Successful Campaigns Require This – Are You Using It?

Direct marketers are ideally always looking for ways to reach a target in as many channels as they have budget for. Powering that possibility requires resolving identity (aka identity resolution) for the same individual with many different identifiers using what is called an identity graph.

The average consumer uses four devices each day. Every activity on those devices has a digital footprint leaving behind data. When that data is sewn together accurately, it becomes extremely valuable and useful to marketers. The accuracy is powered best by using deterministic data, and it’s what we use for direct marketing campaigns for our clients.

Deterministic matching is when you match the profiles with 100% certainty using identifiers like hashed email, phone or logged in username.


Probabilistic matching is not 100% certain and relies on identifiers like IP address, device type, browsers and operating system.

The underlying technology that ingests both types of data is a family of databases called identity graph databases. The databases are designed to manage connections between billions of identities with millisecond latencies which is necessary when consumers along with their devices are “on the go” and connecting to different data sources.

Since direct marketing programs and campaigns always start with an audience, we always start using deterministic data, and if there are enough records to craft a campaign, we leave it at that. If we need to beef up an audience, then we add in “look-alike” records, which are individuals who share similar characteristics of our target audience. This biggest mistake marketers make is layering in probabilistic data, which tends to target individuals with less accuracy and could serve impressions to the wrong individuals. The best example of this mistake is trying to market to the head of household, but the teenager is served an ad on Facebook instead.

Why does this matter?

With diminishing browser support for third-party cookies over the last year, advertisers pivoted to using mobile ad IDs (MAIDS) to identify an individual. Then Apple announced that apps on Apple devices will have to get explicit user consent in order to use its Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA) which is a device ID used for tracking. That trend is a step toward reducing use of MAIDS. Moral of the story: If identity resolution relied on one method of resolving identity, it would cease to exist, therefore it has no choice but to evolve … constantly.

Our solutions for resolving identity and matching a direct mail record to their presence on digital channels with deterministic certainty was designed with privacy-compliant foresight. This helps our client’s brand gain the respect and trust of consumers. A key takeaway in 2021 is that many of the same tactics reserved for B2C direct marketers is now also useful for B2B direct marketers as many large organizations are extending work from home orders into late Q3 that will likely extend into Q4 2021.

Do you want to test into or dive deep into going multichannel? Let’s talk.

Jenny Lassi • December 16, 2020

Previous Post

Next Post