This is article is part of our series on customer experience where we focus on topics relating to connecting data, intelligence and experiences. Further reading: Segmentation Must Be Connected to the Data and Technology Stack.
With an ever-growing demand from consumers for personalized engagement, it is becoming increasingly important that marketers and customer experience professionals appreciate the importance of identity management as a piece of bedrock infrastructure.
Knowing who your customers are is an essential part of ensuring they are provided with highly personalized and appropriate messaging in a way that works best for them.
Put simply, without effective identity management, there is no people-based marketing. In fact identity management is the foundational component of concepts like cross-device identification, multi and omnichannel marketing, and the all-important single customer view.
These days customer management, marketing and advertising technologies rely on successful identity management to enable application integration and power segmentation.
It is a descriptive term that means the ability to link identifiers to a single person or household. Those identifiers could be a customer ID, marketing channel, a database key or a device ID such as mobile phone or web browser.
For brands to execute a consistent customer experience strategy, they need technology that understands and measures how consumers interact with their messaging. For instance, they need to identify that a customer has visited their website, opened an email, had a service incident or gone into the store.
And to deliver personalized experiences across any channel, brands need technology that can uniquely identify each user and their personal profile. In these use cases, professionals will be well served if they have some technical understanding of the issues.
There are two key improvements for a brand when they implement effective identity and access: better targeting and better suppression.
Better targeting increases the ability to convert prospects because the brand can communicate with the person in more channels, such as connected digital direct channels including email and display retargeting. This ability to reach a person across more channels with the same brand message increases the opportunity to convert and capture a greater share of wallet.
Conversely, the ability to suppress customers from acquisition strategies is a premise on which data management platform return on investment cases are built. Implementation of identity and access in paid media channels allows a brand to stop messaging to loyal customers or hot leads.
So what might create identity and access management concerns at a technical level?
Software-as-a-Service based marketing and advertising technology has revolutionized customer experience. However, often companies have multiple suppliers providing technology on-premise as well as in the cloud.
Identities and access needs to be federated across all these environments within a trust fabric or you risk creating data ghettos housed inside isolated silos.
Siddhartha Agarwal Vice President, Product Management & Strategy at Oracle, says, “Applications come with their own identities. It needs to be seamless and a very fast integration from one application to another (SaaS on on-premise).”
To address this problem, Oracle created an integrated portfolio that provides the ability to drag and drop without coding. “This means companies can do things like build federated integrations between a CRM and a marketing application," says Agarwal. "This makes it very easy to do these integrations so that now you have your identities and access, federated in a consistent manner across the on-premise and cloud divide.”
The problem - in terms of the customer's experience is that as each of these applications comes with their own identity, brand and risk offering, resulting in a disjointed experience as they do not have the full picture of the client relationship.
“Getting insight into user behavior is an important consideration and also needs to be connected to security systems. So if I see an inappropriate behavior I can step up authentication or turn off access via Multi Factor Authentication and User Entity Behavior Analytics. The outcome is a reduction in the time to detect and time to respond.”
The reality is that information systems are complex. For the customer, this needs to be quick, easy and seamless. Therefore brands would have to manage identities across applications from multiple and often competing suppliers within a Unified Identity Trust Fabric.
Download our free Guide to Advertising Accountability to learn how consistent identity management can help you improve marketing accountability, cut costs by reducing waste, and dramatically improve your ROI.