Turning customer data into insights with Identity

Understanding your customer is a golden rule you’ll find on the first page of any marketing primer. The better you know their needs, goals and challenges, the more effectively you can serve them with resonant content and messaging. But in today’s privacy-conscious times, capturing this information is getting trickier than ever. Third-party cookies – for so long, a quick and convenient way to collect buckets of data about customer behaviour – are finally on the way out, with Google pledging to end its support by 2024. With 75% of marketers still relying heavily on cookie-based campaigns, new strategies for targeting and engaging customers are a matter of urgency.

To get ready for the post-cookie future, many organisations are ramping up their collection of first-party data. Gathering information directly from customers has the huge advantage of allowing you to create more personalised experiences that drive loyalty and sales – but it must be done with care. People will only share their data if they trust you to protect it, secure it and use it for their benefit. And regulators increasingly have their backs, with data security and privacy legislation imposing ever more stringent requirements on businesses – and ever higher penalties for non-compliance.

First party data is the way forward. But how do you acquire it in a way that doesn’t scare off your customers? And once you have it, how do you turn it into intelligence you can use to drive better marketing campaigns? An Identity-first strategy is key, and here’s why.

From data to intelligence

You may think of Identity as a security tool, but the truth is it goes way beyond your login box. A strategic approach to Customer Identity can reveal valuable insights and connect the dots between various data sources, so you get a 360-degree picture of your customers and their journey across all your brand’s touchpoints. Treating every customer as a unique person with a single identity provides the foundation for consistent, seamless experiences, wherever and however they interact with your business – unlocking useful intelligence for you and a better experience for your customers.

Personalising your offering

No-one wants to be overwhelmed with requests for information on their very first visit to your app. We wouldn’t expect to be asked personal questions by a stranger in real life, so why would we be comfortable with it on online? Yet getting this data is crucial to creating the customised experiences we say we want: according to one Twilio study, 83% of customers say their loyalty to a company increases when they’re offered a personalised experience

Progressive profiling is a Customer Identity solution that allows you to enrich customer profiles gradually and in a consent-forward way. You ask for the bare minimum of information on a customer’s first interaction – for example, just their name and email – and then further information on subsequent visits, such as their home address or what kind of products they’d like to see more of. These insights can then be used to tailor their experience with bespoke offers and suggestions, making them more likely to convert and stay loyal.

Improving customer experience

First impressions are crucial in any relationship. For your brand, that means your sign-up experience must be effortlessly smooth. With 56% of CMOs and CDOs believing poor login experiences are the likely factor behind cart abandonment, a seamless login and checkout flow isn’t just important for building confidence in your brand – it’s also critical for your bottom line.

Complicated password and account creation rules are prime culprits for customer frustration. Introducing social login, which allows customers to use existing social media account details to enter your app, has the double advantage of providing convenience for users and a pre-verified identity for you that comes with basic bio details on your customers, like location. Add a reassuring extra layer of security with multi-factor authentication and you have a sound foundation for building trust and encouraging customers to willingly share their data.

Unlocking insights

A Customer Identity platform will typically allow you to integrate Identity data with other sources and tools used by your business, helping you unlock valuable marketing insights. Many solutions offer native support for popular tools like Salesforce and Hubspot, and where this isn’t available it’s usually simple to create a custom integration using the platform’s APIs and SDKs. 

Combining your Customer Identity details with behavioural and transactional data from CDP and CRM systems provides a more holistic view of your customer, allows you to personalise your offering, and enables better segmentation and targeting for your marketing campaigns. It provides teams across your business with a unified, centralised source of information and context about every individual customer, helping you deliver a consistent message and a much-improved customer experience. 

Summing up

To succeed in today’s data-driven world, marketers must harness customer information sensitively and use it intelligently to spot trends, address pain points and drive amazing online experiences.

The end of third-party cookies brings with it challenges, but also opportunities as marketing shifts from indiscriminate targeting to more custom-built experiences, delivered in a way that respects customers’ privacy and security. As consumer needs and preferences evolve, Customer Identity is only going to become more critical in delivering the experiences your customers want.

To learn more about how Identity can improve your customer experience and unlock growth, see our new page: Get closer to your Customers.