Infutor: Enabling Identity Completion

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Let's hear it for the "under-labourers," an old term for the guys who do the background work which holds the flashy stuff together.

In this case, those data wranglers who ensure that cross-device identity tracking, personalization, predictive modeling, and AI run on a firm foundation of clean, reliable, and — crucially — up-to-date information about, well, actual people. Infutor offers solutions geared to doing just that, with a laser-focus on U.S.-based first-person data.

Managing personally identifiable information “is really, really foundational,” says Dave Dague, EVP of Marketing at the Chicago-based information services vendor. For example: “We don't do cross-device matching,” says Dave Dague, EVP of Marketing, “but we're an essential enabler.”

Infutor juggles lists comprising over half a billion email addresses, and as many phone numbers, primarily from the U.S. alone (some from Canada). It also processes some one billion demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral attributes each month. The company got its start aggregating direct mail lists in 2003, and evolved into a "leading provider of email addresses," Dague explains. Today it maintains a constantly updated database of “completed identities,” linking email addresses to physical addresses, landline, and mobile data.

“It's a super dynamic world,” says Dague. People change their names by the million, let alone their email accounts. “We provide the information which helps inform modeling decisions,” such as cross device and personalization strategies. "We're kind of behind the scenes."

There's an average of 2.8 email addresses per consumer in Infutor's catchment area, says Dague. A user might have one email address he or she uses for Facebook, another for registering at other sites, a third for work purposes. Someone might have a landline, but use a mobile to make most of their calls. It's vital for brands to have more than a partial identity from a reach perspective, and Infutor provides the linkage, updating its data sets daily.

Infutor, in other words, doesn't do personalization: What it does is provide the data which makes personalization possible and worthwhile. If there's expansion in view, Dague speculates, it's more likely to be in the direction of additional functionality rather than wider geographic sweep.

Among the verticals served are financial services, retail, automotive, and agencies. Brands can have the most sophisticated segmentation and targeting software, but if it's activating data on half an identity, or on a consumer who has moved or just doesn't use that email account any more, it's bright and shiny but not so effective. 

"We don't make the product you use," says Dague, consciously echoing the award-winning BASF slogan. "We make it better."

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