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No Login, No Problem: Identifying Users and Taking Action with Customer Data Platforms

June 30, 2016 | By

Before I expand on a few of the strategies included within a fabulous “Google Analytics User ID Strategies for Sites with Limited or No Login” post at LunaMetrics’ blog, first thing to do is thank Jonathan for posting it! In addition to including a few specific recommendations on the subject, he also links to some of his colleagues’ posts which are chock full of great ideas and examples from the field. We especially liked “Ways to Incentivize Website Log Ins for More User ID Data” and have shared it with some of our publishers and other customers already because BlueConic can help with these types of programs in a number of ways.

For my contribution, I wanted to take another swing at explaining where a Customer Data Platform (#CDPorbust) fits into the grand scheme of all things digital analytics. My last swing can be found here, where I waxed about parallels and differences between digital analytics solutions and customer data platforms.

This time around, I have two points to make on customer data platforms related to the first two recommendations outlined in Jonathan’s post:

Recommendation 1: Think Creatively About Identifiers

Yes! This is where that login incentivization post I mentioned earlier was linked (tl/dr: give users a reason to stay logged in and everybody wins). A great CDP will allow you to deploy relevant messaging about incentives as well as optimize messaging and CTAs at the the aggregate or segment level.

Beyond incentivizing logins, there are two other use cases where a customer data platform should shine in the area of identifiers:

  1. Identifying users from social connect (e.g. Facebook like, social sign-in)
  2. Identifying users from email click-through

BlueConic is almost always used by our customers to support use cases like these that identify more users in general and aid in cross-device matching. Read more about work we’ve done with The Boston Globe here, where identified user numbers increased by multiples over the previous baseline.

Recommendation 2: Use a Custom Dimension

Yes again! And while you’re at it, let your customer data platform help!

  1. Your customer data platform is connected to your CRM or data warehouse.
  2. Your customer data platform is connected to analytics.

No need for a massive internal IT project to surface CRM data to the Web –an oft-miserable logistics/security nightmare. This is one of the key reasons CDPs exist: to make such integrations simple and accessible while also maintaining a high level of data security.

By taking this step to store a user ID within a custom dimension, you will have also completed all steps required to fully activate CRM data for use in Web-based interactions, display ad campaigns, and email campaigns. You will also be able to synchronize behavioral data back into Salesforce or other provider for your call center and other marketing channels that are integrated with CRM.

In conclusion

Marketing organizations are best poised for “right-time communication” when they are able to recognize more users and integrate systems with actionable data for known users. Customer Data Platforms are here to help with that challenge, and should be capable of doing so without a tremendous amount of technical effort.

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