How to Achieve the Elusive Single Customer View â 5 Tips for Marketers | DMA

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How to Achieve the Elusive Single Customer View â 5 Tips for Marketers


The rise of multi-screen shopping, browsing and the ever growing requirement for marketers to gather information from their customers’ smartphones, tablets and laptops,has meant many marketers adapt their marketing tactics over the last few years.

The proliferation of devices has brought a proliferation of data, that while great for marketers initially, became cumbersome, fragmented and unusable. The main difficulty lay in collating all this data to achieve that elusive single customer view that marketers crave.

Building a unified view of the customer is essential in today’s fast paced digital world and the ability to create segments of one and market to an individual is the key to true personalisation and contextualisation.

However this is not as easy as it sounds with 42% of marketers saying that they ‘have always wanted a single customer view, but haven’t been given the time, budget or IT resources to build one’ - taken from the Econsultancy and SmartFocus ‘Marketing Pain Points and How To Overcome Them’ report 2015.

This comes despite the fact that having a unified view of their customers would allow marketers to offer a better user experience, increase the perception of their brand and achieve higher ROI.

So how can an effective single customer view be achieved? Here are five ways for marketers to get back on track:

Tip 1: Convince your boss. Not given enough budget, don’t have the time, boss not convinced of its effectiveness? It is nearly impossible to create an effective and long lasting single customer view programme without being given essential resources to build one. Before embarking on this exciting journey, you will need to get the boss on board. Bring the boss to your side with some results and data already collected and show them the benefits from one-to-one marketing programmes that other companies in your industry have implemented and the results they have achieved.

Tip 2: Accept that a perfect Single Customer View may not be possible. Good may be good enough. Brands are obsessed with achieving the perfect single customer view, but with the intense pressures of time, budget and IT resources this may not always be possible. Companies need to look at what works for them and decide on a solution that is good enough looking at the resources available to them. They will find that a good enough solution works to treat their customers as individuals without putting too much strain on precious resources.

Tip 3: Get your data under control. De-dupe your database, use your IT team or custom software to create APIs to bring all your data into a central place. Ensure you are collecting relevant data from your customers and get your data sources all talking to each other. This is one of the hardest and most time consuming aspects to building a single customer view but by utilizing all available resources in-house such as your IT department and current marketing automation software and any external sources such as a data cleaning agency or marketing database management firm, it can be possible to tame the wild beast that is an unruly database.

Tip 4: Understand you customer. Know what data you actually need to gather, so your time and efforts aren’t wasted on gathering irrelevant information about your customers. Gathering too much or irrelevant data can turn off customers and wreak havoc on the precious brand reputation you have spent years cultivating. Go over all your ‘call to actions’ across all of your touchpoints; investigate all your landing pages; check what information you are collecting in the forms on these landing pages; find out what data you already hold on your customers and finally make sure your T&Cs and Privacy Policy are watertight. If needs be try building new forms and new landing pages. See if you can get people to signup via Facebook, build a mobile app to capture even more data, create and implement a database cleansing email programme and try new forms of marketing like running competitions and introducing offers and a rewards based loyalty programme. The data you will gather will be invaluable.

Tip 5: Build customer profiles. Once you have identified your ideal customer and you have determined what sort and how much data to collect about them; you can start to begin to segment them into different profiles. Once you’ve done that, you can start to marketing to these profiles and learning about them. The next step is to start to build smaller and smaller segments until you reach a segment of one and can market to an individual customer. At this stage you will be pulling in data about this segment of one from multiple sources which will all hopefully feed into one single repository of information, in turn, which will enable you to automatically mine that database and market to a highly targeted segment of unique customers and start to see sales and revenue increase.


‘Marketing Pain Points and How To Overcome Them’ Econsultancy and SmartFocus report -

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