At exactly this time last year I wrote ‘2018, time for customer contact graph‘ and my team largely went on to live by this mantra – Orientating all customer intelligence and experience activities around a unified customer entity, created via an ID graph

As we often talk about, our customers have always lived in an omnichannel world but our organisations are only starting to come to terms with it. Over the past 5-10 years channels have proliferated, never has the need to unify, integrate and share customer intelligence been greater. If relevance is the key the key to customer relationships then providing customer interaction points with individual level intelligence is essential – Just as a monarch or other world leader might have an assistant whispering key information into their ear as they move through a crowded reception party, meeting & greeting large numbers of people with engaging conversation.

customers have always lived in an omnichannel world

It has felt both natural and essential as we have built decisioning applications or run analysis for customer scenarios that we build around a common customer entity. The litmus test for all stakeholders and other interested parties has been asking the following:

Given you want to target individuals, how do you expect to identify them across the array on in & outbound channels?Could you answer the following right now: By how many devices is customer A known to you?

Moving forward into another year I believe that marketers will increasingly need and want to provide robust and clear answers to these two questions.

Clearly ID Graph technology has established itself

The marketing technology vendors have offered their related solutions to this challenge with all four universally providing ID services. Adobe being longest established in providing it’s ID service across all its solutions, the other providers having followed suit over the past years with their module being namely:

Adobe – Experience Cloud ID Service

Oracle – ID Graph

Salesforce – Customer 360

Google – Audience 360

Further to these major marketing technology vendors there are also many niche and opensource methods available – Clearly ID Graph technology has established itself

It is however for marketers to make the concept of unified customer identity their own and for it to become a central point of focus around which all targeted communications are driven from. Across in and outbound experiences, owned, earned and paid organisations should be looking to secure a permanent place for identity oriented marketing activities, the prize is effectiveness, efficiency and the support to all business objectives which benefit from 1-to-1 customer engagement.