Why a Single Customer View is the Foundation for Marketing Success
Like a house, a brand needs a solid foundation upon which it can acquire new customers, build relationships and sustain the intelligent interactions that turn customers into loyal brand advocates. For a brand, that foundation is a single view of the customer — i.e., the ability to identify a customer regardless of channel or device.
Businesses agree. Based on recent research by Experian Data Quality, 99 percent of companies believe achieving a single customer view is important to their business. Most marketers strive to achieve a single customer view because they understand the value to their bottom line, including making marketing spend more effective, gaining better insight into customers to inform strategic growth, and creating a seamless customer experience that delivers more brand value and builds greater loyalty. Despite the near unanimous understanding of its importance, only 24 percent of companies say they currently have a single view of the customer.
This isn't surprising, as recent research from Experian Marketing Services' 2015 Digital Marketer Report shows 89 percent of marketers worldwide have challenges creating a single customer view. The top challenges being poor data quality, siloed departments and the inability to link technologies. Additionally, linkage — i.e., no single customer view — was named the top barrier to cross-channel marketing success.
What is surprising is that senior marketing leaders are still not prioritizing a single customer view. According to the same survey, "collecting, linking and managing data" and "integrating technology" fell behind "telling our brand story so we stand out against competitors" and "translating a deep knowledge of our customers into relevant interactions" in priorities for marketers at a director level or above.
However, in order to effectively differentiate from competitors and create intelligent interactions, brands must focus on data, the mainstay of a single customer view. To ignore this is like building a house on sand.
Without a strong data strategy foundation and the right technology for collecting, linking and managing all the structured and unstructured data coming into an organization today, brands will not be able to create customer experiences that hold the attention of today's omnichannel consumers.
Accurate, complete and actionable customer data enables a deep understanding of customers and the ability to identify the best ones. This understanding means targeted and personalized customer acquisition strategies. It also means personalized and relevant marketing programs. Ultimately, building a brand on a solid foundation of data leads to a customer-centric organization and the ability to deliver intelligent interactions that enchant and delight customers at every touchpoint, every time.
Ashley Johnston is senior vice president, global marketing, at Experian Marketing Services, a provider of cloud-based marketing technology. Follow Ashley and Experian Marketing Services on Twitter @AshleyDaly, @ExperianMkt.