Interview: Warren Billington talking to CMO about Identity Management

Maturity of customer data management platforms

Signal A/NZ managing director, Warren Billington, said the Australian market has been leading usage of the vendor’s platform, with many applications of the technology led by work done locally. One of these has been work done by Signal with Coles and its FlyBuys program.

“The importance of customer identity and identity resolution is among the key challenges for marketers, but it’s also becoming a fundamental objective to solve for organisations,” Billington said. “It’s about how they identify customers at a level of reach and scale, wherever those customers are - whether they’re interacting across owned and operated environments, or wanting the ability to reach and target off network through paid and earned media.”

Competing technologies, such as marketing technology stack organisations, offers these capabilities as point-based solutions. “But the big challenge has been how to harness my first-party data and customer identity and apply that through to adtech,” Billington said. “Those areas have almost worked in perfect isolation.

“We see our technology as allowing marketers to leverage these customer identities… and build a bridge between martech and adtech environment, as well as through the entire enterprise, even to traditional channels such as call centres and retail.”

Billington agreed the customer data solution space was a “noisy space”, thanks to rise of customer data platforms, and moves by the likes of Adobe and IBM to solve the data unification challenge – Adobe through its common data language framework discussed at the recent Adobe Summit; and IBM through its Universal Behaviour Exchange.

“There are attempts being made to drive convergence between martech and adtech. But I’d still argue the ability to identify customers and activate against those will work fairly well within those technology one company is providing, but if you want to leverage that identity through other technologies, it’s much harder,” Billington said.

“Marketers don’t just want to buy Adobe technology, they want to buy best-of-breed. Ours is a more independent approach that’s giving marketers control over their first-party data, allowing them to build customer identity and leverage it as they choose.”