Most people across the globe now own four or more connected devices—closer to a whopping 13 for people in North America—and many of these are mobile.
More and more business is being conducted in a mobile environment as well. People are traveling, always on, and are using mobile devices to do business when and where they need to. In a B2B world, this means marketers are having to track customers across multiple devices and somehow still connect with them in a targeted and meaningful way.
How do marketers tie together all the devices being used, and how do they decipher between personal and business use of these devices? What’s more, how do they tie the online world to the customer actions that are taking place in real life?
Managing Multiple Customer Identities
In today’s omnichannel, cross-platform world, proper measurement and effective attribution cannot be carried out without having an identity resolution process. With the proliferation of the number of devices that generate data (computers, laptops, tablets, phones, wearables) and the amount of data available, managing identity is becoming a complex endeavor.
While we typically think of identity in the context of a person, in the B2B world we have to think of the “account identity” and look at the larger set of people within the account (not just one individual) who we need to be addressing.
As marketers track a customer through an account journey both online and offline, they must find a way to tie together a single person’s identity to a company with a universal identifier. This identifier can then be linked across devices to build one global identity for each person within the company and then rolled up to an account level so marketers can see all activity within each target account.
The Benefits Of Universal Identity Across Devices
When trying to track actions taken by individuals across devices, it’s important to understand how those individuals fit into their respective organizations. By understanding commercial as well as legal relationships within the accounts marketers are targeting, they are able to then build company hierarchies that give them a more complete picture of their target accounts, no matter how many devices are being used to interact with their companies.
Understanding who you are talking to within the company also allows you to determine how far down the funnel you are. For instance, if a procurement manager from a target account is taking actions on your site or content, it could be a sign you are fairly far down the funnel.
Cross-device identity management also allows marketers to highly personalize content per individual and per channel. Customers expect personalized messages delivered to them on the devices of their choice. Without a unique identifier, a single person can be exposing themselves as seven to 10 different IDs that are considered seven to 10 different people. And this doesn’t even take into account the in-person interactions that customer has with your business. Now we have technology that allows us to bring those identities together and view them as one person, allowing for a connected and seamless customer experience.
One of the biggest benefits of managing identity across devices is that it allows for better campaign tracking over time, which is critical to account-based sales and marketing strategies. You need to know if the people you were targeting are, in fact, the ones who visited your website. By knowing this information, you can gauge campaign effectiveness and ROI.
The Future Of Mobile Marketing
Despite measurement and targeting obstacles, U.S. mobile ad spending grew 25% in 2017 and will grow an additional 20% in 2018, according to eMarketer. Continued progress in measurement will likely sustain high growth rates.
It’s clear that the number of mobile devices a person uses on a daily basis is growing. From wearables and smartphones to tablets and laptops, marketers are going to have to continue to connect the dots in order to identify the right people within the right accounts, enabling them to deliver personalized content to those people and to measure campaign success in a connected way by pulling in information from all devices.
Those companies that can stitch together the pieces, through use of data and universal identifiers, will realize results the fastest.