Identity Resolution: What is it and What are the Best Practices?


Identity resolution. It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot in our industry and has been increasing in relevance every day. So, what is it and how does it benefit your business?

Picture this: 

You’re a marketer for a new organic baby food brand and you know what demographic you’re looking to target: parents interested in high-quality goods.

You know your target age, gender, location — and through the use of third-party cookies, you have an idea of websites they have visited. But do you know whether the person on that website is the same person who did research on their mobile device or walked past a nearby store or drove past a billboard on their commute? Are you able to discern who they are, down to their name, their address and even the cross-device journey that led them to their purchase, in a privacy-complaint way?

Probably not. Actual identity is hard for the modern marketer to pin down.

Identity resolution is a data management process through which an identity is analyzed between data sets to find a match. It’s a fancy way of saying that you can match a person’s offline persona (their ethically-sourced PII data) with their online persona (mobile IDs, cookies, etc).

Follow these best practices to demystify identity resolution and gain a full view of your customer.

1) Make sure your target audience is made up of verified people, not bots

There are billions of anonymous data points out there for marketers to use. However, if your data isn’t verified or accurate, you will be wasting all of your ad spend on bots and unqualified customers.

2) Fill the gaps in your data

People like your product – they like it so much that they gave you their email address -but is that enough? Maybe you already know that your users live in New Jersey and are 18-24 years old, but you don’t know what kind of car they’re shopping for. Utilizing identity resolution to fill these gaps can help with that.

Once you connect the dots in your data points, you will reach your customers where they are most active – surfing the web, connecting on social, or researching their next purchase.

3) Choose independent partners

Data partners should be respectful of access to a brand’s data. Marketers should prioritize their long-term strategic goals by choosing neutral and independent partners, this will ensure your most valuable asset isn’t being siphoned off for other projects or used for competitors.

4) Leverage identity resolution to gain insights on performance

Whether it’s return on investment or return on ad spend, having accurate data for attribution metrics is crucial. If a marketer receives flawed information regarding attribution — or worse, makes a blind guess as to where to continue spending budget — it can result in both loss of profits, time, and budget to spend on the next campaign.

By using insight into how separate channels and initiatives are performing, marketers can see where to assign advertising dollars for the best — and most cost-effective — return on investment.

5) Be transparent about how you are using your data

It can take ages to build trust with your customer base — and seconds to destroy it all. Be mindful of collecting data in an above-the-board way, and keep those four C’s in mind: communication, consent, choice, and control.

All of our data collection methods meet the strictest privacy laws.

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