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Understanding Fidelity in Marketing

Fidelity is the new battleground in advertising. When we think of fidelity in music terms, we think about the exactness by which a voice or instrument can be replicated or recorded. In advertising, fidelity is the level of exactness by which a person can be persistently identified and tracked across digital and physical brand interactions.

An anonymous visitor to your site would be an example of low fidelity. In this case, the visitor is likely being tracked by a cookie placed on her browser, but we know little about that visitor, nor even who she is. That visitor can also easily wipe out that cookie or switch devices, leaving us no persistent understanding of who she is, her behaviors, interests, or intent. High fidelity definitions look different.

One example is a customer's relationship with a bank. When a consumer visits an ATM, pays a bill via online banking, or walks into a branch, she is identified by a personal ID unique to her, along with various passwords and pins for security. High fidelity is achieved when you understand and reach real people, not proxies.

Learn more about Merkle's 2017 Marketing Imperatives at merkleinc.com/imperatives.

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