These days everyone always seems to be looking for the next big thing when it comes to customer insight and database marketing. Buzzwords and catchphrases abound in discussions about the new ways in which companies can better understand and respond to consumer behaviour – even if some of the people using the latest trendy lingo don’t quite understand what’s really at the heart of it.
Sure, new concepts and technologies with colourful names have rapidly gone from fresh and unfamiliar ideas to recognised elements of the marketing landscape – think Big Data, omni-channel , smartphones, killer apps, web analytics, social media monitoring, cloud-based CRM, SoLoMo, etc. And some of these do provide new avenues to customer insights and communications.
Trouble is too many people think they simply replace the fundamentals. Without a doubt, there are new tricks for engaging customers and fresh ways of looking at some of the old tricks – but the truth of the matter is these always need to be underpinned by old-school fundamentals.
Employing new technologies and methodologies in the digital age can certainly help to increase the consumer data footprint that companies can draw on to better understand customers and their spending patterns. At the same time, these new tools underpin a greater range of channels for reaching consumers. The danger is that, with all these sources of data and different consumer touch points, the picture of the customer becomes fragmented rather than clearer.
The key for any company is to establish a Single Customer View (SCV). In the rapidly evolving world of digital and data-driven marketing, this may seem like an old concept, but it remains a good one. Indeed, the SCV database is more important than ever for establishing an accurate picture of the customer and for ensuring that companies are approaching each in the right way and with appropriate and welcome messages.
An SCV doesn’t just aid a company in understanding how to communicate more effectively with customers by employing the right channels and relevant offers. It also enables firms to better grasp the value of the every customer and determine whether further marketing investment in certain individuals – as indicated by the profile of their particular segment – is worthwhile. And the SCV provides a platform for maintaining loyalty and even expanding the customer relationship.
The essential components of a single customer view include:
- Data sourcing – incorporate data from any source, including the website, point of sale, newsletter registrations, loyalty membership and coupon responses
- Data management – ensure the data is clean so that there truly is a single record for each customer and that all the contact details are correct
- Data analysis – use the information to understand how the customer is behaving and how that individual can be better engaged to encourage loyalty and further spending
- Customer relationship marketing – create a segmentation platform that maps out customer journeys that foster loyalty and greater spending
- Customer communications – send digital and direct marketing that successfully engages the customer based on the analysis and segmentation
- Response analysis – use the learnings from each campaign to inform the customer profile and refine future marketing initiatives
- Data functionality – measure, monitor and report on campaign performance to understand what the return on investment is and be able to demonstrate it to management
- Customer service – follow-up on actions and respond to customer queries, using the information to hand, so that response is well-informed and satisfactory
For companies that want to use one-to-one customer communications to build deeper and more lasting relationships with customers, a Single Customer View is more critical than ever – regardless of the other tools and technologies they employ. For more detailed look at just what is essential to a comprehensive single customer view, download our guide.