This sponsored post is produced by Gigya. 

The growth of eCommerce, social networks, mobile, cloud infrastructure, and connected devices has created an avalanche of consumer identity data. With the wide variety of profiles being established across channels, marketers are struggling to handle the data-rich assets their efforts are generating. In fact, the IDC estimates that 80 percent of customer data is wasted due to immature enterprise data “value chains.”

As customers interact with brands across disparate touchpoints, they give little thought to where this data “lives” within the organization, or whether the business’s systems may have trouble “talking” to one another. From a product and marketing standpoint, consumers are looking for frictionless and highly-tailored experiences — no excuses. The challenge, however, is that much of this information is housed within different parts of the organization because it comes from such diverse sources.

What if an organization’s CRM and email automation software aren’t in sync? This disconnect could lead to the organization frustrating current and potential customers with messages that don’t relate to their needs. According to a recent Gigya survey, after receiving irrelevant information from a brand, 43% of consumers ignore all future communications.

A unified, organization-wide customer identity management strategy is crucial for simplifying user flows, engaging and converting consumers, and building loyal, long-term customer relationships. A single customer view uses identity as the thread that weaves together all data types to create rich customer profiles and build personalized user experiences. Unfortunately, 54 percent of companies have difficulty managing and integrating data from today’s varying sources, while 50 percent are concerned about consistent data quality (Destination CRM).

Let’s explore two major roadblocks inhibiting the creation of a single customer view, and look at how businesses can break through to start creating 1:1, identity-driven relationships.

Lack of an end-to-end registration system

The path to establishing a single customer view starts by implementing an end-to-end solution that makes it easy to identify unknown visitors to a business’s websites or native mobile apps, and creates a painless way to collect meaningful, accurate data from the very first touch.

Data cleanliness starts at the point of capture. What’s needed is a solution that maintains a unified database for both social and traditional site authentication and supports field validation, email confirmation, as well as advanced security features like two-step authentication. Without this, businesses are missing out on the opportunity to build out complete user profiles.

A cloud-based registration system grants businesses the flexibility to build and customize registration forms and flows across web properties on the fly, rather than requiring manual, in-house updates to front and back-end authentication workflows.

The registration solution should give visitors the option to log in using existing social networks or pre-validated user accounts. When customers use social authentication to log in to a site or app, they grant permission-based access to specific data points housed within their social profiles. This data is vital for creating more relevant user experiences, particularly when associated with demographic, behavioral, and transactional data.

Italian luxury sports car manufacturer Ferrari, pictured below, has created a way for fans of the brand to easily interact and stay up-to-date on all things Ferrari. In addition, the organization has a dedicated portal for owners to register their vehicles and access exclusive services. The seamless and aesthetically pleasing experience allows Ferrari to unlock the power of customer identity.

Reliance on legacy systems not built for customer identity data

To maintain external customer data, many organizations rely on traditional identity access management (IAM) systems which were built to manage internal employee data. These legacy systems aren’t designed to accommodate unlimited volumes of both structured and unstructured data.

In addition, as solutions built to manage thousands of internal employee records at the most, they can neither scale to reconcile millions of customer user records, nor can they port advanced profile data to third-party marketing and service systems. But when you depart from legacy IAM systems and implement a dynamic-schema database with the ability to go beyond basic user attributes and store all returned user data, you’re able to make accurate, complete customer profiles a reality for both marketing and IT.

An advanced, dynamic-schema database can seamlessly process massive amounts of unstructured user data in an optimized way. Customer data is automatically indexed and updated when a user makes a change to a registered social identity. This information becomes available in an organized, easily navigable manner that enables non-technical decision makers to easily search and segment the database.

With the tools and automation technologies available in the age of modern marketing, all businesses are capable of overcoming any roadblocks preventing them from establishing authentic, customized relationships with current and potential customers.

Reeyaz is Gigya’s Corporate Communications Manager. He’s a sports, business, marketing, and technology enthusiast, and a proud Miami Hurricane. You can follow him on Twitter at @Reeyaz21

To learn more about how brands are understanding their audiences on a much deeper level, download our free eBook, “Achieving a Single Customer View: The Holy Grail for Marketers.”

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