An Open Approach to the Single Customer View
The notion of a single customer view has been around for decades. It began in direct marketing databases but has existed in CRM systems, ESP systems, and campaign management systems.
It’s been managed in data warehouses and more recently data lakes.
But as marketers adopted new tech, new channels, new data sources and new teams, that view has only become more fragmented and harder to map.
For one thing, customer data is no longer the rare commodity it used to be – there’s way more of it than any one system of record can practically be expected to maintain, it’s streaming in in real time, it’s multi-structured and even unstructured. So the data on any given customer is now inevitably distributed across a huge number of martech and adtech systems.
Equally, data is also being used for marketing in far more ways than any one database or warehouse can be expected to handle – for analytics, targeting, attribution and any number of new experiments too.
These are non-trivial developments. And they demand a new approach to the single customer view that’s built for this multi-platform, distributed and dynamic marketing landscape.
Why And How To Maintain An Open Approach To Data
In order to power relevant customer experiences across channels, your single customer view needs to maintain an open approach, to be able to do some important things. To be effective, your SCV needs to:
Connect silos: 61% of marketing executives reported that ‘breaking down silos of data between departments’ was their biggest challenge when it came to developing data-driven marketing initiatives.
Ensure data can flow across boundaries: So you can leverage 2nd and 3rd party data collected by other brands and data providers. But also, so you can then activate that data for targeting and measurement across and outside your marketing stack. Remember too, the people dimension. If two teams have two different views of the same person, their messages will differ.
Recognise key lifestyle changes: During an average day in the UK, around 9,590 households move, 1,496 people marry, 810 people divorce and 2,011 people retire¹. These represent some of the most powerful triggers and signals of intent that lead to big changes in behaviour and spend. This is data that needs to be connected to the right people through recognition, curated in this single customer view and activated across the ecosystem.
Improving The Customer Experience With An Open Approach To The Single Customer View
An open approach is about being able to work across the technologies and platforms that make the most sense for you and not limiting yourself to just one.
This could be to enable legacy and new technologies to work together, to future proof your business, to be able to operate across the biggest publishers and indeed all of the above. You need to make sure you can connect to the real people behind all those fragments of data, no matter where the data comes from or where the data needs to be used.
That calls for all of the things we’ve discussed in other posts, such as – a deterministic, knowledge-based approach to customer recognition, the ability to integrate effectively with the new data economy, an open approach and a privacy compliant approach to consumer identity.
¹Office For National Statistics