Cooking up a single customer view: why do marketers struggle?

Culinary luminaries despise dishes with too many ingredients – but is it the ingredients that pose the problem or the execution of the dish? Great ingredients, a talented chef, but no recipe.

Let’s take a growing business, with growing customer touch points. Increased customer interaction leads to increased data capture across multiple, growing channels. Data storage systems seem to multiply overnight and all-of-a-sudden marketers are faced with data overload – disparate sources, a plethora of data types and ever increasing customer expectations; the perfect recipe for a data management nightmare.

So why do so many businesses struggle to achieve optimum customer insight? The simple answer is the absence of a Single Customer View (SCV). More often than not, the ingredients are all there – plentiful data, excellent internal resources and established relationships with profitable customers, but the organisation’s strategy is often product-led and their data assets aren’t customer aligned. Without a customer-driven data strategy, marketers can’t hope to be truly customer-centric.

In addition, data management strategies to deal with increasing data volumes and sources and to create meaningful insights are often weak. The problem is compounded by a lack of buy-in from key stakeholders, which leads to the SCV agenda not being a priority or worse still, not existing at all.

Instead, new data storage systems are introduced to plug the gap – which ironically increases gaps elsewhere. Inevitably, the distance between each customer database grows, which leads to further isolation of data around the business. And so it continues…

Businesses need to recognise the results that an effective customer centric strategy will help them achieve and they need to learn that a Single Customer View is the recipe that brings all these ingredients together.

Five steps to developing your SCV and data strategy:

  1. Understand your data sources and the data’s journey thereafter.
  2. Set-out the policies and procedures to ensure that data storage is managed effectively.
  3. Review your organisation’s data strategy, data quality assurance and optimisation – are you maximising the value of your data assets?
  4. Are the necessary resources, including IT and staff expertise, in place to facilitate the SCV agenda?

Everyone on board? Nothing is more detrimental to a SCV initiative than key stakeholders resisting the change. Ensure all key influencers are privy to communications as soon as the SCV agenda is established.


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