What Is Identity Resolution?

Identity resolution is a business process that collects and compiles your customer behavior to create a customer profile. With this profile in hand, your team can better serve, understand, and market to your customer base.

unidentified user engaging with a mobile device
Photo by Gilles Lambert / Unsplash

Identity resolution is a business process that collects and compiles your customer behavior to create a customer profile. With this profile in hand, your team can better serve, understand, and market to your customer base. With an in-depth customer profile created through identity resolution methods, you can enhance your customer experience exponentially.

The challenge most businesses face with identity resolution is, primarily, unifying their data across all of their customer touchpoints and platforms. It’s both a blessing and a curse that we have so many different customer channels at our disposal. It allows us to collect as much customer data as possible, but it also means that data has to be sorted and made sense of.

Fortunately, there are solutions that make collecting customer insight and identity resolution a simpler task. With identity resolution, identity management, and identity matching tools, businesses can take control of their customer profiles and make a more complete and engaging customer experience. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of identity resolution.

Why It’s Important for Business - Key Examples

Every business should endeavor to have some sort of identity resolution integrated into their processes. The main reasoning is that you get a better understanding of your demographic. Understanding your customer allows you to deliver a better experience and make sure you’re reaching the right audience.

With a unified profile of your customers, you can make a huge impact on your business revenue, marketing, and profitability. No more wasting your marketing spend or misunderstanding customer expectations. With identity resolution solutions in your back pocket, you can make a better business that drives customer loyalty. Here are some key examples of what identity resolution can do.


Creating a Customer 360

With identity resolution, you can create a more accurate Customer 360. A Customer 360 allows you to get an overview of customer data — everything from their first website interaction to final purchase — and it allows anyone on your team to access that data and have one version of that customer.

With a better Customer 360, your team will have a single truth that they can look to when they need to better serve customers and create a more interactive customer experience.

Personalizing Customer Experiences

Your customers may fit into a few different demographic categories, but they’re still individuals. You want your customer experience to be consistently great, but you should also make sure customers are getting an experience that is personalized and tailored on the individual level.

Your customers should be able to see instances of personalized marketing that is directed towards them. Let’s use a clothing boutique as an example. If a customer has already purchased an item through said boutique, that item shouldn’t be marketed to them anymore. Instead, this purchase can be used to drive marketing that relates to their original purchase. Maybe they get special offers or emails about products they might like. Maybe they get geotargeting alerts when they’re in proximity of brick-and-mortar locations. Taking your marketing channels, customer locations, and other information into account are essential if you want to make your customers feel like you’re paying attention to their needs.

Identity resolution solutions help you manage customer data on both a general level and a more individualized level. Make sure you’re utilizing both features to make the biggest impact.

Keeping Up With Customers on Multiple Devices

With identity resolution, you can more easily keep up with customers across multiple devices. As mentioned, trying to keep up with all of the customer touchpoints with identity resolution solutions can be incredibly difficult.

If you’re collecting data from your customer, you likely will have information like their location, the devices they use, etc. But if you’re marketing to them using all of these touchpoints, you might be overdoing it. Someone on your email list doesn’t necessarily need to be seeing your social ads. With identity resolution, you can streamline your customer experience and make sure you’re targeting customers in a way that resonates with them.


Identity Resolution vs Entity Resolution

Identity resolution is sometimes confused with entity resolution. While these two terms are closely related, they aren’t the same. They both focus on creating a single source of truth and organizing data, but the definition of entity differs. Entities are different recognizable objects that are able to be separated categorically. For instance, your data warehouse contains objects such as customers, locations, and products. Entity resolution first distinguishes these objects from one another and puts them in distinct categories. Entity resolution will then find every instance of an object across all of your systems and compile all records that belong to that entity.

The Right Tools for the Future of Identity Resolution

As identity resolution evolves and becomes a necessary part of business operations, it’s important to equip yourself with the right tools to keep up. Using a self-service analytics tool with integrated identity resolution can help you create the best experience possible for your customers, get a better understanding of your customers’ needs, and ensure your data is unified and is a single source of truth for data-driven decisions made by your team. That’s where Narrator comes in.

How Narrator Does Identity Resolution

Narrator’s unique data modeling approach is designed to make identity resolution simple. Each activity built on the platform requires a unique customer identifier (something like an email, if you know who the customer is, or an anonymous id for when you don’t). From there we automatically identify users across all your data, including matching up anonymous ids with known user ids and backfilling it. This means that once you’ve identified an anonymous user (i.e. they signed up or submitted a form), we go back in time and apply identity resolution to all their prior interactions. This works seamlessly across devices. Learn more about how identity resolution works with Narrator.