Ad tech vendor Signal has launched what it claims to be an industry first with its enterprise-wide Customer Identity Solution. By deploying a cloud-based, non-personally identifiable information (PII) ID, the system allows clients to manage the customer journey across all of its touchpoints, from acquisition via display ads through to customer relationship management (CRM).
Explaining the new solution to DataIQ, Nick McCarthy, managing director of Signal EMEA, said: “What this does is enable businesses to provide a better customer experience and be more effective with their marketing. It supports real-time, personalised customer experiences by providing the right data to each app or the right next step in the customer journey.”
The system works by applying a unique identifier to customer data in CRM systems as well as digital marketing channels - Signal has API integration with over 200 demand side platforms (DSPs), data management platforms (DMPs) and channels such as Facebook. “We don’t hold PII in our cloud-based platform - it is hashed before it reaches us - so from a data protection perspective, businesses are more comfortable. We are taking GDPR very seriously which is why we have invested in our platform to make it fully compliant,” said McCarthy.
“Our solution helps businesses to make better use of first-party data to improve their marketing effectiveness,” he added. The persistent ID is deployed onto CRM systems and further propagated via web site and app tags, cookies, pixels and the like. Critically, this allows clients to link between offline data sources, such as call centre records, and online touchpoints.
Sky Betting & Gaming had been an early adopter of the solution. “We are on a mission to make Betting & Gaming better by delivering our digitally-native customers with the most relevant, personalised experiences,” said Andy Walton, head of data at the company. “Signal helps us capture live insights about customer preferences and reach known users in real-time across devices in ways we couldn’t before. Plus, we can effectively measure across channels to understand fully the results of our marketing efforts and optimise for the future.”
In the highly-competitive gaming sector, achieving a smoother customer journey from online acquisition through to first bet and beyond can have a big impact. By deploying Signal’s Customer Identity Solution, Sky Bet has achieved a 15% increase in people placing bets from its acquisition ads.
McCarthy said that, “It takes surprisingly little time to deploy - we can get to proof of concept in a couple of weeks.” Having pre-integrated APIs with the major digital marketing channels is part of that speed of set-up. The cloud-based ID sits as a layer between the client’s CRM system and its ad tech eco-system acting as the trigger for next best action, personalised messaging and similar activities.
Technological neutrality is another factor in the system’s appeal, argued McCarthy. “Clients are not locked into a single tech stack, as they are with Adobe or Oracle. If they want to link between Test and Target and Audience Manager, they can do that, but they can also integrated across best-in-class solutions,” he said. By avoiding the complexities of both PII and proprietary data models, Signal is hoping to continue its recent 40% year-on-year growth. As McCarthy put it: “We’re the guardians of identity on their behalf - it is their data.”