4 Keys to Strong Consumer Identity Management

Micro moments. Omnichannel interaction. Personalization. 

Some might see these as simply the latest buzzwords used to describe customer engagement. But businesses and marketers keeping pace in the race to earn consumers’ attention recognize those words aren’t just trendy jargon. They are meaningful concepts that enterprises face today when it comes to consumers’ expectations: Know who we are, what we want, when we want it. And be quick about it because we’re not waiting around. 

Consumers are now in control—everywhere—and are empowered by digital and mobile technology. For marketers, today’s omnichannel world—built on multiple devices, browsers, social networks, in-bound phone calls, email, video, and in-store experiences, to name a few—is a double-edged sword. It teems with opportunities to interact with consumers, who at the same time dole out attention in fragmented snippets. Those snippets are micro moments when brands have a fleeting opportunity to let consumers know they’re ready with what consumers are looking for, right when they need it.

Industry analysts like Forrester, Google, and Gartner agree that in today's digital-driven climate, companies and marketers who do the best job of meeting customers’ needs in micro moments will be the ones to earn trust, build relationships, and gain loyal customers. The secret sauce is personalization—knowing who they are and what they want, and providing it at every interaction.

It’s more than a theory. In a study by Accenture, 73 percent of consumers said they prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant. Apparently, marketers get it. In another study, 90 percent of the participating marketers said they believe personalization is the future.

But personalization takes homework and lots of it. Today’s top-of-class companies will turn to consumer identity management (CIM) to achieve personalization by accessing and unlocking a complete set of attribute profiles on demand, particularly in consumer-initiated interactions. The DNA of personalization is the ability to take as little as one identifier—like a phone number or an email—and attach additional rich decision-making identifiers and attributes that go beyond the traditional contact data of a CRM platform. These often include customer demographics and psychographics, online and mobile behaviors, propensity-to-buy scores, and purchase histories. Whether these identifiers and attributes are obtained through research or a CIM solution, this homework can yield a treasure trove of information that enables marketers to:

  • link customer data from a myriad of sources, creating one complete identifying profile;
  • provide accurate and consistent identification across channels and departments—marketing, customer service, finance;
  • know who they’re dealing with on the other end of an outreach or inbound transaction;
  • provide the personalization consumers want; and
  • allow consumers to manage their profiles and designate what they want to share and receive.

Build a Better Customer Experience with Consumer Identity Management

Like most technology tools today, CIM feeds on data. Here are a few best practices that companies need to implement to unlock rich demographic, psychographic, and behavioral identity profiles that enable true personalization.

Link data as it is collected. The amount and type of data companies collect and maintain on prospects and customers can vary widely by source and system. Because of this, consumer data is often incomplete, inaccurate, or out of date. Another issue companies have to overcome is that information may be collected and stored in silos with billing information, customer service, and purchase history in separate locations, making it inaccessible.

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