RudderStack just launched Profiles, and it’s exactly what you need for identity resolution.
Creating a comprehensive understanding of your customers, known as a 360 view, can be a time-consuming and expensive initiative for a SaaS company. However, the benefits of achieving this feat are substantial. It leads to an enhanced customer experience, greater customer satisfaction, and ultimately boosts revenue.
In order to streamline and facilitate this process, RudderStack has unveiled a new functionality named ‘RudderStack Profile‘. By leveraging Profiles, data teams can effortlessly construct comprehensive profiles within their data warehouse, eliminating the need for arduous months of intricate data manipulation or reliance on constrained third-party apps. Instead, they can swiftly generate a holistic customer perspective, enhance the return on investment for their data warehouse endeavours, and solidify their position as strategic allies within the company. In this article, we will learn in detail about this new feature!
What is identity resolution?
The process of identity resolution involves assigning customer behaviour & interactions with your assets like marketing emails, website interactions etc. to a unified customer profile, encompassing all touchpoints, platforms, or channels. This unified profile can be accessed by any team within your organization, enabling them to effectively cater to each individual customer and provide superior service.
The seemingly straightforward explanation provided above understates the intricacy involved in consolidating customer interactions nowadays. This is due to the exponential growth in the number of touchpoints through which customers engage with your business, and a typical customer journey now spans multiple devices. As the number of touchpoints has increased, customer expectations have also risen. However, conventional tools such as CRM platforms lack the capability to effectively monitor cross-device activity of this nature.
By employing customer identity resolution, you can collect data from various screens, connect it to a single distinct user, and utilize this data to deliver personalized messages that delight your customers.
Why is identity resolution important?
This depth of understanding presents a multitude of possibilities. Let’s explore three of the most frequently encountered scenarios where identity resolution can help.
a. It assists in comprehending and analyzing unidentified visitors to your website.
In a typical SaaS funnel, ~95% of all website visitors are classified as anonymous. These visitors might be individuals who have not yet converted or those who have converted but are currently logged out. The easiest approach is to disregard these data points and concentrate solely on the data from existing customers.
However, by doing so, you are forfeiting numerous valuable insights. By employing identity resolution, you can merge data from anonymous visitors with your known visitor data, leading to more profound insights into customer behaviour. This, in turn, can significantly enhance sales and customer retention efforts.
b. It plays a crucial role in establishing a seamless & invariant customer experience.
As mentioned earlier, customers engage with your business through various touchpoints, including mobile applications, mobile browsers, desktops, & more. Therefore, the question arises: How can you guarantee a uniform customer experience across all devices?
Identity resolution provides the solution to this challenge. By implementing identity resolution, you can ensure that multiple profiles for a single user are not created, even if they log in from different devices. When a user signs into the same account from various devices, it will be consolidated into a single profile.
c. Implementing identity resolution enhances marketing effectiveness.
Extensive research has revealed that a minimum of 21% of advertising expenses are squandered. This occurs due to the limited understanding that marketers possess about their customers, relying on fragmented information gathered from separate interactions. They remain oblivious to the fact if Device ID A is a current customer or if Mobile User B and Tablet User C are indeed the same individuals. As a consequence, untargeted and underperforming advertisements drain your valuable marketing budget. However, with identity resolution, these disconnected profiles will be automatically consolidated, guaranteeing the elimination of duplicates and other errors.
How can you implement identity resolution?
Based on our analysis, we have identified four key factors that greatly influence the successful implementation of identity resolution. In the following section, we will thoroughly explore each of these four criteria.
1. How to choose between deterministic & probabilistic?
The market for identity resolution solutions is expanding rapidly, with numerous vendors offering their own distinct methods of handling identity. Broadly speaking, there are two primary approaches to achieving identity resolution: deterministic & probabilistic methods.
a. Deterministic identity resolution involves resolving identities based on verified information. This method combines new data with existing customer records by searching for matches among phone numbers, emails, device IDs, & user IDs. Deterministic identity resolution relies on high-conviction, first-party data where you can be certain about the actions & behaviours attributed to a particular user.
b. Probabilistic identity resolution involves resolving identities based on predicted information. This approach utilizes predictive algorithms to determine the likely identity of your customers. This operates on a statistical norm that provides a confidence break, allowing you to have a certain level of confidence in predicting the actions and behaviours of a specific user.
2. Data that is clean, centralized, & aggregated
Identity resolution encompasses more than just the quantity of data; it also involves the quality of data. Prior to embarking on an identity resolution initiative, it is crucial to consolidate all customer data into a unified location through the utilization of a customer data platform (CDP). This central hub of customer information serves as the definitive source, ensuring accuracy, promoting effective data governance, and enhancing collaboration across various departments. The extent of data standardization and event attribution within your CDP may vary depending on its capabilities. This could involve actions such as standardizing users’ names & addresses or associating events with distinctive web sessions. It is essential to remember that the efficacy of a 360-degree view of the customer relies on the quality of each individual data point.
3. A broad range of identifiers
The objective of an identity resolution system is to establish a comprehensive and precise profile for each particular customer. To achieve this, it is crucial to gather a significant amount of information from various sources, particularly when it comes to identifiers.
An “identifier” refers to the data utilized to recognize customers. Email addresses, login data, and IP addresses are the most prevalent identifiers. While they serve as a starting point for creating profiles, they do not offer a significant amount of valuable information.
In order to bridge the information gaps, it is essential to leverage externalIDs identifiers obtained from an external data source and integrated into your CDP. These sources encompass user_id, Android & iOS IDs, Google Analytics, anonymous_id, & group_id. Furthermore, you can delve into customer external IDs to access additional details. These may include identifiers specific to your business & objectives, such as office phone numbers, device IDs, or offline transaction data. By customizing your identifiers to suit the unique aspects of your business, you can further refine your data collection process.
The key idea here is that you have a multitude of options when it comes to identifiers, and the more you leverage these options, the more enriched your customer profiles will become. It’s important to acknowledge that achieving complete accuracy right from the start may not be feasible. However, it is crucial to prioritize gathering as much data as possible and tailoring the handling of that data according to your specific needs.
What is RudderStack Profiles?
RudderStack Profiles is a data integration tool that simplifies the process of constructing a comprehensive customer profile within your data warehouse.
Rather than being burdened with extensive SQL scripting or grappling with the constraints and data fragmentation of expensive 3rd party apps, Profiles empowers your data team to define significant customer attributes. Subsequently, it automatically performs the necessary joins and computations, generating an identity graph, user features, & a comprehensive customer 360 table within your data warehouse. Profiles greatly simplify the process of delivering comprehensive and enriched customer records, making them actionable for various teams. This includes supporting use cases related to machine learning, marketing, customer success, and more.
3 Use Cases of RudderStack Profiles
Profiles encompass three primary features, each streamlining the time and effort generally expended in constructing a customer 360 view. These features include identity resolution, user features, & a customer 360 table. Let’s delve into each feature in detail and explore how they expedite the time-to-value process.
1. Identity resolution
Any team striving to create a comprehensive customer profile encounters the fundamental challenge of resolving identities across various platforms & data sources.
Thanks to the standardized schemas used by RudderStack’s Event Stream and Cloud Extract ETL sources, Profiles can effortlessly produce a transparent and customizable identity graph within your data warehouse. As you incorporate new data sources and identify additional unique identifiers, you can further enrich this identity graph by leveraging other data stored in your warehouse. By utilizing this capability, you can establish trust through the implementation of a transparent identity graph within your data warehouse.
2. User features
Expanding upon the foundation of the identity graph, Profiles streamlines the development of user features by enabling you to create straightforward metric definitions, eliminating concerns regarding SQL dependencies or the management of multiple models. With Profiles, you can effortlessly generate features using pre-defined projects within the user interface or a version-controlled configuration file, while all the necessary queries & computations are handled automatically. This ability to swiftly compute intricate user traits expedites projects such as retargeting or personalized offers, empowering data engineers to construct features that track metrics like “customers who abandoned their carts in the last 7 days” or “total transactions across all platforms” within a matter of hours rather than weeks or months. As a result, the development of user features enables cost reduction in engineering efforts.
3. Customer 360 Table
Profiles integrate user features with the identity graph to produce a customer 360 table, ensuring that all teams can operate from a unified and comprehensive source of truth residing within the data warehouse.
Possessing complete and precise customer profiles serves as a noteworthy competitive edge. However, similar to data, the impact and value of these profiles are contingent upon how they are utilized. Establishing a genuine customer 360 entails providing every team with access to profiles within their respective tools, enabling them to consistently take actions that enhance the customer experience and drive business growth. Essentially, this enables you to deliver impactful customer experiences by ensuring comprehensive profiles are accessible across various tools and teams.
The introduction of Profiles has transformed RudderStack into an integrated, end-to-end platform that facilitates the complete lifecycle of your data, from its journey to activation.
Advantages of RudderStack Profiles
Developing a comprehensive system to achieve a complete customer view is an immense endeavour and existing pre-built solutions often fall short of expectations. This is precisely where RudderStack Profiles comes to your aid. By resolving your technical challenges on your behalf, Profiles offers unparalleled advantages that surpass alternative approaches. Let’s explore how Profiles empowers every company and team to access a comprehensive customer view.
a. Data management processes are streamlined.
Profiles optimize data management by seamlessly integrating with RudderStack’s existent system, consolidating collection, transformation, & activation within a unified platform. This streamlining of data management processes enables stronger integration capabilities across your data tooling.
b. Profiles eliminate the need to overcome a learning curve.
Profiles eradicate the learning curve typically associated with utilizing Customer 360 capabilities. Its fundamental principle revolves around simplicity, eliminating the requirement for expertise in SQL or Python. As a result, all business users can readily leverage the complete potential of Customer 360 without encountering a significant learning curve.
c. Profiles effectively resolve the challenge of identity stitching.
Profiles address the initial obstacle in establishing a comprehensive customer view, which is fragmented data, through its innovative Identity Stitching feature. By intelligently connecting diverse identifiers from multiple sources, it consolidates disparate customer data into a comprehensive profile that is ready for activation.
d. Profiles construct a cohesive and diverse traits library.
Profiles offer a centralized system for defining traits, ensuring consistency throughout the organization. It accommodates a wide array of traits and streamlines the trait-creation procedure for all users, ignoring their technical expertise.
e. Profiles unlock profound insights through advanced trait definition.
Profiles go beyond the fundamentals by extending their capabilities to encompass traits emanating from secondary, intricate concepts like sales funnels, administrative metrics, and machine learning samples. Funnels & Metrics hold a prominent position within Profiles, rather than being peripheral commodities. This functionality enables you to define these entities according to their unique requirements and transform these metrics into insightful traits. With Profiles, gaining an understanding of your customer’s journey through the sales funnel or locating each user within the distribution of customer metric values becomes as straightforward as defining a trait.
Still not sure how to incorporate RudderStack Profiles into your business? Talk to our in-house identity resolution specialists to know more about how RudderStack Profiles can be seamlessly integrated with your existing systems!