With an ever-growing demand from consumers for personalised engagement, it is becoming increasingly important that marketers appreciate the importance of identity management as a piece of bedrock marketing infrastructure.
Put simply, without effective identity management, there is no ‘People Based Marketing’. In fact, identity management is the foundational component of concepts like cross-device identification, multi and omnichannel marketing, and the all-important ‘Single Customer View’.
These days all marketing and advertising technologies rely on successful identity management to enable application integration and data sharing.
But what is identity management?
It is a descriptive term that means the ability to link identifiers to a single person or household. Those identifiers could be a marketing channel, a database key or a device such as mobile phone or web browser.
For marketers to execute a consistent customer experience strategy, they need technology that understands and measures how consumers interact with their brands. For instance, they need to identify that a customer has visited their website, opened an email or gone into the store.
And to deliver personalized experiences across any channel, marketers need technology that can uniquely identify each user and their personal profile.
In both these use-cases, marketers will be well served if they have some technical understanding of the issues.
Targeting and suppression
There are two key improvements for a brand when they implement effective identity and access management: better targeting and better suppression.
Better targeting increases the ability to convert prospects because the brand can communicate with the person in more channels such as connected digital direct channels like email with paid media channels like display retargeting. This ability to reach a person across more channels with the same brand message increases the opportunity to convert and capture a greater share of wallet.
Conversely, the ability to suppress customers from acquisition strategies is one of the premises on which data management platform return on investment cases are built. Implementation of identity and access management in paid media channels allows a brand to stop messaging to loyal customers or hot leads.
So what might create identity and access management concerns at a technical level?
Start with your technology infrastructure.
Software as a service based marketing and advertising technology has revolutionised marketing. Marketers can now focus on doing what they do best – creatively and effectively telling their company’s stories while leaving technology companies to worry about the mechanisms of keeping the infrastructure up to date.
Cloud-based models also mean that brands benefit from the economies of scale of the vendors and from the continuous upgrade cycles and security management practices of their SaaS providers.
And for many companies, the ability to manage costs on a monthly or annual subscription basis de-risks technology choices as it removes lengthy and often hefty capital expenditure cycles.
However, there is a problem. In large enterprises, companies will have multiple SaaS suppliers and those suppliers might well provide technology to computers on-premise as well as in the cloud.
Identities and access need to be federated across all these environments within a Trust Fabric or else they risk creating data ghettos housed in isolated silos.
Applications come with their own identities. There needs to be seamless and very fast integration from one SaaS environment to another, from SaaS to on-premise and between different applications whether they be SaaS or on-premise and it can’t matter if it’s Oracle or non-Oracle.
To address this problem, Oracle created an integrated portfolio that provides the ability to drag and drop without coding. This means companies can do things like build federated integrations between a Salesforce or SAP system and a SaaS application like Oracle ERP Cloud. This makes it very easy to do these integrations so that now you have your identities and access, federated in a consistent manner across the on-premise and cloud divide.
The problem – in terms of the customer’s experience is that as each of these applications comes with their own identity, brand, and risk offering, resulting in a disjointed experience as they do not have the full picture of the client relationship.
And there is a wider issue than simply single sign-on both for customers and for staff.
Without the proper identity and access management, it is difficult to understand what is really going on inside your systems, e.g. who has access to which resources with specific entitlements and how that access is continuously reviewed and verified.
Getting insight into user behavior is an important consideration and then that needs to be connected to security systems. So if I see the inappropriate behavior I can step up authentication or I can turn off access via Multi Factor Authentication and User Entity Behavior Analytics. The outcome here is a reduction in the Mean Time to Detect and also the Mean Time to Respond in such a case of Anomaly Detection.
The reality is that information systems are complex and brands want to recognise their customers across multiple clouds either on their own premises or delivered by a SaaS vendor, and they need to manage identities across applications from multiple and often competing suppliers within a Unified Identity Trust Fabric.
And for the customer, this needs to be quick, easy and seamless.
Download our free Guide to Advertising Accountability to learn how consistent identity management can help you improve marketing accountability, cut costs by reducing waste, and dramatically improve your ROI.
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