How to Get Started on Your Brand’s Identity-Driven Journey

November 06, 2018

“Every business needs to tap into their inner Amazon.”

Great advice from Tom Liantonio, CEO and founder of real-time bidding platform ClickCertain.com, during Signal’s recent webinar Data Onboarding: The Cornerstone of Identity Resolution.

“It doesn’t matter how your business starts, you’re in the relationship business,” Liantonio explained. “Amazon is just leveraging that relationship.”

Presenting alongside guest speaker Forrester Senior Analyst Susan Bidel and Signal Chief Identity Officer Joe Doran, Liantonio shared his 3.5-year journey to becoming an identity-based marketer. Driven by his desire to understand the processes behind Facebook, Google and Amazon, he ultimately realized the urgency in building a customer identity graph, a foundational data asset that allows a brand to tie back behavioral and historical data to actual people and resolve customer identity.

Marketers all use data (mostly second- and third-party data) in some form or fashion, Liantoino said. But once you overlay identity onto that data, it becomes extremely powerful.

“Everybody needs to have a graph, period,” Liantonio stressed. “We use all of our first-party, second-party and third-party data to help build out the path to purchase. Because the more information I have about a person, the better I’m going to be able to do business with him, the better I’m going to be able to help him navigate his information search and build that trust.”

As ClickCertain’s identity usage has increased, Liantonio said his marketing costs have gone down, his identity graph has grown more valuable and his brand has been able to get in front of customers earlier in their buyer journeys to control the conversation and bring in more conversions at a reasonable cost.

Of course, the road to identity wasn’t without its roadblocks. “We kissed a ton of frogs along the way,” Liantonio admitted. He cautioned others to find an identity partner that not only solves for your current use cases but can carry your brand into the future with an end-to-end strategic solution that does not limit or restrict you in any way.

“It’s not enough to just have an identity graph,” Liantonio said. “You need to own it. You need the right partner. You need to do this now.”

So how does a brand get started on its own identity-driven journey? Bidel provided a detailed overview of the identity resolution marketplace (which can be referenced in the report Forrester Now Tech: Identity Resolution) and highlighted key vendor considerations. But first, she said, all marketers should do the following three things:

  1. Take an in-house inventory to determine what they really have in terms of data resources.
  2. Think about where they want to go, and then strategize a very realistic step between where they are now and where they want to be, taking into account what kind of change, and at what pace, their company can accommodate.
  3. Talk to all vendors about what they would need to facilitate that roadmap.

“A lot of this is complicated,” Bidel said. “Ask every question that pops in your head — and then ask more. It’s your money. Be clear on where you are going to spend it.”

To hear all of what Bidel, Liantonio and Doran had to say about onboarding and identity resolution, watch the complete webinar recording Data Onboarding: The Cornerstone of Identity Resolution. And when you’re ready to take the next step on your path to identity-driven marketing, enjoy a complimentary copy of Forrester’s Now Tech: Identity Resolution, Q3 2018 to help you further understand the identity marketplace.

Lara Compton

Lara is Vice President of Marketing at Signal. She is focused on enhancing Signal's existing client business by developing marketing campaigns, sales materials and training efforts in partnership with Product, Solutions, Enterprise Sales and Client Services teams. Prior to Signal, Lara held key marketing, operations and account management roles at technology startups focused on digital advertising, telecommunications and retail.

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