Guide to picking an identity resolution platform

  • How to determine if you need an identity resolution provider and what questions to ask.

    With U.S. consumers expected to own as many as 13 connected devices — computers, phones, televisions, smart speakers, IoT devices, cars, etc. — by 2021, according to Cisco, the challenge for marketers to communicate effectively across numerous channels and devices is growing exponentially.

    That fact is highlighted in our new report, MarTech Today Research’s “Enterprise Identity Resolution Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” (free, with registration required.)

    Why invest in identity resolution? The top reason to consider an identity resolution platform, according to the report’s survey: development of audience insights for segmentation and targeting, followed by email personalization, offline-to-online targeting, location-based targeting, attribution, retargeting, and paid media personalization.

    U.S. companies spent $900 million last year on identity resolution platforms, Winterberry Group estimated. And that number is expected to hit $2.6 billion by 2022.  Enterprise identity resolution platforms “create and maintain a database of persistent individual and/or household profiles based on a plethora of first-, second- and third-party data sources and identifiers.”

    All vendors evaluated in the report offer data onboarding, identity graph, privacy regulation compliance and APIs for third-party integrations. A few also provide customizable match algorithms, confidence scores based on their first-party customer data and profile data quality, and pre-built connections to martech platforms as well as other features.

    Tips for useful vendor evaluations. There are several key factors to assess when evaluating whether an identity resolution platform would benefit your business: if your customer data is in silos, if data quality is an issue that impacts effectiveness, if you have gaps in knowledge about customers and whether you need tools to assist with compliance of applicable data privacy regulations.

    As with any technology purchase, asking the right questions during the RFP and evaluation process is critical. Knowing what to ask — and remembering to ask each one — isn’t always easy though. With a checklist of vendor questions the report suggests asking vendors questions such as, “What match rate can we expect, given our vertical market and database size?,” “Does the platform feature any built-in data activation capabilities?,” and “How does the company handle requests for product modifications?”

    Why you should care. Identity resolution has become an essential need of marketers who want to target ads at individuals, recommend products or maintain a consistent multi-channel customer experience. Understanding the core offerings and which products offer added features as well as what questions to ask vendors and their customers can make the evaluation and subsequent onboarding process go faster and be more successful.

    This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

    About The Author

    Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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