What is identity? We're not asking in the philosophical sense, but more what is identity when it comes to marketing? When marketers talk about identity, they’re talking about their understanding of a real person—information, behaviors and preferences—as they consume digital content and make transactions. This is typically in the form of first-party data, and it's an essential part of effective brand marketing because it's always important to know who you're talking to.
Brands often use tools like customer data platforms (CDPs) and data clean rooms to organize current and prospective customer data. Those tools can help glean insights based on information a brand already has, like past purchases, mobile app downloads or website visits. But even that doesn't tell the whole story.
This is where identity resolution comes in—it helps brands see beyond a limited view of their customers and resolves any discrepancies. Brands often focus on media activation, channels and media cost, but without underlying identity resolution, they may be activating on unreliable data.
Let's talk about how resolving consumers' identity gaps is an important first step in an optimal media activation campaign.
Identity gaps? Big problems.
First-party data is a valuable tool for marketers, but it's not equally accessible to all. A lot of things can limit the amount of first-party data marketers can access and use: Privacy regulations, inter-company siloes, diversified channels, the nature of where a brand's product is sold (like CPG brands, for example), and much more. And even brands that have a lot of first-party data, like retailers, often still have data dark spots.
There are ways to fill in those missing pieces. Identity resolution organizes a brand's first-party data so what they have is all aligned, and it enriches the data by filling in gaps and missing data. This process gives brands insight on what a customer does outside of their owned channels, so they can go beyond just their first-party data (no matter how much or how little they have) to better understand what people are buying, what they're browsing, what they're watching and on what devices.
Most solutions on the market today rely on identity matching, not true identity resolution. Identity matching is when a brand connects existing devices, emails or digital identifiers to existing customers. The problem? While this can often be sufficient for owned channel activation, it generates significant waste in paid channels. And as individual people often have multiple devices and emails, they're easily conflated as being more than just one customer when it's really the same person.
This is where marketing technology comes into play. Brands deploy tech solutions, like CDPs, to alleviate some of these matching issues. Most CDPs can only organize a brand's first-party data, and most don't come with an identity resolution component. Without an identity partner, they rely primarily on a very cursory method of matching like email to email to develop richer profiles of customers.
But CDPs that have a built-in identity layer, like Epsilon's Customer, a CDP solution, go a step further and fill in those data gaps. Customer finds real people and attaches them to Epsilon's CORE ID, the industry's most accurate, stable and scalable identity resolution solution that recognizes and reaches 200 million+ consumers. That, coupled with proprietary insights, gives brands an individual view of your current customers. And, best of all, this is all done in a privacy-safe way.
Deeper insights drives higher performing media activation
This should go without saying, but a brand that knows their customer better can deliver highly relevant, loyalty-driven experiences because they know customer behaviors and motivations.
Brands no longer have to guess what a person's current wants and needs are based on their limited view. A persistent, unified view of an individual means brands can speak to their customers about the right products on the right devices at the right time. It also illuminates the customers who have perhaps fallen off: people who are seasonal shoppers, people who have gone to a competitor, or people who are strong in-market candidates for a product a brand hadn't previously thought to market them.
Customer is the only in-market CDP that offers native digital activation. Typical CDPs take their audiences and export them into a separate solution for media activation. When that data goes from one place to the next, brands often experience data loss and decreased fidelity, resulting in wasted media budget.
As a person's needs change, the brand can be in lock step with them, continually optimizing their media activation and giving them the confidence to adjust ad spend based on reach and optimal frequency.
Epsilon's Customer natively activates with Epsilon Digital, using those rich insights to fuel better media activation in one platform.
When combined with Epsilon Digital, brands get in front of the right customers while benefiting from a return on ad spend (ROAS) that's 136% higher than competitors. And, because of closed-loop measurement, your campaigns get even better over time. The longer and more extensively a brand uses the platform, the more useful and granular its insights become.
The Epsilon difference
With the highest match and reach across the open web, and our industry-leading CORE ID identity solution, Epsilon helps brands connect their adtech and martech into one seamless operation. Better reach enables brands to actually serve ads to the right people, driving revenue for the business. Our solutions drive long-time loyalty with real people, and we can help brands get started in weeks, not months.