FRESH PERSPECTIVE

Devices Don’t Shop – People Do

Marketers strive to understand customers by achieving single, unified profiles of them. When consumers began using multiple devices to engage with a brand, the goal became more challenging. Cross-device identification (XDID) changes everything.

04/7/2020

Marketers strive to understand customers by achieving single, unified profiles of them. When consumers began using multiple devices to engage with a brand, the goal became more challenging. Cross-device identification (XDID) changes everything.

The days of depending on web-based cookies to follow customer buying behaviors are over. Consumers in 2020 are using as many as five different digital devices for e-commerce; some may even switch devices multiple times in just one hour.

A consumer might use a smartphone to view a product online in the morning. During lunch, she might look at it again on a tablet and move it into her online shopping cart but not complete the purchase. After a full day to think about it, she may then buy the product from her desktop computer at home.

Success in marketing calls for combining consumers’ information across their phones, tablets, wearables, Smart TVs, desktops and laptops to form a personalized profile.

With XDID, the solution we need is now here.

“One size does not fit all in consumer marketing, and we don’t want to treat customers as if they have amnesia by sending them irrelevant or overly repetitive messages,” said Mary Kay Scholtens, Vice President of Strategic Data and Sales Enablement at Allant Group. “XDID serves the customer by allowing us to understand that person from their perspective.”

The Two Types of XDID
Cross-device identification currently applies two approaches to form a customer identity: probabilistic and deterministic.

The probabilistic method uses algorithms to deduce the likelihood that different devices represent the same person. It achieves this by interpreting anonymous information such as an individual’s IP address, physical address or zip code+4, and browser type.

If the algorithm determines these factors are similar enough, it will define the identity as one person. Because the method relies on being probable as opposed to specific, it may be less certain, but it can also be more adaptive, such as for targeting audiences for ads.

The deterministic approach matches a user to a precise identifier such as an app ID, an e-mail address or a social media log-in. Because the approach aims for exact pairings, it provides a more accurate and scalable view of the customer, which can be ideal for direct, personalized communications.

Many XDID thought leaders recommend combining the probabilistic and deterministic methods to balance the narrow focus of exact insights with the broader view of informed guesswork.

Whether you use a blended or a weighted approach, your XDID should:

  • collect customer data across as many online and offline touchpoints as possible
  • use as many identifiers as possible, to assimilate all devices and channels and help attach each bit of data to the correct customer
  • ensure the customer’s brand experience remains uniform so the channel or device being used becomes inconsequential

By recognizing your customers wherever they interact with your brand, XDID creates the framework that personalizes your approach to each distinct individual.

The Sought-After Advantages
Businesses that leverage the power of XDID gather, correct and complete the components that turn the unknown into the known. They recognize who and where their customers are, how they behave, what they prefer and how they make buying decisions.

With more complete single customer views, businesses can build stronger ties across all devices and channels and, as a result, reinforce brand value and loyalty.

Additionally, holistic customer views further protect organizations from the risk of identity fraud. This then allows a business to remove certain security steps for a known user, making the brand relationship even more familiar.

However marketers apply XDID, unifying devices is a means to an end of connecting with people in the right ways at the right times. By adapting and responding to what customers share about themselves in relation to our brands through the channels they choose, we welcome their willingness to help us target, execute, measure and serve with greater precision and meaning.

It’s Your Data: Maximize It with Allant
To learn more about XDID optimization and modeling, contact us at (800) 367-7311 to speak with a specialist or visit allantgroup.com to learn more.

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