Narrator Documentation

Choosing your Customer Identifier

ā¬… Go Back to Set Up Your Data System


Everything in Narrator is centered around a single customer. Every activity that you create will tie back to a customer identifier. This means that choosing the right value for your customer identifier is very important.



What is the customer identifier?

The customer identifier is the value that you assign to the customer column for all activities

Activity Transformation



Requirements for a Customer Identifier

  • Must Be Global

    The customer identifier that you use will be the same for every activity, so you'll want to choose something that is consistent across all of your data sources.

    • Good Identifiers: Email, Address, Phone Number, Company Domain, UPC, etc...
    • Bad Identifiers: user_id, anonymous_id, cookie_id, etc...
  • Must Be Unique

    Each customer needs to be uniquely identified to avoid creating duplication in datasets.

    • Good Identifiers: Email, Slug, etc...
    • Bad Identifiers: Name, Company Name, etc...



šŸ‘

Consider using email as your customer identifier

Most data teams will use email as their customer identifier

  • Email is a global and unique identifier
  • Every system can eventually tie a person to an email
  • Email is always consistent across your internal database, CRM system, email marketing tools, etc...



Questions to ask yourself

  • Who am I trying to change?
  • Who am I trying to get to do more things?
  • Who do my experiments affect?
  • Who takes the action?

This is the entity to use as your customer.



Still unsure which customer identifier to use?

Every company is unique. Let's figure out the best customer identifier for you. Set up a quick meeting with our data team and we'll talk you through it.



Example Companies and Customer Identifiers


Some companies might need more than one Activity Stream because they have two customers.


B2C/E-commerce

ex. Warby Parker / Casper / Keeps

Customer Identifier: Email Address

A single customer, a person (email) who received email, purchased product, started session, ...


Real Estate

ex. WeWork, Reges, Cushman & Wakefield

Customer Identifier: Address

The customer is a property which can be represented globally as an address. A property acquired, starts construction, tenant moved in, required repairs, ...


Hospitality

ex. Marriott, Hilton

Customer Identifier: Email Address (Customer Activity Stream)
Customer Identifier: Address (Property Activity Stream)

Hospitality companies often have two customers. A person (email) who views listings, books a room, checks in, signs up for membership, etc. This is used to understand the demand and help drive more customers. On the supply side, you have a property (address), which gets rented, listed on site, reaches 100% capacity, etc..


Advertising

ex. Ogilvy, WPP, Publicis Groupe

Customer Identifier: Anonymous Cookie

For the advertising companies, we use the GA cookie. This is often saved on every page a user visits. A user may view an ad, clicked on ad, purchased a product, etc..


B2B

ex. Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack

Customer Identifier: Email (User Activity Stream)
Customer Identifier: Company Domain (Company Activity Stream)

Slack has two core customers.:

  • A person (email) who signs up, sends messages, updates profile, etc...
  • They also have a company that pays bills, limits users, etc..

B2C with Operations

ex. Amazon, Boxed, Rent the Runway

Customer Identifier: Email (User Activity Stream)
Customer Identifier: SKU (Product Activity Stream)

These companies have two customers:

  • A person (email) who purchases product , views items, signs_up, ...
  • An item (SKU) that ordered, scanned in warehouse, shipped to customer, moved in warehouse, etc..

Transportation

ex. Lyft, Bird, Jump

Customer Identifier: Email (User Activity Stream)
Customer Identifier: Vehicle (Vehicle Activity Stream)

They also have 2 customers:

  • A person (email) that opened app, requested ride, started ride, ended ride, paid bill, ...
  • A vehicle (some vehicle identifier) that is deployed to streets, started ride, started charging, fully charged, depleted battery, requested maintenance, ...

Q: What about the Drivers?
They are people and they can be passengers so they are in the same Activity Stream with the customer identifier as an email.


Multi-Sided Platform

ex. Etsy, Ebay

Customer Identifier: Email (Buyer Activity Stream)
Customer Identifier: Shop Slug (Seller Activity Stream)

In a multi-sided platform you have sellers and buyers:

  • A buyer is a person (email) who views items, purchased product, leaves a review, product delivered, ...
  • The other side is a shop (unique shop slug) who lists an item, item purchased, received payout, item viewed, etc...

Utilities

ex. Verizon, Con Edison

Customer Identifier: Email Address (Customer Activity Stream)
Customer Identifier: Address (Property Activity Stream)

Utilities companies often have 2 customers.

  • A person (email) who started session, views package, installed unit, etc. This is used to understand the demand and help drive more customers.
  • On the supply side, you have a building (address), which gets scheduled service, installed main unit, repair requested, etc..


What if I want to ask a question across multiple Activity Stream?

Narrator does not support bridging Activity Streams because each Activity Stream is from a single customer perspective. It is okay for you to create similar activities from another perspective in different activity streams.

For example Slack may have user_signed_up as an activity in their Company Activity Stream. This allows them to ask questions about users signing up from a company perspective.




Still unsure which customer identifier to use?

Every company is unique. Let's figure out the best customer identifier for you. Set up a quick meeting with our data team and we'll talk you through it.



ā¬… Go Back to Set Up Your Data System




Still have questions?


Our data team is here to help! Here are a couple ways to get in touch...

šŸ’¬ Chat us from within Narrator

šŸ’Œ Email us at [email protected]

šŸ—“ Or schedule a meeting with our data team