FRESH PERSPECTIVE

Who’s the customer behind the data? It’s a question all marketers are trying to solve.

With brands squarely in recovery mode and a captive audience doing even more shopping online, cobbling together a unified profile is as urgent as ever. Cross device identification (XDID) connects a unified view to every available data point linked to the customer both on- and offline.

07/7/2020

cross device identification

With brands squarely in recovery mode and a captive audience doing even more shopping online, cobbling together a unified profile is as urgent as ever. Cross device identification (XDID) connects a unified view to every available data point linked to the customer both on- and offline.

Case in point. John, Jonathan and Jon Jr. all have profiles within your marketing data. Are they the same person, or different identities?

Cross device identification solves for that very issue by vetting different variables in often-siloed systems. We can now start to know—not guess—who each customer really is and what their data footprint is trying to tell us as one unified identity.

The remaining challenge has been knowing whether the business-customer relationship is the same through any given device. Were the points of contact with laptop A and cell phone B both from John Jr., or were they from his wife, Jill? Who’s sending us information from desktop computer C, if they are not self-identifying?

The XDID goes a layer deeper by purifying a customer record through channel affiliation. By identifying customer X as the originator of an IP address, a work phone number, a zip code, a mobile device and eventually even a television, XDID assigns a persistent key marker to all data points for immediate martech ingestion and analysis.

“By rendering the channel or device inconsequential to recognizing someone, cross device identification makes the business-customer relationship truly clear and personalized,” said Mary Kay Scholtens, Vice President of Strategic Data and Sales Enablement at Allant Group.

To illustrate, let’s say we are a popular brand of men’s clothing. Using XDID technology, we can differentiate two individuals in the same household, such as John Jr. from his wife, Jill, when we isolate the individual devices used.  So, when John Jr. visited the brand’s website from his laptop—without signing in—and leaves two items in the shopping cart, you can identify these items as his.  XDID allows you to retarget John Jr with digital ads for different kinds of shirts you knew he liked before he abandoned them in his cart.  And, when John Jr. later comes into one of your retail stores to make a purchase with his loyalty card, the brand can now stitch together the full customer journey that led to the purchase for John Jr.

XDID links all of these points to who is unmistakably John Jr., which allows us to observe and interpret his customer journey, including his buying behaviors and motivations. This also allows us to start informing campaigns by channel.

process flow

What Makes Versatile Yet Precise XDID?

Think of cross device identity tracking as a system of pristine checks and balances. XDID joins offline name and address to online IDs for full identity-resolution linkage, which includes numerical-key matching and generation, and persistent ID assignment. Each unique persistent ID will be built using fact tables about the customer or prospect.

Mind you—this vetting doesn’t bypass existing business rules that have been established for legal and compliance purposes. An XDID platform must adapt those rules to accept zero-, first- and third-party customer data. For example, when John Jr. signed up for a brand’s loyalty program, he provided his birthday in exchange for offers (zero-party data: supplied by him). He later shopped on the website without signing in and left the items in the cart (first-party data: collected by the brand). The brand then leveraged third-party data to understand he has an interest in running. XDID linkage joins these data points to the same customer.

With that confirmation comes a new persistent ID, which follows the new customer through his digital footprint. If John Jr. adjusts his name to John Junior or moves from 111 Elm Street to 211 Pine Parkway, he will still be linked to the same customer record.

As time goes on via trigger-based updates, we can report and analyze John Jr.’s purchase behavior and brand affinities. We also increase deliverability rates, reduce duplicate and irrelevant contacts, send him only relevant offers, and raise his confidence in privacy compliance and protection against identity fraud.

“With cross device identification, we can now better shape our products and communications for particular people while better understanding and allocating our marketing spending,” said Scholtens.

To learn more about XDID optimization and modeling, visit allantgroup.com or contact us at (800) 367-7311.

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