Identity Data Management, in short, serves for controlling and management of identity-related data that is stored in systems or cloud environments and is processed across the organization. In the era of digital transformation companies which store customer information in various databases are often struggling to unite it and build single comprehensive profiles for every individual. One of the strongest solutions supporting Identity Management and all related aspects will be described in this article. The solution is Interaction Studio (previously known as Evergage).
The Unified Customer Profile (UCP) is the beating heart of Interaction Studio. The UCP defines the customer’s identity using data aggregated from different sources (e.g. feed imports) and across various channels (e.g. web events). Data is gathered in real-time regardless of whether a person is known or anonymous. The goal is to have a single profile for each individual. This is achieved with Interaction Studio Identity System, a method for defining a unique user profile. Comprehensive customer’s profile forms a basis for the further analysis, activation purposes, or personalization campaigns.
Interaction Studio divides the Attributes it stores for each individual into two groups: Identity Attributes and User Attributes.
Identity Attributes are special types of attributes which are designated as Identifiers in Interaction Studio dataset. Identity attributes are often email address, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Contact Key, Salesforce CRM ID, or some other type of custom unique identifier from a source system.
Identity Attributes Components:
- Uniqueness – if user profile can have the same value in the same dataset. Supported values:
- Identity Namespace – the value is unique and will be considered for profile look-up and merge in the dataset.
- Not Unique – the value is not unique and won’t be used for profile look-up and merge in the dataset.
- Case Sensitive – whether the user profile has to match casing or not. True/False values supported.
- Attribute Data Type – one value per attribute; string value type.
In the system there are already pre-built identity types that support the Identity System. You can add up to three identity attributes specific to your business needs. IMPORTANT: Once an identity type is configured, no alterations are allowed for that identity type.
Based on Identity System, the identity attributes determine under which new or existing user profile all events and interactions tracked and received by Interaction Studio should be recorded and which profiles merge, if any. Once an identity type has been created, you need to tie that identity to an attribute on the user attribute screen to successfully capture data against that identity.
User Attributes are custom-configured, type-safe fields that can store additional custom user data at various levels in the platform. Supported value types: string (text information), integer, decimal, date, Boolean, object (arbitrary object/array of JSON plus date support), and MultiString. The maximum number of user attributes per dataset is capped at 100.
As the data comes from the different sources, it is possible that multiple profiles will be created for the same person in Interaction Studio. Potential scenarios of multiple profiles for one individual include:
- One known user was identified in a browser but is still anonymous in another one. Result: two separate profiles created, until the user identifies themselves in the second browser.
- In-store purchases identify a person with Loyalty Membership ID, whereas their browsing history remains under anonymous profile due to no identification provided on the website.
- Interactions not merged across different channels (web, email, call center) may result in 3 different profiles created until that individual identifies themselves in every channel.
It is important to stitch the separated data together into one single profile. Profile Stitching is the process of merging two Unified Customer Profiles within Interaction Studio dataset. This occurs when an Identity Attribute is surfaced through the behavior (or data integration) which matches an already existing profile based on clear identifying information. Interaction Studio constantly monitors identifying information and then uses deterministic matching to merge profiles. Stitching profiles together will combine the data present in both profiles and will overwrite attributes to preserve the most recent attributes.
If your company struggles with the unification of customer data in a SSOT (Single Source Of Truth) database, or needs to build solid personalization and real-time optimization strategy, you may be interested in Interaction Studio as a solution that will serve your needs and enable you to leverage the utility of your customer data using unique profiling strategy. Isobar is an official Salesforce partner for Marketing Cloud Interaction Studio and Isobar Consultants led by Data and Identity Management Lead Ekaterina Obolenskaya are ready to support your individualized journey.