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Customer Identity Insights: How to Put People First

The Identity Applied Platform is revolutionizing price optimization with real-time behavior models

How Data Can Serve Your Customers
  • Generate dynamic models: Incorporate data traditionally used for dynamic creative for up-to-the-moment predictions

  • Scale holistic intelligence solutions: Go beyond point solutions to deliver what customers want

  • Empower technical professionals: Democratize the intelligent recommendation system so the solution is king

  • Drive smarter operating metrics: Connect assets across the enterprise with the Identity Applied Platform

 

Businesses routinely rely on traditional static models for a bird’s eye view of their industry and general market demand when setting prices for a new product or service. Though helpful in breaking down an expansive system quickly, all too often these outmoded model scores and values use little to no dynamic information about potential buyers.

In the digital era, legacy companies cannot afford to rely on out-of-date customer identity insights. Setting prices too high will alienate potential customers, but unnecessarily low prices won’t recoup the inventory-management cost or cover the overhead of potential returns. Either way, you’re leaving money on the table.

In these situations, everyone loses: the manufacturer, the retailer and the customer.

Time to shift gears

Businesses can tackle this issue of price optimization head-on by refactoring legacy models with dynamic identity – opting instead for enterprise models that have been enhanced with up-to-the-moment customer behaviors.

Whether updated quarterly or in real time, identifiable or pseudonymous, quality data strengthens enterprise models: far more accurate, far more effective.

Raymond Velez, a global chief technology officer for Publicis Sapient, said his team realized that they could make smarter price optimization predictions by incorporating data traditionally used for dynamic creative, i.e. personalized content, and altering inventory levels to that data.

“With experience data we are making predictions on each individual’s intent to buy as they visit a .com or ad experience. That gives us a testing frequency that’s far higher than traditional models with a far deeper understanding of customers and prospects,” Velez said.

Now you’re far more likely to offer customers and enterprises services and products they value. If there is excess inventory we can align offers knowing the cost of moving inventory around. If there is less inventory and our customer/prospect propensity models predict a dealer or store visit we can reduce offers. It works both ways in continuous optimization, which is tested all day, every day.

These data-driven insights laid the groundwork for Publicis Sapient’s Identity Applied Platform – a new framework for digital business transformation.

“With experience data we are making predictions on each individual’s intent to buy as they visit a .com or ad experience. That gives us a testing frequency that’s far higher than traditional models with a far deeper understanding of customers and prospects.”
Raymond Velez , global chief technology officer, Publicis Sapient

Better enterprise optimization algorithms

Enriching enterprise models doesn’t just improve price optimization. Many functions across the supply chain and virtually every business sector benefit by joining the identity graphs and enterprise graphs with machine learning models.

“One of the major problems we’re trying to solve here is using dynamic identity data at scale to drive smarter and more efficient operating metrics and more importantly real-time optimization models around your enterprise,” Velez said.

What distinguishes the platform from other solutions in determining more efficient enterprise metrics and models is its application of the customer identity. And most importantly for the data-science world, the platform is already connected with industry-standard identity graphs. Since over 60 percent of data-science effort is focused on data preparation, the Identity Applied Platform generates value much sooner. Publicis Sapient’s deep expertise building enterprise systems enables the reference architectures to connect customer identity and enterprise knowledge graphs.

Mitchell Weiss, the vice president of machine learning and data science solutions at Publicis Sapient in Boston, led the data science team that built the Identity Applied technology behind the platform.

“It’s about scaling a holistic intelligence solution where we’ve been successful with point solutions or installs or individual levels of embedding intelligence at an agency,” Weiss said.

He said it’s possible to connect the abundant signals being collected but that there isn’t a platform capable of arranging them in a consumable way. Every business has different technologies and different structures so there’s no silver bullet for aligning these composite elements resourcefully.

The Identity Applied Platform solves for this problem by approaching it from a different perspective.

“It’s about building the technology and platform that allows analytical and technical professionals to transfer and communicate intelligent solutions across platforms no matter what their origin is: what market, region or industry they are in,” Weiss said. “It’s the ability to make the solution itself the first-party citizen, not the technology that’s hosting or deploying it.”

For Weiss, it doesn’t matter if personalization is delivered through Adobe, Salesforce or some home-built solution. That’s not what’s important.

“The important part is knowing that we democratize the intelligent recommendation system that’s behind it,” he said.

How it came together

A confluence of premiere technologies and services formed the Identity Applied Platform. Built over the last five years, the cloud-native platform finds patterns within industries and supports dynamic, real-time models.

The Identity Applied Platform’s foundational technology is Epsilon PeopleCloud, an end-to-end measurement and activation platform that helps clients connect with people on an individual level. Epsilon PeopleCloud has unique data that enables direct access to predictive-intent signals that are not available anywhere else.

In 2019, Publicis Groupe, which helped build PeopleCloud, acquired Epsilon to expand its people-based marketing capabilities. Publicis Groupe used its deep technological and marketing resources to scale Epsilon PeopleCloud to find patterns within industries and generate predictive, actionable models.

Publicis Sapient CEO Nigel Vaz has been leading the Groupe’s strategy of how to bridge advertising and enterprise needs with transformation. In particular recognizing HOW the Identity Applied Platform’s modeling outputs could improve how companies across sectors conduct business internally: hotels could optimize room-block assignments, retailers could prevent customer returns, automakers could identify ideal pricing and incentive offers, customer and prospect identity drives smarter search and conversational experiences, etc.

“This is where we see the opportunity to differentiate and what’s missing for our clients,” Weiss said. “We are bringing a deep, rich understanding of customer identity, behaviors and data into those models as well.”

"The important part is knowing that we democratize the intelligent recommendation system that’s behind it."
Mitchell Weiss, vice president of machine learning and data science solutions, Publicis Sapient

Knowledge is savings

The Identity Applied Platform was founded upon the belief that there is tremendous opportunity to enable the algorithmic enterprise: businesses that are strongly connected to their customers’ needs and desires.

In the past, Weiss said, technology companies might have promoted the skills of their staff before going to market, i.e. we have a team with experience in X field and know how to do project Y. But now we are saying, let’s back our talent with this shared, self-learning technology – then go to market.

“The platform is set up so if the person in the room has never implemented it or connected these models before, it’s immediately accessible,” Weiss said. “We’re able to service our clients in a way that we could never do with the old model. We would have had to fly out the expert. Now the experts are connected through this technology platform, so it’s easy to get them if you need to.”

With these easily accessed insights, companies no longer need to look at last year’s sales to project next year’s sales. Their knowledge of customers and potential customers will expand in breadth and depth – enabling smarter decisions.

In applying the Identity Applied Platform, Velez and others realized this shrewder decision-making was helping to free up money in marketing and advertising budgets. But that was minor compared to the impact it could have in pricing and incentives budget for one client.

The future of person-focused modeling

The Identity Applied Platform’s modern models are ushering in a new era of business operations management that truly anticipates and delivers the customer’s desires. But this is only the first step for a whole new way of approaching enterprise algorithmic transformation.

Although the disparate technologies and surfeit of data may be confusing, the benefits of the Identity Applied Platform are fairly straight-forward.

“If we can get to a solution in a less painful way, if we can connect more assets within and across the enterprise, without having that cost a pound of flesh, that’s the benefit,” Weiss said.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh