The 2 Biggest Problems with Single Customer View – and How to Solve Them

By APSIS

2015-03-03

Over the last 5 months I have spoken at and attended several events about Single Customer View (SCV). At Innometrics we believe that, despite the term being old, the need for a Single View of the Customer is greater than ever. Just look at the number of devices and channels your customers are using every day… they probably all get reported and targeted as separate people.
 
A common theme I see is the challenge to extract the value from the SCV. I think this problem divides into two areas.
 
  1. Bringing data together
  2. Getting data out
In general there are lots of BI tools to help you get insight into the data once its in the SCV platform. So points 1 & 2 really represent the ‘top and tail’ of Single Customer View. Where it starts and ends and often where a lot of the value is won or lost…
 
Bringing Data together
I have a couple of examples here.
 
First, a supermarket chain that we work with had 12 silos of data that needed to come together to orchestrate an effective email campaign. The sheer number of silos presented a considerable challenge, as did the different platforms themselves. Large enterprises often use technology originating from several different decades – AS400 from the 90’s, a CRM platform from the 00’s and many digital marketing technologies from the last ten years. All of these platforms weren’t designed to integrate together – they don’t play nice!
 
For larger clients this is the biggest challenge. Rip and replace is too expensive, so if you can get the data out and into another platform like Profile Cloud, life becomes easier to manage.
 
The second example is relevant even to newer online only companies. They may not have legacy platforms, but they will have lots of different digital marketing platforms – all creating different types of data. Trying to combine CRM information with Web Analytics data is very difficult. CRM has little information but is highly relevant – Web Analytics/behavioral data is very high volume but comparatively lower value. Add to this sentiment data or qualitative information from social media and the task becomes even more difficult. Three very different types of data.
 
How do we approach this problem? We work with a few clients purely to bring data together from disparate silos. We use a combination of pre-built integrations, API’s and easy to build custom integrations (for those 1990’s technologies!) to eliminate the demands on the platform that’s being integrated. Basically, Profile Cloud does the hard work. That supermarket chain got their first project going in 3 weeks, rather than 6 months!
 
Getting data out
Once you have all the data in the SCV and it’s all nicely organised, you then analyse it to get insights. The problem is there is a big gap between insight and improving revenue. If the fantastic segments that your SCV has generated remain locked in the SCV, then they aren’t much use.
 
I have a few examples here. A utilities provider we work with took 2 weeks to generate a new report from their SCV. This meant that any great insights couldn’t be acted upon for 2 weeks. So when their competitors changed prices the marketing team were 2 weeks delayed in reacting to any impact on prospect activity.
 
Another telecoms client took over a month to generate a new email campaign. Not because of the creative, but because of the time to get the data together.
 
Frustratingly, creating the SCV is just half the challenge. Acting on the data is just as important. We help here through integrating with whatever technologies our client wants to use to communicate with their consumers. That means any email platform, Content management platform, SMS system, CRM platform, call centre, etc. etc. This means that the second that Profile Cloud has the data – so too do the other platforms that need it to talk to the consumers.
 
 
 
Despite its age, Single Customer View is still as relevant as ever, but it needs to be actionable in real time.
 
Download our eBook: Creating Actionable Customer Profiles, to find out more.
 
This post was written by Andy Walker

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