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Organisations should understand that getting to know the customer is building identity progressively, according to Rooly Eliezerov, co-founder of customer identity firm Gigya.
“Customer identity develops through iteration, constantly evolving from first contact through each interaction,” he told the Consumer Identity Summit in Paris.
Once a customer visits a website and a user record is created using cookies, organisations have the opportunity to learn more about the customer.
This typically begins with finding out what drew the customer to the website in the first place to help an organisation assess the relative effectiveness of various advertising campaigns.
This could set off a chain of interactions based on basic information about a consumer’s preferences.
“A pasta brand, for example, could collect user preferences over several visits, and then, using that information, offer recipes the consumer is mostly likely to want,” said Eliezerov.
The pasta brand could then offer to email regular product updates, requiring the customer to sign up to the service with their email address.
“The next step could be to email the customer with special offers based on their preferences, requiring the customer to create an account with a username and password,” he said.
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“Each of these steps helps to build the user ID, and by offering the ability to sign in via a social media account, the two accounts can be linked, further evolving the customer ID.”
In this way, organisations can also begin to link information gathered from interactions with the brand from different devices to evolve the ID continually.
“The business not only gains a better view of their customer, but the customer experience will improve because it is based on a richer user profile,” said Eliezerov.
In fact, he said there was an opportunity for some brands to become part of the identities or personas that people develop online.
“We are seeing that people are designing their identity on social networks, deciding how they want to appear in much the same way as they decide what they want to wear,” he said.
“A pasta brand, therefore, could help someone develop an online persona if they want to present themselves to the world as a pasta connoisseur.” ........................................................................