Why identity is the true currency of marketing

Building the case for identity management in your organization

By 2020, there will be more than 40 zettabytes of data in existence according to the World Economic Forum. To put it in perspective, that amount is equivalent of four million years of HD video or five billion Libraries of Congress. It is a staggering prediction, and the primary reason why leading economists say data—not oil—is the world’s most valuable resource.

Despite its value, companies still struggle to make sense of all that data. Only 10% of the world’s data is collected in a format that’s easy to analyze, personalize with or share. That forces marketers like you to cast a wide net when messaging people. The wider the net, the more you risk creating a negative brand impression on top of wasting valuable marketing resources and budget.

That’s why you should consider identity—and not data alone—as the true currency of marketing.

Data-driven marketing programs are limited when data is fragmented and not connected to the individual. When identity is done right, marketing programs can prioritize the human reacting to your outreach.

Thus identity-driven programs prioritize the human on the other side of the screen—knowing who the person is, how to reach them on what device and what messages will compel them. It’s the biggest challenge marketers face today, and the biggest opportunity to improve performance. For that reason, the global market for identity solutions is expected to be $2.6 billion in 2022

Building the case for identity management

The first step towards an identity-driven marketing program is realizing that your customer views are more fragmented than you realize.

The way advertising technology has evolved, you are likely working with a number of specialty partners —a combination of data onboarders, data management platform (DMP) and demand-side platform (DSP). It’s a common approach but one that leads to data loss between systems and partial views that disrupt your message.

Some of the common pitfalls you face when you have a fragmented view of identity:

  • When most data is only available at a broader audience view, it becomes difficult to connect purchase and browsing behavior to individuals.
  • Individuals with multiple devices are often treated as separate individuals, saddling marketers with false profiles and incomplete behavior data.
  • Data lacks longevity beyond the life of a cookie, which means marketers cannot support lifecycle marketing efforts with relationship-building outcomes.
  • Data is not aligned online and offline resulting in the same messages being repeated across marketing channels.

The future will only bring more data, more channels and more devices through which we engage people. But customers will continue to demand a seamless experience, which is why you must be able to flawlessly identify them and share the right message.