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Banking Needs 360-Degree View of Customer Journey

The Financial Brand | Jim Marous | Jun 2, 2020

Digital ID and Customer attribution - Banking Needs 360-Degree View of Customer Journey

“Identity is the foundation that allows brands to deliver relevant messages, while reducing waste, customer churn and optimizing return on marketing investment,” said Ric Elert, President and chief operating officer at Epsilon. “When brands get identity right, it gives them a fighting chance to not only survive but thrive.”

Why is Identity Resolution Important?

With consumers using multiple channels before they make a purchase, and using multiple devices interchangeably expecting a seamless experience, it has gotten exponentially more difficult to understand the complete customer journey. Identity resolution helps marketers connect the dots across all online and offline touchpoints that each individual customer uses.

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Without such capability, banks and credit unions risk wasting marketing dollars and the ability to measure success across channels. There is also the likelihood that you will over or under communicate with customers at key times of the relationship, creating ill will.

According to a study of just over 200 marketing and consumer data decision makers conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Epsilon, only 40% of financial services companies are confident that their customer ID profiles are both complete and accurate. This means marketing investments are being wasted and that there is a risk of privacy and compliance issues.

Other findings included:

  • Only 43% of financial services industry respondents say their brands use their ID resolution programs to measure online and offline marketing performance.
  • Only 29% of respondents said that they receive excellent support from identity resolution programs for reducing marketing waste.
  • Only 33% said that they receive excellent support for decreasing customer attrition and 42% for helping increase revenue per customer.

“We speak with marketing executives who tend to be too focused on data collection or campaign execution and aren’t thinking about measurement,” said Elert. “Brands that are seeing real results from their people-based advertising are committed to looking at all these areas holistically.

The Building Blocks of ID Resolution

The mission of identity resolution is to connect with customers with a high level of personalization and continuity of voice encouraging meaningful interactions. Or, more simply, to know enough about your customers so that they feel like you know them, understand them and want to help them.

Done well, and your organization benefits from less marketing waste and an improved brand perception.

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According to Epsilon, there are 5 building blocks to a strong identity resolution strategy:

  • Recognition. Using data not only available within your internal database, but also looking at behavior and channel usage beyond what consumers do with your brand.
  • Reach. The need to reach your customers as real people, not just cookies or devices, to avoid hurting your reputation by messaging them too frequently.
  • Accuracy. The importance of identifying customers across all of their devices and browsers, consistently and at scale, for a better customer experience.
  • Persistence. Being able to follow the customer as they change along their customer journey with updated data actions both online and offline.
  • Privacy. To proceed with confidence, data must be scrubbed of personally identifiable information (PII) before it is used to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This step also involves ongoing management of opt-out status.

Identity resolution at scale is best done with a partner you can trust. In addition you need to be able to continuously verify their ability to manage the different building blocks well. The risk of mismanagement goes beyond wasted marketing dollars and a bad customer experience. There are privacy and compliance ramifications.

In fact, Forrester found that many identity resolution programs face challenges. In the firm’s research, just half of financial marketers, at best, said they’re fully capable of fundamental identity resolution capabilities including identifying customers across devices, controlling communications frequency and sequencing, or building a single customer profile using all available customer data points.

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