The Gist

  • Framework first. Establish a clear and adaptable framework to guide the identity roadmap.
  • Align technologies. Ensure proper alignment of martech platforms, solutions and technologies.
  • Three-step approach. Cleanse, enrich and activate data to optimize marketing ROI and better personalization.

Developing an identity roadmap is an essential process for companies seeking to seamlessly integrate data, technology, activation and strategy, ultimately unifying customer data and enhancing their overall approach. Although this can be a complex endeavor, the following steps will provide valuable guidance in navigating the journey toward a successful identity roadmap. 

Roadmap Building: Establish a Strategic Framework

Building an identity roadmap is a journey that requires careful strategic planning. Organizations should outline a framework that allows them to see the roadmap from start to finish, said Sisi Zhang, Razorfish executive vice president of data science and analytics.

Companies should outline short-, mid- and long-term phases and rank them based on prioritization, Zhang added. “A measurement structure is critical during this step, particularly through testing to set benchmarks to measure progress against. Of course, successfully scaling this type of roadmap will require stakeholder buy-in and support, which should happen prior to execution."

The first step is to audit their channels, activation strategies, tech stack and data usage, according to Zhang. “This will provide an understanding of the first-party data ecosystem, second-party relationships to enhance that first-party data, and if any campaigns are being measured using third-party cookies. Then, companies can take the audit results to evaluate their maturity across each of these areas.”

Related Article: Customer Data Management Is the Key to Consumer Trust, Profitability  

Synchronize Martech Roadmap Solutions

Building a martech identity roadmap requires businesses to align their martech platforms, solutions and technology to overcome identity challenges, said Jean Pierre Valencia, TangoCode chief technology officer and partner. This includes defining the necessary customer data elements, identifying martech solutions and platforms, developing a data integration strategy and executing a data analytics strategy.

Valencia explains that businesses must align their martech platforms, solutions and technology to create a single customer view. “Define the customer data elements that need to be collected, stored and analyzed. This includes data such as customer behavior, demographics, preferences and interactions across channels. 

According to Valencia, the next step is identifying the martech solutions and platforms needed to collect, store and analyze customer data. “This includes CRM systems, data management platforms (DMPs), marketing automation tools and analytics solutions." 

Once the martech solutions and platforms have been identified, businesses need to develop a data integration strategy that enables data to flow between these systems in real time, Valencia advised. This includes identifying the required APIs, data connectors, and middleware solutions to facilitate data integration and synchronization.

Related Article: Challenges or Opportunities? Maximizing Customer Data to Thrive in 2023

Optimize Data in Three Steps

"The purpose of an identity map is to provide a clear understanding of each customer's demographics, psychographics, preferences, behavior and contact information so that marketers can deliver the right message to the right person in the right place,” says Chris Matty, Versium chief revenue officer.

 “To build an identity roadmap, you first need to figure out where you want to go — then, you can define an identity roadmap in three steps: clean, enrich and activate.”

Once you figure out what you want to achieve, the first step is to clean the data, Matty explained. Cleansing data is essential because data collection comes with countless errors, false or outdated information and duplicates that drag down performance.

Learning Opportunities

“Your outputs are only as good as your inputs,” Matty said. “Consolidate customer data points from siloed systems into a single, accurate data source.”

After cleansing and consolidating your data, enrich it to understand your audience better and improve marketing ROI, Matty added. “You may add purchase behavior or insights like demographics or firmographics to understand their preferences or add more contact points to reach them more effectively. Then, you’re ready to activate your data. Personalize your messaging with your current optimized data and reach them through additional contact points.”

Maximize Impact with Data Analytics

Valencia said that all of the above work could go for naught if businesses don’t have a data analytics strategy that enables them to derive insights and intelligence from customer data. “This includes identifying the necessary data visualization, reporting, and machine learning solutions to analyze customer data and generate actionable insights.”

Safeguarding Data with Robust Identity and Access Management

Identity and Access Management (IAM) implementations are complex and demanding, said Asif Savvas, Simeio chief product officer. “It is a massive undertaking to consider all the data, human and non-human identities, infrastructure, platforms and applications. Then, you must align them and measure their effectiveness while ensuring that the user experience remains uncompromised.”

Organizations often find it challenging to pave out the IAM journey when focusing on the core business is the priority, Savvas added. So he recommends that security and risk professionals set up a roadmap toward the IAM program journey and a set of parameters to measure the effectiveness of the strategies.

According to Savvas, when beginning your IAM journey, a company must establish the current needs and expectations they have as a result of implementing an IAM program. “One of the biggest factors that motivate many organizations to create an IAM program is the fact that 53% of information workers store their passwords incorrectly thus making valuable customer information vulnerable to threat actors," Savvas said. 

Final Thoughts on Building an Identity Roadmap

Building an identity roadmap is a critical process for companies aiming to unify customer data and drive personalized experiences. By focusing on a flexible framework, aligning martech technologies and implementing a data-driven three-step approach, businesses can create a dynamic and effective identity roadmap.

Regularly reviewing and adapting the roadmap to accommodate market and technology shifts is essential in maintaining its relevance and success. By mastering these strategies, companies can foster a deep understanding of their customers and deliver relevant, personalized experiences across various channels.