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A downturn is a good time to invest in identity content

Economic downturns are often the best times to invest. While this is true for consumer investors, it’s also true for brands looking to build their marketing capabilities to weather the uncertain times ahead.

Many brands are already investing in technology to manage their identity needs when delivering targeted messages to consumers and will likely continue to do so. But having an identity solution is only half the battle.

If brands want their identity solutions to deliver the kind of results needed to be innovative and advanced marketers, they need to invest in identity content.

What is identity content?

The word “content” may prompt one to think about launching the Netflix app to find a movie. Some marketers will think of email outings, social media posts, blog posts, and event scheduling. Identity content is another thing CMOs need to be aware of: it’s the input that powers the identity solutions they invest in.

In short, identity content is the sum of all the information that represents the points of connection to an individual, from email, IP address and device identifier, to name, phone number phone and mailing address. Some of these dots exist in the known realm of personally identifiable information (PII) and some in the unknown.

This content data is fed into an identity solution which, in turn, enables brands to generate the insights and tools that deliver the performance and efficiency that advertisers want.

Why Content Identity Matters

Brands are used to investing heavily in solutions that help them stay on the front lines of advertising. They want to make their customer data actionable while respecting privacy so they can increase their efficiency and performance.

Identity is the thing that is often forgotten but is the key to success. Marketers are used to investing in technology, but not in inputs.

Again, no solution, no matter how expensive, can deliver performance on its own. The classic adage is “garbage in, garbage out”. Marketers with identity solutions want to achieve a form of “identity content in, performance out”. A failure to invest in identity content is likely to yield poor results on the back end.

Plan now to avoid repeating mistakes

In this time of economic uncertainty, many brands are looking at their second half of 2022 and early 2023 budgets and trying to decide where to cut. There are probably several who plan to maintain an investment in identity solutions but have no plan for identity content. It would be a stupid move, duplicating one brands have made in the past.

Over the past decade, brands have invested in CRM solutions, customer data platforms (CDPs), and campaign management technologies, all under the auspices of greater marketing effectiveness and better performance. The one thing all of these solutions have in common is that each requires content input – they can’t work on their own and deliver performance.

Unfortunately, the market has largely avoided investing in identity content to power these solutions, leading many brands to question their effectiveness and express disappointment. Output is determined by input, so brands cannot ignore input investment again.

A decade of investing in technology has caused many brands to view their technology and marketing data as cost centers rather than sources of revenue. In times of economic uncertainty, identity data or content is the material that will aid in an effective marketing plan that generates revenue.