What is Identity Marketing?

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A Better Way To Acquire Customers

The Future of Personalization Is Rooted in Identity

Our identity is a deep expression of who we are. It sets us apart, unites us with others, and gives us a sense of belonging. It's how we want to be acknowledged and addressed.

Identity marketing leverages this deep-seated force by enabling you to create personalized campaigns based on meaningful identity attributes, such as people’s occupation or life stage. It’s a powerful way to engage your audience. When your customers feel seen and appreciated, they reward you with their business, again and again.

Today's Data Is Flawed

People are more than a combination of their demographics, web activity, and what they like on Facebook. They don’t like brands surveilling them, and the data brands gather anonymously is unreliable—and expensive.

The information you collect through an identity marketing campaign is verified and actionable because it comes directly from the customer. You provide an exclusive offer to a consumer community, and members give you their data to redeem it.

This first-party data is like gold because it offers real insight into your customers. In a study by Forrester Consulting, 88% of marketers said if they could align campaigns with more meaningful attributes, it would make their companies more successful.

Why You Need Identity Marketing

The 3 Pillars of Identity Marketing

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Honoring someone’s identity creates an emotional bond. When you use personalized offers to reward customers for who they are, like being a teacher or member of the military, it moves them to act. Nearly 95% of consumers given a personalized offer based on their identity would redeem it.

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Identity marketing respects consumers as equal partners in the brand relationship. Instead of stalking prospects online, you invite a consumer community that aligns with your brand to enjoy a personalized offer. If your offer is attractive, customers accept the invitation and start a relationship with your company.

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Verifying eligibility for your offer is crucial to identity marketing’s success because it prevents discount abuse. It also shows your customers the offer is truly just for them, which increases its appeal. This motivates customers to share your offer with others in their group, amplifying your efforts and driving down acquisition costs.


“We’ve seen a huge boost from our new identity marketing program. Our campaigns drove short-term revenue and expanded our overall customer base. These new groups grew the revenue from our identity marketing program by 60%.”

Matt Gehring
SVP of Growth
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“Using SheerID doesn’t just save us time and generate revenue, it allows us to support the well-being of customers who give our communities so much.”

Stephanie Shorthouse
Senior Manager, Site Merchandising and Operations
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“The SheerID team has done a great job of being able to flex to what we needed. We’ve been very pleased, and we value them as one of our top partners.”

Amy Jones
Marketing Manager
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Why Your Customers Want Identity Marketing

Marketers are looking for new ways to connect with their customers authentically. Consumers want personalized experiences, but not at the expense of their privacy or values.

Identity marketing campaigns have integrity because they are honest and direct. Brands invite consumers into a relationship, and consumers opt-in by providing basic information, such as their email address and date of birth. The exchange is respectful and rooted in giving customers genuine value.


of consumers said they need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy from them.


of consumers want more control over how their data is being used.


of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support

Harnessing the Power of Consumer Communities

Most consumer segments don’t know each other, but consumer communities do. They share values and experiences, which makes it easy to create messages that engage them. And they have strong networks, so when you offer them a good deal, they quickly pass it along.

Marketing to consumer communities also creates a strong halo effect. When you use personalized offers to honor the service of groups like teachers, medical professionals, and the military, it generates tremendous goodwill and brand awareness among everyone who supports them.

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Common Consumer Communities

Groups that share an identity-based attribute are called consumer communities. Examples include:

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Military
  • Nurses
  • Seniors

Benefits to Identity Marketing

Conversion Rate

Acquire more customers by creating strong emotional connections that motivate buyers to purchase. Headspace turned 25,000 teachers into new subscribers.

Repeat Purchases

Build loyalty with more meaningful campaigns that make customers feel special. Lowe’s doubled the number of the military’s in-store visits.

Fraud Reduction

Protect your margins by ensuring only eligible customers can redeem your offer. CheapCaribbean and CompTIA saw a double-digit drop in discount abuse.

Launch an Identity Marketing Program in 5 Easy Steps

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01 Identify the consumer community for your brand.

Map your core buyer’s demographics and interests to a consumer community. College students are into fashion and media. And marketing to the military can help you reach outdoor enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers.

02 Create a gated, personalized offer.

Develop an offer that appeals to your consumer community. Gate the offer with SheerID’s Identity Marketing Platform to protect its integrity and prevent discount abuse.

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03 Invite consumers to take advantage of the offer.

Promote the offer across your existing channels to raise awareness and allow eligible customers to opt-in.

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04 Activate word of mouth.

Increase awareness within the consumer community with member testimonials and videos. Use the power of social media and referrals to spread the offer.

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05 Re-engage to build long-term relationships.

Integrate the rich information provided by the consumers into your CRM and nurture them through your loyalty program.


Identity Marketing and the New Rules of Personalization

Read our identity marketing primer and learn how this new approach to personalization can help you acquire loyal customers.