Identity Resolution

Three Ways Identity Resolution Makes Your Ad Spend Sing

September 11, 2019  |   Allyson Havener

Creating, running, and measuring effective advertising is probably the biggest fundamental of people-based marketing.

Smart media strategies and outstanding creative count for nothing if your ads aren’t reaching the right people and you can’t track their impact.

Ad effectiveness impacts customer experiences. If your customers consistently don’t find your ads relevant, they get annoyed, think less of your brand, and won’t convert.

The trouble is that most marketers are often working with a partial view of their customers based on snippets of information garnered from disconnected interactions.

That’s where identity resolution comes in. It enables you to always communicate with full context, so you can get much smarter about who you’re speaking to, what to say and, crucially, what kind of impact it had.

Ad effectiveness starts with tech stack integration

Advertising to customers depends on a connected data layer of anonymized personal identifiers across your whole Mar Tech infrastructure.

It comes down to tech stack integration—resolving offline and online data within the systems and channels across your tech stack means you can create better experiences throughout the customer’s journey in a privacy-conscious manner.

Working with persistent identities across your tech stack helps you optimize omnichannel ad spend in some really smart ways. You can drive…

    • Increased relevance by suppressing ads from specific segments 
    • Better targeted messaging by connecting with customers at key inflection points in the buying cycle 
    • Sophisticated testing by showcasing different creative to resolved segments to prove which personalized campaigns actually drive sales

Embedding identity within your tech stack can start small and increase ad effectiveness incrementally—beginning with your existing campaigns and segments.

Let’s see what that looks like.

Ad suppression

Say you’re a marketer at a car dealership and you’re about to run a campaign advertising a new discounted rate for some of your premium models left over from last year’s fleet. 

There are many reasons why you wouldn’t want to send that ad to anyone who’d just leased a car from you. 

For one, it’s not relevant, but it might also be frustrating—signposting that a customer has just narrowly missed out on a special offer hurts the relationship even further.

So it’s not just that your ad was ineffective: it was harmful

Reconciling identities across your tech stack means marketers can suppress ads from specific customer segments—like people who signed a new lease in the last two months. 

Better still, you could then run different campaigns for those excluded groups and ensure that every ad hits its target.

Better targeting

Now, say that same car dealership wanted to run a campaign upselling a road service package to customers putting a lot of miles on the clock. 

Indiscriminately running that campaign to every customer who leases a car from you might see some uptake, but you’ll probably see an underwhelming conversion rate and waste unnecessary spend in the process.

But with a well-integrated tech stack, you could run the ad for a segment of resolved identities that are also due for their 60,000 mile checkup.

The result is that while your spend falls, your conversions skyrocket. The next level up is producing more specific, resonant creative that feels much more personalized.

A/B testing

There’s no bigger driver of ad effectiveness than personalization. Whether it’s creative, copy, CTAs, special offers, or otherwise, closely tailored content stands a much better chance of cutting through the noise and driving prospects to action. (Or at the very least, building gradual trust and relevance with your audience). 

But people are complex and multidimensional, and seeing an ad that’s tailored for someone else can create distance instead of closing it.

There’s a world of nuance for marketers to navigate—and most of them only have a partial view of their audience based on a few disconnected data points. 

That’s where A/B testing comes in. It’s a practical way to continually optimize the effectiveness of your advertising while also helping you build more accurate segments in the process. 

So say that car dealership reconciled different identities across its tech stack into a segment of 45-55-year-old men living in the suburbs who’d also bought an SUV in the last 10 years.

They know that’s a hotspot for significant life events that might prompt a change in car, but it’s still a diverse segment. Some men might be nearing retirement and looking for something sportier to drive. Others might be looking to downsize the family car as their kids get cars of their own—and crucially, these two segments might not be mutually exclusive.

Using A/B testing, the dealership could change different elements of the same campaign to test different hypotheses, learn what works, and segment more accurately in the future. That could be anything from different copy and creative to an entirely separate promotion—a payment plan on a convertible versus, say, a sedan.

That’s the great thing about leveraging identity resolution in ad effectiveness—you can experiment at a level that maps exactly to your maturity.

Ad effectiveness is just one great thing that’s possible with identity resolution. 

Once you have a foundation of unified and activated online and offline customer data across all your marketing platforms and channels, you’re ready to make your marketing more people-based in all kinds of ways. 

We’ve outlined five of them (and who they impact across the whole marketing team) in Why Tech Stack Integration Matters. Check it out and see why identity resolution might be right for you and your team.