Narrator maintains and reconciles customer ids so that you can track a single customer across multiple data sources. When a customer is identified by email for a single activity, Narrator links the customer’s identifier (commonly email address) with the id that is generated by the source system and then updates all historical and future activities associated with that person. The mapping is applied automatically using the
customer_id values in each activity when they are available. This allows you to identify the customer anywhere they appear in the activity stream.
Imagine the scenario where a customer anonymously browsed your website, viewed 5 pages, and then submitted an email address. Narrator would link the anonymous id of the customer to their email address and update all historical page view activities with the customer’s email address.
Narrator’s user mapping also allows you to differentiate multiple customers on the same device when it occurs. If two different customers are identified as using the same anonymous id in the source data, the first person who became identified will be associated with all prior activities on that device and all activities within that same session. The second person will be attributed to all activities within their session, as well as any activities that occur after they were identified. By maintaining a time window for when the mapping from source customer id (
external_customer_id) to email address is valid, Narrator is able to identify multiple customers on the same device.
This is very valuable for customer attribution with shared devices.
- Monday - Marc visits an e-commerce site
- Tuesday - Marc visits the same site and submits his email via the checkout
- Wednesday - Jenny visits the e-commerce site on the same computer and submits her email via the checkout
Narrator will update all activity records (site visit, checkout, etc) from Monday and Tuesday and attribute them to Marc. All activities occurring on Wednesday will be attributed to Jenny.
It can be useful to define activities specifically for the purpose of user mapping. One common use is to map an IP address to a customer identifier. Narrator is able to associate various IP addresses with various users during different time periods if an activity is defined that defines the mapping. See the IP mapping template for an example.