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Putting Identity at The Center of Your Customer Strategy

Identity is the foundation for personalization and is the core differentiator you'll need to deliver the total customer experience. Without knowing who your customers are at every interaction, it becomes virtually impossible to treat them as individuals with unique interests and preferences.  Establishing a comprehensive identity strategy to support personalization is complex. When done right, a comprehensive strategy will drive better experiences while improving marketing effectiveness.

Where to start with an identity-centered strategy

Identity strategy for personalization begins with the consumer engagement and the information they provide in exchange for services. Compliant and secure collection of person-level identity data is the natural starting point of the identity strategy. 

Consumer interaction points need to be designed to allow consumers to easily provide personally identifiable data (PII) and consent in exchange for services. Consumers are cautious about who they share information with, so there needs to be a perceived value and security assurance that consumers’ data will be used to enhance their experience. Enhanced experiences can include convenient interactions, compelling content, and easy to use tools/applications. There also needs to be a careful balance as to not negatively impact the overall user experience through an arduous data entry process. For example, acquiring an email address upon first interaction with a new customer is a perfect way to start collecting identity. Over time, as the customer engages further with the brand, focus can be applied towards building out the customer’s full PII profile. The technology used to orchestrate and deliver these experiences should be designed and configured towards the long-term goal of acquiring PII and consent over time, in exchange for the personalization brands deliver. Data security and overall data compliance need to remain a top priority, so customers can opt-out or adjust their preferences to best suit their needs. 

It is important to recognize that not all brands can naturally acquire the level of PII to reach identity scale. This gap can be bridged through careful consideration of compliantly sourced second- and/or third-party data. Building a consumer strategy anchored on person-level identity is fundamental in supporting personalization. In addition, with increasing privacy regulations, transparency demands, and the phase out of the third-party cookie, person-level identity is becoming paramount to enabling personalization in the modern marketing ecosystem.

Want to learn more and find out how you can enable first-party cookie-less identity? Check out Merkle’s new identity platform, Merkury, here.