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Thriving in the Privacy-First Economy by Unifying and Activating 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-Party Data

Zachary Van Doren

Senior Director of Partnerships

Over the last decade, marketers have relied heavily on third-party data to acquire, retain and grow customer relationships. Whether it involved using a data management platform (DMP) to find audiences and serve ads through ad networks or utilizing walled gardens like Facebook and Google for acquisition and retargeting — third-party data has dominated the better part of digital marketers’ budgets.

But that’s all coming to an end.

Seismic Shifts in the Digital Marketing Landscape

DMPs have become near-obsolete and now, even Facebook, Google and Amazon’s foundational advertising and marketing infrastructures are undergoing seismic changes. We’ve written extensively on the impacts of the “death of the cookie,” the hobbling of Apple’s identifier for advertisers (IDFA) and other upcoming changes to be implemented within Android and the major web browser providers.

As the foundations of third-party data are being rocked, all eyes are now on first-party data — the information businesses collect directly from consumers. In the words of our client Ekta Chopra, chief digital officer at e.l.f. Beauty, “with all the privacy changes, first-party data is the gold mine.”

Unified Customer Data with ActionIQ and Neustar

A Solution to the Challenges Presented by Emerging Privacy Practices

With the typical sources of third-party data under threat, marketers now need new avenues to know and deeply understand their prospects and customers as early in the relationship as possible. That means finding a solution that delivers data and customer insights beyond what can be collected from consumers during the earliest stages of interaction with a brand — and the ability to activate those insights in the form of authentic, ever-improving customer experiences.

Customer data platforms (CDP) have emerged as a major component of this solution — serving as the primary engine for marketers to interact with data to deliver insights and enable activation. The missing link, however? More upfront data about prospects and customers: who they are, how they behave, and how that links to their wants, needs and preferences.

That’s why ActionIQ, the leading enterprise CDP, developed a strategic partnership with another industry leader that can provide that missing link. Enter Neustar, a global information services and technology company and innovator in identity resolution. Neustar’s Unified Identity™, a privacy-forward identity and machine learning solution, rapidly enhances the quality and accuracy of customer data before it’s activated.

“The Neustar and ActionIQ relationship solves one of the toughest marketing challenges — providing a privacy-friendly yet accurate view of customers across devices and channels,” said Neustar SVP and General Manager of Marketing Solutions Michael Schoen.

How First-, Second- and Third-Party Data Come Together in Your CDP

Traditionally, external customer data provided lots of insights, but the problem was activating that data in the real world with sufficient agility and personalization. On the flip side, a great CDP excels at unifying customer data, uncovering insights and activating them across channels. Yet CDPs are typically focused on working with first-party data. How do you achieve the best of both worlds? Bring them together.

At the heart of what makes the marriage of these two solutions so valuable to marketers is its ability to rapidly and accurately identify individual customers and tag them with a rich set of attributes. Doing so requires two powerful capabilities: identity stitching and identity resolution.

What is Identity Stitching?
Businesses typically maintain multiple representations of the same customer across different systems. For example, a single customer might use their work email when identifying themselves to their insurance company’s call center rep, but their personal email address for their mobile app account.

Without linking those records together, the insurer’s systems will never know that these two interactions were made by the same customer. Identity stitching solves this problem by linking similar customer records using a combination of deterministic and probabilistic (a.k.a. “fuzzy logic”) matching. Identity stitching allows for related identifiers to be linked to each other so you can house a device ID, email and account ID all under a single master customer ID. This is the foundation of your customer’s “golden record.”

ActionIQ provides the engine for identity stitching across a brand’s disparate data sets through our powerful PersonMatch feature.

What is Identity Resolution?
While identity stitching is primarily focused on bringing together the data housed within the four walls of your organization, identity resolution starts from the premise that there are external “master truths” about every customer who interacts with you.

For instance:

  • While a customer may have a purchasing and credit history with your brand, there is a larger master truth about their spending habits and creditworthiness that’s curated by credit reporting agencies.
  • While your systems may house a single mailing address for a customer, property records contain a larger master truth about the places they reside and the other property (such as vehicles) they own and use.
  • While a customer may interact with you using their laptop, there is a larger master truth called a device graph that knows about all the other digital devices they use.

Identity resolution brings together all these external master truths about an individual to help paint a complete picture of the customer based on information outside of your business.

Neustar provides identity resolution through its industry-leading Unified Identity™ solution. Using a unified graph, Neustar resolves identity across all silos and types of consumer data (offline, digital, demographic and behavioral).

CDP & Identity Resolution in Action

By identity stitching your customer data, then applying authoritative identity resolution to enhance that data with external master truths within your CDP, your customer experiences benefit from:

  • A complete and accurate identity profile — across both unknown and known users — through a combined and comprehensive identity resolution solution
  • A single solution to enrich, model, segment and activate across all owned and paid channels
  • Increased addressability and match rate for media onboarding
  • Improved media intelligence and effectiveness enabled by data flow between multi-touch attribution (MTA) systems and the CDP

Benefits are achieved across a range of use cases that span interactions and experiences for both anonymous and known users, prospects and customers, including:

  • Prospecting: Attract new customers while reducing acquisition costs. Use first-party data to identify traits of high LTV customers, run lookalike models against enriched second- and third-party profiles, then activate across any paid media channel in the Neustar network.
  • Retargeting: Grow revenue and increase conversions. Deploy personalized, omnichannel journeys for users who interacted with your brand via owned properties but didn’t convert.
  • Enrich Known & Anonymous Profiles: Segment and personalize CX and paid media with greater accuracy. Enhance anonymous or known first-party profiles using high-quality third-party data such as demographics or buying preferences for activation across owned and paid channels.
  • Real-Time Web Personalization: Grow revenue with improved onsite experiences. Use a blend of real-time and historical behaviors, third-party enrichment and models to intelligently activate real-time journeys in your web personalization platform.
  • Householding: Reduce cost by deploying experiences at the household level. Resolve individual IDs to their household using a combination of first-party and enriched third-party data.
  • Paid Media Suppression: Reduce wasted spend and acquisition costs. Immediately identify converted customers and share with paid media channels for suppression.

Matching Data to Your Use Cases and Industry

The use cases above are applicable across nearly every customer-centric industry, including financial services, retail, CPG, media, advertising and technology. But the datasets a brand would apply for activating the use cases will vary by industry.

In retail, for instance, a brand may wish to take advantage of second- and third-party data from a partner such as PreciseTarget. Neustar’s partnership with PreciseTarget’s consumer taste-graphing product, available within the ActionIQ CDP, does just that — allowing marketers to more accurately segment and target customers based on purchase propensity for 1,000 brands, 100 retailers and 130 product categories — not simply demographics.

Learn More

Want to thrive in the privacy-first economy? The joint offering from ActionIQ and Neustar may be a good fit for you. Download our solution brief to learn more or contact ActionIQ for a consultation with one of our expert team members.

Written By

Zachary Van Doren
Author's LinkedIn Profile

Senior Director of Partnerships

Marketing technology and data leader with 20+ years' experience helping enterprise brands in their digital transformation efforts, working across marketing, data and technology teams. Prior experience includes the founding and leadership of CMO Labs, one of the industry’s first CDP consulting firms.

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