Anonymity Is Dead: We All Have a Digital Footprint

While everyone would like to believe differently, no one can exist within today’s society without having some form of a digital footprint. From smartphones to tablets and laptops, you are connected. From a simple debit card purchase to visiting your doctor, the data is there.

Over the past decade, the focus of marrying offline to online data has empowered companies to fully understand their customers. This holistic view has evolved into a systematic methodology of guiding a customer along the decision journey. The data informs a company of:

  • when a customer moves from one point (within the journey) to the next;
  • how and where to interact with the customer; and,
  • what key conversations are appropriate to each unique customer. 

But this relation can exist beyond simply known customers. The interconnectivity of data allows marketers to identify and segment customers at every stage within the “addressability spectrum.” Even at anonymous, a marketer has a host of data and relevant information, which can be leveraged in targeting, segmenting, and understanding their audience.

Connecting offline and online data makes a customer's digital footprint more rich

What this changes:

This interconnectivity of offline and online data provides marketers with the ability to create true omni-channel integrated campaigns. It enables the management of a company’s relationship with an individual, regardless of who it is or the status of the relationship. It provides enough information for true arbitration analysis. 

Today, customers are hardly ever “unknown,” and if they are, it is only a matter of interactions before they are self-identified. With this level of self-identification and data interconnectivity, it is becoming increasingly more important that you talk to each person on an individual-by-individual basis; and that you focus on building customer relationships at the “anonymous” stage. 

That is to say, a personalized conversation needs to begin even before the customer identifies himself, purchases a product, or registers.

Personalization needs to occur across the entire addressability spectrum. Personalization should leverage relevant data in identifying and defining the appropriate conversation. Identifying the how and where (i.e., channel and/or media) of the conversation. Finally, the data should inform personalization of when it is and is not appropriate to have a conversation. 

The interconnectivity of data moves personalization beyond name, location, last interaction, and known customers. Personalization now begins prior to the customer even showing interest or intent and continues throughout the purchase and into advocacy. 

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