Identity Resolution: Modern Marketing’s Biggest Challenge…. And Opportunity

Gone are the days of a one-to-many approach to marketing. The future of digital marketing consists of complete customer centricity.  Modern marketers are expected to deliver targeted campaigns packed with personalized messaging. These campaigns should make customers feel as if experiences are tailor-made just for them. 

But developing one-to-one marketing messages and experiences is incredibly difficult. Not because we don’t have the data and intelligence to inform these personalized experiences – but because we can’t always access it.  

More data, more problems. Businesses today are drowning in data. They collect behavioral data as users interact with websites. They collect demographic data through various first and third party sources. They collect shopper data as customers make purchases online and in store. The list is endless. 

When data like this is siloed across various technology systems,  connecting that data so that it’s actionable becomes a Herculean task. It’s never been more important – or more difficult – to identify individuals and their behaviors accurately. 

This is where identity resolution comes in.

What is Identity Resolution?

Identity resolution is the process of connecting and harmonizing data across various platforms and devices to create a comprehensive customer view. This unified view might include information such as demographics, behaviors, purchase history, previous interactions with the business, and more. Marketers can use information like this to create personalized experiences that resonate with their customers.

Top Identity Resolution Use Cases 


Develop a Deeper Customer Understanding

A comprehensive customer view equips marketers with a deep and personalized understanding of each and every customer. Go beyond the surface level to understand drivers of  behavior, preferences, and interests of individuals, as well as segments, or like minded groups, within the audience.  

Identity resolution is an important first step to transitioning from a one-to-many marketing approach to developing one-to-one customer relationships at scale. 

For example, when an e-commerce company introduces identity resolution, they can connect the dots between a potential customer’s abandoned cart, and all of the behaviors that led them to the shopping session. They can see that before the shopper abandoned the cart, they browsed the blog and read three pieces related to similar topics. They can see that the shopper spent lots of time on the product page for product x, reading reviews. This fuller picture allows the marketing team to understand why that shopper abandoned the cart, so they can send the right followup messaging to get them back on track. 


Improve Campaign ROI

Identity resolution can help marketing service providers improve their marketing ROI. By gaining a better understanding of individual behaviors, they can create targeted campaigns that are more likely to convert. This can lead to increased revenue and a more significant return on marketing investment.

It’s no secret that better messaging begets better results. For example, when a digital media company serves ads showcasing their content to broad audiences, their click and read rates are highly variable. But, when they fully understand their readership thanks to identity resolution, they can segment their ads campaigns to ensure they get the right content in front of the right audiences. This customized approach to campaign planning leads to higher CTR, higher ROAS, and most importantly for the digital media company – happier readers. 

Become Data Agnostic

With the depreciation for the third party cookie looming, it’s never been more important for businesses to take control of their data. Identity resolution improves collection methods for, and usefulness of first party data. Companies with advanced first-party data capabilities will be well-equipped to weather the third-party storm. 

Consider company A, a digital -first brand who’s been building their first-party data strategy for years. They understand their customers on a behavioral level and have the data required to build robust profiles that can be leveraged to launch targeted campaigns across owned and paid media channels. Now consider company B, they’ve largely outsourced their advertising operations to a large AdTech firm that uses aggregated third party data to inform their campaigns. Company B hasn’t developed any in-house methods for collecting and understanding data about their customers and prospects. When Google sunsets third party cookies this year, they will be left  with no way to activate net new audiences, and a very limited understanding of the customers they already have. 

Marketing Service Providers and Identity Resolution

For marketing service providers equipping digital marketing customers with an advanced data-powered marketing toolkit, Identity resolution isn’t just “nice to have” – It’s “must have.”

The worlds of martech (largely PII based / enterprise data) and adtech (“anonymous”) are converging. Martech needs to cross the digital divide and adtech needs to become more first party-centric. Through it all, brands desire to take back and control their data, and not concede control to a third-party.

While marketing runs on data, the rules governing customer data usage and collection are ever-evolving. Many brands are not prepared to navigate these changes, and the depreciation of the third-party cookie makes data compliance even more urgent. It’s essential that marketing service providers are prepared to help their customers through this transition. 

While MSPs may be contending with data silos of their own, they have an added layer of difficulty in streamlining and harmonizing data across customer data silos, not just for one brand, but for their entire customer base. Collecting, harmonizing, and developing data identity graphs across an entire customer base can be incredibly challenging – not to mention taxing from a systems perspective. 

A Build-it-Together Approach to Identity Resolution

Aqfer offers a unique, Build-It-Together approach that allows its MSP clients to bring new offers to market more quickly, more affordably, and with less risk.  A number of name-brand Aqfer clients have successfully white-labeled our low-code identity resolution solution. Two of the world’s leading marketing data companies partner with Aqfer to bring stable and market-compliant identify graphing capabilities tailor-made for their digital marketing customers. In short, they’re building their business on top of us.

Want to learn more?  We’d be happy to describe all the ways we can help you build your identity resolution business – with market-leading capabilities like:

  • custom identity spines for clients
  • private ID graphs with persistent IDs
  • improved identity match rates
  • demolishing data silos with ease
  • reducing customer reliance on third party data providers. 

We invite you to learn more about Aqfer’s approach to identity resolution.