It’s indisputable that every customer experience, across every device, should be personalized in real-time! Whilst it once may have seemed to be something of a distant dream for many marketers, personalized interactions across multiple devices is a reality with cross-device identification and a Customer Data Platform.
What is cross-device identification?
These days, marketers are not just looking to connect devices together – they’re looking to manage identity across all platforms and focus on the customer, not on the device. Cross-device identification achieves this by bridging the gaps between a customer’s devices.
For example, let’s say that you are a clothing retailer and a customer is using their smartphone to access your website to browse a pair of shoes. Whilst they may not purchase the item there and then, they may opt in to your mailing list. The next morning they are using their laptop in a coffee shop. Using cross-device identification, the customer will automatically return to the exact same place they were on the website the night before, encouraging them to place an order for the shoes they were looking at.
How does cross-device identification work?
Cross-device identification works by combining data from media companies, publishers, ad exchanges and third party solutions. An identity graph is then built from these data sources and assigns each user a universal ID. This ID links all of the devices, websites and apps used by that user and connects all of the touchpoints within your customer journey. This provides the foundation you need to create a unified, seamless customer experience that is tailored to that specific individual.
However, it is important to note that there are two types of cross-device identification:
·Deterministic identification – This involves recognizing personally identifiable information such as an email address that is used to log in to various apps and websites. This authentication is seen as the more reliable type of cross-device identification.
·Probabilistic identification – This relies on algorithms rather than authentication and tracks a multitude of anonymous data points connected to different digital elements such as screen resolution, device type, Wi-Fi network, operating system and location. However, because these do not contain personally identifiable information, probabilistic identification, whilst more scalable, is less accurate than deterministic.
How does cross-device identification benefit marketers?
Cross-device identification enables marketers to use the data provided by customers to identify and target them across all channels and devices, thereby moving towards a more omnichannel customer experience. For example, a marketer will have the ability to match a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and smart TV to a specific individual as well the information that shows how this customer navigates their way between websites and their purchase journey.
Marketers can activate the insight and information that cross-device identification brings by using it to enhance data in a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Just like other additional data feeds used for enhancements, this improves segmentation and customer profiling capabilities. And when you consider that the majority of website visitors don’t convert, it is highly valuable for identifying consumers.
Why a Customer Data Platform is essential for cross-device identification
A CDP works by blending online and offline data, bringing the information contained in disparate data silos to give you clean, consolidated information. Whilst the real-time information gleaned from cross-device identification can be invaluable to any marketer, it must be stored and handled carefully if it is to be used effectively. You can feed your cross-device identification data into your CDP which enhances what you already know, but will also give you an unparalleled insight to who is accessing your websites or apps, and device preferences.
Cross-device identification will continue to evolve and take centre stage as we enter an age of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). It is in the best interests of every marketer to ensure they know exactly who their audience is in order to execute highly effective campaigns that speak to them personally. As time and technology progress, more and more marketing strategies will revolve around connected devices, meaning that a Customer Data Platform is essential if you’re looking to future-proof your business for upcoming marketing trends and technologies.