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Identity Resolution: Build a Clearer Digital Picture of Your Customers

What is digital identity resolution?

Digital identity resolution is a foundational component of the marketing ecosystem. It is the ability to source, capture, cleanse, link, and integrate data in order to recognize consumers.  Over the past several decades, identity management solutions have been highly tuned to support identification of consumers through traditional personal information such as name, address, phone number, and email addresses. These systems manage changes in data caused by moves, name changes, and diverse name and address representations. Identity resolution systems enable the ability to link across both first- and third-party data.

An identity resolution system includes the following components:

  1. A robust data quality engine to support parsing, hygiene, and standardization of data
  2. A highly tuned business rules engine to create associations
  3. Ability to leverage historical reference bases to inform linkages

In today’s digitally driven world, managing identities has gotten more complex as anonymous personas are graphed through digital information such as IP addresses, device IDs, social handles, profile ID, and cookies. Merkle created Connected Recognition (cR) as a highly sophisticated identity resolution system to connect the digital identities to known identities—the connected customer view. cR builds consistent, comprehensive, and continuous identity resolution learning across both online and offline worlds. It provides the ability to integrate all data and recognize prospects and customers at the point of interaction regardless of channel or media. By integrating consumer data (CDI) and digital data (DDI) through cR, a map can be constructed to identity attributes, pooling their association to each other. Going even further than just identity resolution, cR registers and collates marketing events—for each individual—to create a longitudinal experience history or event stream that can be fed back to the marketing ecosystem.

Digital identity management framework

Benefits of identity resolution

It’s difficult to provide consistent yet unique experiences to contacts when a brand is unable to connect the dots between marketing silos. Brands that implement identity resolution practices realize the breakdown of these silos. Synchronizing disparate customer numbers and keys and associated data used across an enterprise prevents the fragmentation of customer information, improving analytics, campaign results, and filling out the elusive total view of the customer. Brands are able to anticipate customer needs when they know who they are communicating to and can adjust marketing offers based on past experiences. Connecting first and third-party data enables the brand to develop richer consumer profiles. Creating the event stream allows clients to analyze their programs in context of the whole picture. Having this powerful information available not only enables brands to deliver personalized experiences across all channels and media, but also use this information to evolve their customer strategies. 

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