Identity resolution is a market of two — with one clear choice

Identity continues to attract attention — and investment.

U.S. marketers are responding to surging consumer demand for highly personalized, contextually relevant customer experiences by spending close to $900 million this year on services and solutions dedicated to solving identity resolution — a sum expected to triple to $2.6 billion in 2022 — according to researcher Winterberry Group’s August 2018 report Know Your Audience: The Evolution of Identity in a Consumer-Centric Marketplace. But identifying customers across devices and channels begins with successfully identifying the right identity vendor… a daunting challenge given the growing number of providers jockeying for marketer mindshare.

Analysts are tackling this challenge head on, with one recent report comparing and contrasting martech vendors of various size, functionality, geography and vertical market focus. But there’s another quick and easy way to narrow down your options: ignore the point solutions.

Precious few of the vendors making up the identity resolution landscape directly solve the person-level resolution, onboarding and activation use cases foundational to a modern brand’s identity-based marketing initiatives. Sure, large offline data companies can work with PII data, but lack the means for onboarding and activation. Probabilistic companies and retargeters can create scale through associating devices to cookies, but do not connect them to people. These myriad solutions and technologies touch identity resolution, but never directly attack the core capabilities critical for success.

Only two vendors, Signal and LiveRamp, are pedigreed pure-play identity resolution providers. That means only Signal and LiveRamp are dedicated to solving person-level resolution, onboarding and activation; only Signal and LiveRamp are truly interoperable across different environments; and only Signal and LiveRamp deliver the strategic benefits around privacy and control critical to today’s marketer.

So when it comes to selecting a cornerstone identity resolution partner, consider a market of two, not two dozen, and ask yourself, “Can I onboard and activate a million customer profiles in a minute while owning my identity technology and building asset value in my own ID graph?” If the answer to this question is “Yes,” then your choice is clear… and it really comes down to a market of one.


Originally published August 22, 2018

Mike Sands

Mike Sands is a co-founder of Signal. Prior to joining Signal, Mike was part of the original Orbitz management team and held the positions of CMO and COO. Mike also has held management roles at General Motors Corporation and Leo Burnett. His work at General Motors led him to be named a “Marketer of the Next Generation” by Brandweek magazine. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Northwestern University and a Masters in Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management.

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