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Treating Customers Like People, Not Data Points

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How well do you know your audience?

I’m not just talking about their age, location, gender or purchase history. I’m talking about the subtle details that really tell you who they are as people. Details that provide a clear understanding of how to communicate with them beyond superficial insights.

Traditionally, none of that has been easy.

Brands have followed their audience’s online activity and marketed to approximations based on third-party cookies. And while that’s worked (up to a point), there’s an opportunity to get to know your audience on a far deeper level. And that deeper understanding enables brands to create campaigns that resonate with them in a way that feels truly empathetic, genuine and relatable.

Here’s how taking a new approach to identity can help:

Build meaningful customer relationships with first-party identity

The cookieless future has arrived. Old approaches to identity just won’t cut it. Instead, you need a way to collect opted-in first-party data, across both offline and digital channels, and accurately tie it all together.

To understand why that’s important, let’s imagine your typical customers. In the past month, they might have browsed your website several times, visited your physical store, downloaded one of your product explainers and initiated a chat with your virtual assistant. And beneath all of that activity, there’s more contextual information that gives you a deeper understanding of how that whole journey is connected.

Reaching that potential buyer doesn’t require third-party cookies. You just need to connect all the data you already have and use it to answer the questions that really matter: What initially drove them to your website? What did they look at when they got there? What enticed them to come back? And how are their interactions with your brand subtly evolving over time?

Gathering all that insight and accurately matching it to that same customer empowers brands to build a fully rounded picture of who they are. And that helps tailor messaging to reflect their changing desires and motivations.

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But more than that, it can help communicate with them at just the right time, in the moments they’ll likely be most receptive to your message.

Identity is a practice, not a product

To succeed in a post-cookie world, it’s not enough to simply rely on a product to connect all your first-party data. You also need to put together an identity strategy that guides your decision-making on several fronts.

Your strategy should help you decide what data you really need, what data you’re missing, and how to fill in any data gaps that might be undermining campaign performance. It should also underpin how you manage your data to ensure compliance with the latest privacy laws and how you communicate with customers in a way that feels respectful and builds trust.

Creating an identity strategy can be complex and time-consuming, which is where a trusted partner can help.

Acxiom’s Real Identity allows brands to build uniquely powerful relationships by turning data into human truths. And it also gives them access to a team of experts that can create an identity strategy that delivers consistently better customer experiences.

Follow Acxiom on Linkedin and AdExchanger (@AdExchanger) on Twitter.

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