Identity Resolution Helps Marketing Firms Better Understand Customers

Identity Resolution, Record Management

identity resolution for marketing firms

Identity Resolution Provides an Accurate Picture of Customers

Marketing firms serve their clients by helping them devise marketing strategies. A crucial building block of a good strategy is effective customer identification, which has become an important capability given the multiplicity of channels that customers now communicate through. Identity Resolution technology is a critical tool in this effort.

The challenge goes way beyond that of removing duplicate records. It’s critical for marketers to get as accurate a picture as possible of a customer – close to the famous 360-degree view. This drives the personalized messaging that is sent to them on behalf of a client. If you don’t have a clear picture and don’t have any confidence as to who the customer is or what platforms they are using, it’s impossible to personalize your message. Personalization is a great way to strengthen the relationship you have with the customer.

Identity Resolution Clears Up Variations in Customer Data

A first step is to figure out which customer data refer to the same individual. That’s where Identity Resolution comes in.  It handles the various phenomena that arise in information that a customer supplies and which may well vary in their multiple interactions with a company via different channels:

  • Abbreviations (John Anderson vs. J. Anderson)
  • Transposition of letters or digits due to typos (Naomi Schorr vs. Noami Schorr)
  • Nicknames (John vs. Jack vs. Johnny)
  • Punctuation variations (XYZ Corp vs. XYZ Corp.)
  • etc.

Identity Resolution could even match names that are written in different scripts such as Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, Arabic, etc. This is important for international companies because individuals who speak, say, Arabic or Chinese will frequently supply the same data in English or the native script.

How Identity Resolution Works

Identity Resolution applies a variety of fuzzy matching techniques to handle variations in customer data.  Some advanced Identity Resolution products utilize Machine Learning and AI along with a large set of real-world equivalences of names and other data to train on for higher accuracy.

Identity Resolution also doesn’t just handle personal or corporate names, but also the variations typically found in other customer data fields such as phone numbers, address, email, etc.

Identity Resolution scores the likelihood of a match separately for each field and then calculates a total combined probability of two records belonging to the same individual. If you enter a query, Identity Resolution will search for possible matches and return the best ones in ranked order.

Factors to Consider in Selecting an Identity Resolution Product

If you’re looking to introduce an Identity Resolution capability into your marketing business to support your clients, you should consider the following factors:

  • Accuracy: An Identity Resolution product should offer high accuracy by minimizing both false positives and false negatives. You don’t want your Identity Resolution to generate too many bad matches and over merge customer records, but you also don’t want it to miss good matches and under merge, either.
  • Throughput: The Identity Resolution product should meet your throughput and scalability requirements given how many records you have and how quickly you want to get the results.
  • Flexibility: The product should also allow you to set the weights on individual customer record fields according to your business rules so as to reflect some fields are more important than others for a given client.
  • Customization: If needed for better accuracy on you particular data or applications, you should also be able to add your own custom matching rules and dictionaries as well as to set different parameters for matching.

In sum, Identity Resolution is a critical technology for improving a company’s understanding of their customer universe.