The Single Customer View

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All marketers want to understand the customer experience in order to create more effective messages and campaigns. Yet most marketers are also keenly aware of the hurdles those messages face on their way to target audiences: unsubscribe lists, junk folders, the hit-and-miss nature of social media platforms, and often, a lack of clean and accurate data to drive those campaigns.

More specifically, companies don’t necessarily lack data, but their customer information is stored and organized so haphazardly it’s difficult to use. One way around this issue is to adopt the Single Customer View approach, or SCV.

SCV, also known as Unified Customer Journey, combines all available customer information into one source, creating a unified view of customers that is well structured and easy to parse. You can draw data from the main points of customer contact, including websites and mobile platforms, CRM systems, email, all types of advertising, and printed materials.

The SCV should include all customer communications and interactions, including social media comments. Companies can enhance in-house information with third-party sources to further drive intelligence. Organizations should focus on the most useful criteria, whether that is demographic segmentation, purchase history, or highly individualized data.

 

The Benefits of the Single Customer View

Merging your silos of information offers many benefits.

Critically, you’ll work with clean, accurate and de-duped data. You can plan your campaigns without worrying about data errors. Nothing damages a carefully planned and executed campaign quite as spectacularly as inaccurate information. Bad data damages trust. Once trust is gone, it’s difficult to get it back. This is especially true when striving to increase repeat customer business.

Inaccurate data also wastes money. If you have several Karen Smiths in your database can you be sure they are all same person? If not, you will spend money to send duplicate messages repeatedly and annoy customers in the process.

SCV is essential for designing good omnichannel campaigns where coherent and consistent messages are critical to avoid alienating customers.

It’s also crucial with print and direct mail, which offers definite advantages to marketers. Unlike email, consumers don’t usually block direct mail. Relevant physical mail is nearly always opened and read. Good data can make printing costs more efficient by eliminating undeliverable items, removing dupes, and augmenting data for more precise targeting.

You can achieve precise customer segmentation with SCV. Standard segmentation such as demographics, geography, website traffic behavior, or purchasing patterns are great, but a unified view of your customers can bring to light particular segments based on issues, perceptions, and other data points you hadn’t previously considered. It’s possible to be as hyper segmented as you wish.

Likewise, you may gain new insight into your customers’ journey, identify their first interaction with your organization, or assess which touch points are most effective.

Customers can easily tell when a marketer has done a slapdash job of tailoring a message and has failed to draw on their personal relationship with the company. This can negate efforts to retain clients, upsell, or gain referrals.

Creating a functional SCV can be a technical challenge that requires good data analytics skills. Yet the efforts are worth it. Talk to our data experts about how to bring order to your data and use your customer information to achieve your marketing objectives.