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Why marketers must use data to achieve a customer centric view

  • Jed Mole

    Jed Mole

Created at January 31st, 2014

Why marketers must use data to achieve a customer centric view

Building a single customer view (SCV) is integral to intelligent, responsive, effective marking. It is simple logic that the better the consumer insight is, the more precise the targeting across all touch-points.

Today, real-time data is key to forming this single customer view and in turn consumer-profiling. The tailoring of marketing, product, communications, solutions – all activities – to customers at a personal level must be up to date to meet today’s consumers’ expectations of consumer centricity.

This is by no means a marketing revelation – profiling of one form or another has been used for decades, and consumer centricity is an obvious principal for success. But a surprising number of organisations fail to achieve it effectively or fail to achieve their potential especially when faced with today’s ‘always on’ marketing fuelled by more real-time data.

Consumer centric challenges are complex, from integrating online with offline data, to consistently analysing consumer behaviour and preferences in real time, to adapting to evolutions in multichannel marketing and technology, and even data itself particularly in the shape of privacy. But they must be addressed in order for targeting, sales and conversion to be enhanced.

How is an SCV achieved?

An SCV is an accurate picture of a consumer, formed through combining static data (data which provides behavioural insight, but rarely changes – such as names) with dynamic data (continually changing, sessional data – such as recent purchase, or communications information). This is the foundation for all marketing, from analytics and planning through to execution and measurement.

Some people today argue that session data is by far the most important, such as ‘cookie X is searching for Nike trainers’. They argue that it does not matter whether the individual is young, old, rich, poor, buying for themselves or others; satisfy their need, now. There is merit in this, but how can this be reconciled with most leading brands’ desires to put the consumer at the heart of all they do? Surely, it makes sense to appreciate who is buying and why they’re buying. A household is likely to buy many pairs of trainers for the adults and the children and, these days; rarely do the companies just sell trainers but all manner of sporting goods. ‘In the moment’ marketing is important but we must also think ‘beyond the moment’. Equally, today, SCVs must support both to give the best brands the ability to win, keep and grow their customer relationships.

Case Study: Using data solutions to refine an SCV

An example of how one organisation transformed its consumer insight is Acxiom’s enhancement for Virgin Media.

Left with multiple databases after numerous mergers, the telecommunications and media giant needed to consolidate its data for more unified, accurate insight and joined up marketing, with the requirement to develop a single, 360 degree perspective of customers across all business areas.

To achieve this, Acxiom implemented a bespoke SCV and data solution, establishing a centralised customer recognition platform with AbiliTec (unique Customer Data Integration technology).

The benefits experienced were numerous with the improved SCV enhancing consumer centricity and transforming marketing and customer service:

To begin with, an initial 15% enhancement in data matching was seen, compared with previous solutions. Informed decisions about the business potential of different market sectors could be made, meaning the company could better target customer communications with relevant offers; resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and ROI. Regarding customer care and consumer experience; real time customer histories and preferences became immediately accessible by sales teams across all interactions, so service was enhanced while cross-selling potential was increased.

Acxiom helps brands and their partners better connect with consumers. At the heart of this is the ability to identify and integrate consumer information across all channels, media and devices at scale; this in turn is what enables truly consumer-centric 1-2-1 marketing at scale.