When marketers get too caught up in chasing the “golden record” in a customer data platform (CDP), they can allow “identity” to foul up their use cases. This can lead to customer experiences that are confusing and annoying. The key is to ensure that use cases are more important than identity, and to structure data, merge rules and use cases to allow people to act within whatever personas suit them.
In order to do this, it’s important to understand the device and person frameworks. The device framework is how most people work through customer data issues, starting with a device profile, then enriching it with activity information, before narrowing down to identifiers and then to a particular person. In contrast, the person framework helps you to avoid problems, by starting with a person and imagining how they behave in the real world.
Let’s look at an example. Say you need to send relevant job listings to all mechanical engineers who opt into your job postings email. Using the device framework, you can identify mechanical engineers by their activity, such as frequenting content relevant to mechanical engineers. You can also use on-site quizzes or simple questionnaires to gather identifiers such as job title.
In contrast, using the person framework, you can better understand the real life of a mechanical engineer, such as Julia. She works for a company that doesn’t take kindly to people looking around for new gigs, so she is careful to keep her work and personal lives separate. She only has one laptop, but does all her office work in Chrome and all her personal browsing (from home) in Firefox. It would be a mistake to merge these two accounts into one profile for Julia and start sending the job-post emails to her work address.
By understanding and using both the device and person frameworks, marketers can ensure that use cases are prioritised over identity. This will create a better customer experience, and help you to better understand the real lives of the people you are serving.
Originally reported by Martech: https://martech.org/why-and-how-you-should-rethink-profile-merging/
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