Identity Solutions Can Overcome the Challenges of Personalized Marketing

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Increasing concerns about consumer privacy are changing the way organizations collect and use personal data. Government agencies are regulating how personal data can be collected and implementing new regulations to limit what data can be gathered. More importantly for digital marketers, technology influencers like Apple and Google are changing their policies regarding personal privacy. Without access to tools like Google ad tracking, organizations will need to develop new strategies for targeting and measuring marketing campaigns. The primary concern is transparency. It’s no longer just a matter of opting in. Consumers are generally willing to share personal data as long as they understand what they get in return. They demand that ads shown to them are relevant and that their privacy is protected.

The use of personal information to deliver relevant content promotes better engagement, which is a win-win for advertisers and consumers. As access to data gathered using cookie tracking goes away, content providers need alternate means to know more about the interests of consumers. Any enrichment and sharing of personal data can only be done with proper consent. To provide a better customer experience, content providers are adopting identity solutions that allow them to take control of their customer data and personalize interactions while providing greater transparency.

Applying Identity Solutions

Organizations use end-to-end identity solutions to collect data from various sources and build customer profiles. That data is then used as downstream references for personalized marketing and customer interactions.

Media companies have multiple customer touchpoints, including set-top boxes, mobile devices, customer service, social media, etc. Identity solutions are responsible for linking activities from these interactions to create an accurate customer profile. Sometimes the connections between interactions are apparent, as in the case of tracking activity connected to a user ID.

An identity graph database keeps all the identifiers related to a customer in one place, including personally identifiable information (PII) like usernames and phone numbers and non-PIIs like first-party cookies and publisher IDs. The ID graph then uses identity stitching to match identifiers across touchpoints. Organizations can use an identity graph database to form an omnichannel view, enabling them to create personalized, context-sensitive messages. Like the connected component algorithm, specialized algorithms generate a virtual ID that is consistently used to identify contacts across touchpoints.

Identity Graphs Power Marketing

Once they have captured the data in the identity graph database, organizations can apply the unified view of customers and prospects for marketing purposes. Each individual has different channels associated with their identity, such as business and mobile phone numbers, computers, social media accounts, a set-top box, etc. Connecting the ad identifiers for all these devices using a virtual ID makes it easier to deliver converged, addressable offers across devices. The identity graph also performs frequency capping (the maximum number of times an ad is displayed) per individual or household to optimize the advertising spend.

Using a low-latency identity graph database for identity profiling can help feed downstream applications. Here are a few common use cases:

Audience segmentation. Companies can create customer segments using an identity solution rather than relying on third-party data. Business rules for different segments can classify target audiences. The audience segments are automatically updated as they change over time.

Personalization engine. The identity graph presents a single view of each contact, including explicit and implicit interests and preferences. Since all the customer actions are stored in one place, i.e., a single source of truth, the database provides a 360-degree view to power a personalization engine.

Creative optimization. Rather than delivering the same advertisement to everyone, the contact history in the database enables personalized creatives.

Brand safety. Personalized advertisements should match the content where they are displayed and conform to the viewer’s preferences. Using an identity graph provides supplementary information to ensure the right ads are delivered, which can protect the brand.

Campaign analytics. Campaign performance is measured by tracking responses from specific audience segments. Identity graphs provide the metrics that determine how advertising is bought and sold.

Using the Cloud for Identity Solutions

With content marketing getting more sophisticated, serving custom advertising in real time has become vital. Identity solutions must map and unify billions of relationships and query customer data with millisecond latency. This explains why more organizations are using hosted identity graph solutions.

A hosted identity graph implementation reduces the total cost of ownership for storing and querying billions of records. It offers lower latency, is faster to deploy, and has reduced data storage costs than other approaches. It can also be used to power edge computing for faster performance.

Media publishers and content providers must deploy identity management solutions that maximize the use of data already captured in their databases. The data must be accurate and fully aggregated for precise, personalized outreach. The new generation of identity solutions will help publishers conform to new privacy rules while providing consumers with customized content, including advertising.

Vishal Kumar Jindal is senior director, media, at Tavant. Jindal is a business architect and subject matter expert for media, martech, adtech, and digital domains across projects, products, and technologies. He has more than two decades of proven expertise in business and domain solutions, product and program management, and business development. As an active follower of the media and entertainment sector, he is a specialist in digital advertising, media measurement, content management, and OTT solutions.

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