-entity, multi-dimensional approaches to identifiers in your tech stack.  

For example in the following screenshot from within Put It Forward - identifiers are being taken from multiple sources that have 1 to 1, 1 to Many, Many to 1 and Many to Many relationships between each other.

Figure 2.  Shows how a multi-identifier view is created within Put It Forward as part of a process flow.

Yes this may look techie, but it’s what your data looks like when the relationships are clearly defined.   In the above scenario for this is addressing the most complex scenario - Many to Many. Even that can be rationalized down into something that is understanding and most importantly - flexible.  What this means is that it’s adaptable to the situation to which it is applied - a scenario can be modeled out in multiple ways depending on on the situation that’s being addressed.

Core Question To Ask

There are many questions that people don’t ask during an identity resolution planning session because they’re solving yesterdays and today's problem, but what happens when 30% of the sources change?  They will change without question and the approach you choose will drive future success.

So what does this approach get us?

  1. A flexible approach to dealing with changing identifiers
  2. Leverage of the current solutions and cost control
  3. The ability to execute immediately

While this approach can work for most scenarios it is definitely worth investing some time in to understand how it opens up more possibilities on the future roadmap.  Especially for the use cases of hyper-personalization, algorithmic customer engagement and CDP driven scenarios.

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