The recent I-COM Global Summit 2018 was a chance for us to discuss issues brands face around identity and data management and suggest ways to overcome them. If you weren’t able to attend the event, here’s our round-up of the key points.
Why do brands need to think about their approach to identity management?
Consumer experience should be at the core of every brand with the promise of delivering the most authentic interactions possible, no matter what the scale of the campaign. Whether you’re sending out a mass email campaign or running a programmatic activity – you want to make sure each individual feels like they are being spoken to directly.
Consumers want to see that brands understand them and know what they like. Brands must therefore be ready to ensure each interaction with a potential customer is as personal and relevant as possible.
Achieving this, however, is becoming more complex, and the solution isn’t just investing in better technology. It comes from a robust understanding of consumer identity, identifiers and how to link those sets of data together. The accuracy of that data is key to supporting and delivering a dynamic and personal approach.
What are the issues with identity and data management?
There a number of issues when taking a dynamic approach to personalised interactions, but we believe there are three core areas to focus on.
The first is fragmentation – Data and identities are fragmented because consumers use so many different devices and channels to access content. This make aligning behavior to identity complex.
The second is volume and velocity. The amount of data generated today is immense and it creates a continuous flow into systems. The quality or relevance of this data is often unknown and difficult to verify at speed, which means making good decisions is hard.
Finally, we need to think about scale. Even if brands can manage to link data together accurately and they can sort the ‘data wheat from the data chaff’ this only makes a difference if the data is scalable, i.e. there is enough data to use across enough channels to impact marketing performance.
What can be done to solve this?
We’ve already said personalisation cannot be effective unless companies have high quality data so that is the first port of call. This should start at home. Thinking about the data needed to make the engagement with the customer work. Thinking about how this data is managed, cleansed updated and enhanced. And clearly all done in a way that ensure you are operating within the regulatory requirements. And you are also operating within the bounds of what feels right from the consumer’s perspective. As we move towards a world where AI leads us to personlisation at scale, it will become even more important for brands to ensure that their systems are both scalable and that they have the infrastructure in place to put all of this data together and deliver the results in real time. So whilst technology and processes are not the answers in themselves – there is an inevitable requirement to have the right tech to do the right job.
Overcoming these challenges means remembering why we are taking a personalised approach to customer engagement in the first place. We know that people are not just personas or static profiles – they’re people, they are me and you. Ensuring you remember you are trying to deal with people will lead you to make better decisions about the data you need, the data you collect, the data you use and how you use it.