March 20, 2014, 12:37 PM

Knotice builds cross-channel customer profiles to boost marketing

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“If any sensitive information is ever collected, it is securely hashed before it is stored to a user profile,” says Patti Renner, director of marketing at Knotice. “That means the system uses an algorithm to change, for example, purchase data into a unique data string, essentially creating a unique data fingerprint. That’s the ‘hash.’ Typically when the platform ingests transactional information, it creates an internal customer account number; the account number can be one of many identifiers for a profile. Data intake from commerce transactions can happen via real-time application programming interfaces or through bulk data uploads.”

Customers in stores are identified by e-mail addresses or phone numbers they offer or by names or other information from loyalty card transactions. For customers on web sites or apps who are not logged in to their accounts with that retailer, Knotice stores this anonymous activity as a “unique unknown.” Once a customer engages in “an identifiable event,” the Knotice system can connect anonymous behavior with identified behavior and tie all activities together.

For example, a customer may anonymously browse a retailer’s m-commerce site on her smartphone, and then the following week open an e-mail from the retailer on her smartphone. The Knotice system connects the events when the e-mail is opened on the same device linked to the anonymous m-commerce site browsing session. It connects the data and stores it in that customer’s profile. Anonymous browsing sessions are identifiable by a first-party cookie (a pixel set to a consumer’s browser from the retailer’s site when that site is visited). The use of cookies can sometimes be problematic; for example, Apple mobile devices by default block the use of third-party cookies (those set by entities other than the domain of the site visited). However, Apple devices do allow cookies to be set from sites visited on each device,  and it's that first-party data that Knotice focuses on, even across device types.

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