Skip to content
All Blogs

How to fill your MarTech gaps and unlock the value of anonymous visitors

Author: Laura Ballam


It’s no secret that if you’re not executing data-driven strategies you’re doomed to fail. The catch is gaps in data, anonymous identity, and connectivity pose significant challenges for enterprise organizations.

When it comes to collecting data, legacy systems like CDPs don’t do data capture - they do data aggregation which is ultimately why they fail. They create gaps and limitations in data capture, identity, and connectivity. They can’t solve for digital identity, and they certainly can’t build a profile for anonymous visitors. When they do eventually put some data together, they can’t connect it to your activation systems in live-time. It’s a lose-lose-lose situation.

We’re breaking down the most common gaps organizations are struggling with today:

Data gaps

Data plays an integral role in the success of any digital marketing strategy. Without data, it’s impossible to understand what your customers want or how they interact with your brand online, which means you can’t create effective campaigns. Data gaps are widespread and can be defined as missing data, incomplete or inaccurate data, and latent data. Basically, if you don’t have the data you need (for whatever reason), it’s a data gap.

Data gaps cost you valuable time and money by preventing you from making informed decisions based on reliable metrics. One of the primary causes of data gaps is the use of tagging to collect data. The roadblock here is that to tag for something, you have to know about it in advance – you can’t get key intel from consumer behavior without the tag, but you can’t tag for it if you’re not aware of it. See the issue? And if a tag is broken, or a page is changed, the data is gone. Tag-based data capture lacks detailed metadata to analyze trends or patterns over time, and can’t perform more complex analysis, such as predictive modeling or machine learning, without supplemental data.

Data gaps also occur due to hidden or incompatible data. Data silos are a major culprit here; essentially, if you can’t access it, you don’t have it. Contextual data is often missing which could deliver essential insight into consumer interests and preferences, unlocking potential new customer segments or product opportunities.

The other common cause for data gaps is latency – if you don’t get access to your data in time to action it in the most effective way (i.e., real-time personalization) it’s the same as not having it at all. Latent data is a huge issue for marketing professionals and data analysts. While many data capture systems collect certain data in real-time, it’s not actually available until hours or even days later. When it comes to live-time activation – such as personalization or price optimization – this means you’re already too late. You need to deliver live-time experiences, while the visitor is still on your site, to maximize the consumer experience and fuel conversions.

The main takeaway is to start with identifying where your organization has data gaps. Once you’ve done that, the best way to fill them is to collect everything. Since it’s not realistic to tag everything, this means you need a tagging-free customer data solution.

Identity gaps

Identity fuels everything from marketing and CX to analytics and product development. Unfortunately, most brands are working with flawed identity solutions that provide broken identities and disjointed consumer profiles. These identity gaps are a barrier to delivering live-time, relevant, and engaging experiences to propel your brand forward.

If you can’t connect the dots of a single consumer’s activity across multiple interactions with your brand (or brands) that’s an identity gap. Can’t solve identity for anonymous visitors? Unable to stitch cross-domain data to a single user profile? Losing your data after 7 days due to cookie and ID deprecation? You have identity gaps – and they’re holding you back!

Closing identity gaps is essential to building a comprehensive understanding of your customers and prospects – both known and anonymous. By capturing granular data across devices, domains, and time and connecting it to a centralized system within a unified identity graph, valuable consumer insight can be analyzed in real-time to inform personalized marketing campaigns and optimize the customer experience.

Without comprehensive digital identity resolution, you don’t know who your customers are, you don’t know who your prospects are, and you can’t do anything with anonymous visitors. To be clear, identity resolution means accurately identifying and linking different instances of the same entity or person across data sources. This includes stitching profiles together from multiple visits, platforms, channels, and devices to create a 360-degree view of every individual.

Advanced identity resolution solutions analyze and match data points to identify which records belong to the same individual, even if there are inconsistencies or errors in the data. The result is a robust first-party identity graph that can be used to inform efforts across the business. 

There are several causes of identity gaps – the most common are anonymous visitors, data silos, and third-party cookies. Third-party data capture always creates identity gaps – either because the data isn’t captured at all, or it expires.

Anonymous visitors – traditional customer data platforms and identity resolution solutions don’t start building identity until a visitor is authenticated or signed in – i.e., they can’t identify anonymous visitors. To build a comprehensive identity graph you must capture data from the moment an individual lands on your site, and connect it throughout their journey until they become known. This is essential, because not everyone logs in every time they’re on a site. This leaves most vendors starting from scratch with every visit, losing key insight and consumer context. Anyone can deliver identity when you know who someone is – being able to recognize the massive number of visitors who are unknown is a key competitive advantage. That’s where anonymous identity resolution comes in.

Data silos – most identity resolution platforms can’t persist identity across domains. This means that for multi-brand properties, valuable data is lost. Even subdomains create separate profiles for the same individual, resulting in massive identity gaps. Data is siloed across different domains, platforms, and even departments, making it impossible to connect the dots. Although some solutions can eventually resolve identity after the fact, it’s too late for real-time personalization and opportunities are lost.

Third-party data – since most data solutions use third-party cookies, the data automatically expires after 7 days. Expiration of device and third-party IDs makes it impossible to maintain an accurate identity over time and creates multiple, disjointed profiles that can’t be resolved in live-time – if at all. Likewise, third-party cookies are often blocked, creating identity gaps relating to behaviors and interests that could have informed much more relevant experiences for your consumers.

To close identity gaps you need a solution that can build AND persist both anonymous and known profiles from the first interaction and make that profile available, completely stitched together, in-the-moment, to your activation systems.

Connectivity gaps

The best data in the world is useless if you can't do anything with it. Unfortunately, most solutions can’t get data into the right systems, or can’t share it at all due to compliance issues and regulations. Organizations waste valuable time and resources trying to extract value from their consumer data, instead of leveraging it to amplify growth.

Live-time activation is one of the biggest connectivity gaps facing businesses today. The data you capture must be sent to activation systems within milliseconds, enabling customization while the visitor is still on your site. But most solutions take hours, or even days, to land the data into downstream systems for activation. Likewise, compliance can delay or even block data activation entirely – so it’s critical to ensure data connections are compliant with privacy and security regulations.

Connectivity also refers to connecting experiences for your consumers. Whether it’s a blending of physical and digital experiences, or a journey that spans multiple devices and platforms, customers expect a seamless experience. If your connectivity is lacking, you'll struggle to deliver this seamless experience.

By implementing solutions that build and persist profiles from the first interaction, for ALL visitors both known and anonymous, brands can capture valuable data throughout the entire consumer journey, unlocking the potential of anonymous visitors and transforming their entire marketing strategy.

Capturing and aggregating data throughout the customer journey lets you build an accurate view of every single customer, so you can deliver hyper-personalized and meaningful customer experiences to every single visitor, in every interaction. With a deeper understanding of your customers, both anonymous and known, you can optimize your marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and product development - increasing customer loyalty and accelerating business growth.


peeking woman

Unmask anonymous visitors. Unlock growth.

Celebrus is the powerful solution that empowers businesses to track and resolve anonymous visitor identity across domains, devices, channels and time.

Analyze consumer behavior, integrate data from various sources, and gain advanced analytics and insights with our robust features and strict compliance with privacy and security regulations.

Subscribe to our blog for regular updates!