As a marketer, you understand how important it is to know your audience. Having a clear window into your customers’ behaviors and interests can make for incredibly compelling campaigns that drive loyalty and revenue. You probably even know that a whopping 78% of consumers report that they’re more likely to make repeat purchases and refer their friends and family to brands that offer a personalized experience.
This begs the question: If it’s so important to understand your customers, why do so many organizations seem to struggle with getting personalization right?
Imagining the Ideal State
Consumers interact with brands in a myriad of ways: purchasing products on the web or through a mobile app, placing a call to customer support, visiting brick-and-mortar stores, and reading product reviews before even heading to the store. For many teams, this data is collected and stored. When organized to create a single view of the customer, these interactions can tell a story about a customer’s likes and dislikes and their potential to churn or make future purchases. This data is typically housed in a data cloud and managed by a team of data scientists and engineers responsible for organizing and consolidating it for use across an organization.
Sounds wonderful, right? In an ideal world with the right tools, your data team would have this view built and readily available for the marketing team.
There are Two Main Hurdles Standing in the Way of Customer 360
First, the complexity for data teams tasked with developing a single view of the customer cannot be overstated. The process requires significant investments into centralizing the data into a single location, organizing the data and associating multiple records with a single customer, and then making the data available to the teams looking to take action on it.
Second, even if the data team is able to build this view, it can be extremely difficult–and impractical–to represent in third-party platforms. Many of the customer data tools that marketers know and love (like CDPs and CRMs) struggle to accommodate and organize such a large variety of data sources in a way that makes it accessible to the average user.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what can be done to combine the data collected by the marketing team with the organized data being housed by your data team–and how to access it. Keep reading to find out.
What is Customer 360
The process of combining fragmented customer data from a variety of sources and formats into a single profile for each customer is known as Customer 360.
Types of data included in Customer 360 are:
- CRM data
- Social media data
- Transaction data
- Point of sale data
- Customer support interaction data
- Marketing channel engagement data
- Sales interaction data
- Mobile app activity data
- … and more
Customer 360 provides organizations with a single source of truth for each customer, allowing marketers and other teams to improve and personalize the customer experience.
The Benefits of Customer 360
Customer 360 can unlock benefits for marketers and other teams across an organization:
Deliver a Stellar Customer Experience
Having a complete, single view of your customers helps you improve their experience throughout the entire user journey. By understanding customers better and on a deeper level, you can best serve your customers.
Let’s say, for example, a sports and entertainment company wants to send out communication to high-value customers attending an upcoming event. Using the 360 view and integrated systems, the customer experience team could send that segment of customers to the CRM, and from there, the sales team would be able to provide those customers with a VIP experience once they’ve scanned their tickets at the gate.
Use Segmentation for Accurate Targeting
Customer segmentation is vital for targeted, successful marketing and sales actions. Customer 360 facilitates more targeted marketing efforts by consolidating contact information and providing a holistic view of each customer. It allows organizations to create the most meaningful customer segments and deliver the most relevant marketing messages.
That same sports entertainment brand might be hosting a “throwback night” featuring retired players. The marketing team could pull data on past ticket purchasers who also purchased jerseys, hats, or other memorabilia associated with the athletes featured that evening. From there, they could power a cross-channel campaign inviting those fans to come back to see their favorite players.
Provide Improved Customer Support
In addition to better marketing, Customer 360 also facilitates better customer support. Using data from your customer segment personas, an enterprise can gather information about the preferences, interests, and products/services of a customer. This helps make any support interactions more relevant, and therefore more beneficial as well.
Perhaps the Customer Support team at the sports entertainment brand has been tasked with increasing customer satisfaction following inquiries and calls into the support department. The complete 360-view of each customer would open up opportunities for agents to personalize each call by reviewing past service requests or reports associated with each customer’s profile, reviews or survey responses left by that customer, and past purchase data as soon as the customer dials in.
The Challenges for Your Data Team
Despite the immense and clear benefits of Customer 360, creating a single view of the customer is something that many data teams struggle to achieve. Before asking your data team to invest in Customer 360, consider the following challenges that may delay or halt the process:
Siloed Data Sets
For many teams, customer data lives in various siloes. When using a CRM, for example, the compartmentalized view of the customer becomes separated from the original source, complicating the process of maintaining a unified view. If new data is collected and stored only in a CRM or other SaaS application, it will be missing the full picture stored within your company’s data cloud. The same applies to the data within your data warehouse–if you’re storing data in multiple locations, you will never have a true single picture of your customers.
Growing and Evolving Data Sources
As new channels emerge, organizations must be equipped to ingest and process the new data inputs that come with them. The sheer volume of data may be too much for third-party CRMs or CDPs to handle, resulting in slower processing times.
Human error and inconsistency is a massive threat to creating a true Customer 360. Perhaps your customer spelled their name wrong when filling out a form or provided a different email address.
Even if the data is correct, conflicting information will further complicate the process of narrowing down a single view of each of your customers. As you compile customer data across interactions, it is also necessary to perform Identity Resolution–a process of compiling, analyzing, and organizing your customer data across systems. Identity Resolution ensures that your team has a comprehensive view of each customer.
For example, a customer might use one email address to sign up for your brand’s mobile app and another to make a purchase from your website. That same customer might call your support line. Identity Resolution is the process of matching different customer identifiers to create one single customer profile across your systems. This process allows you to effectively target that single customer with the most relevant messaging–without accidentally duplicating or sending conflicting information to that customer’s various contact methods.
Some businesses attempt to do this manually. They spend hours attempting to combine customer data from multiple sources, often running into red tape from other departments. Data teams waste resources and brainpower on manual data combination and analysis.
How to Achieve and Activate Customer 360 with Flywheel Software
We’re aware of the common challenges with Identity Resolution–and the importance of getting it right. Flywheel offers Identity Resolution as part of our services so that you can be confident that the data you’re activating on is your company’s single source of truth. More importantly, our platform ensures that your team is accessing and applying the right data from the right sources so that you can start experimenting across campaigns.
Integrating all of your data sources into the data cloud is only part of the equation when it comes to Customer 360. To truly experience the benefit of a single source of truth for data, you need to activate this data to your marketing and sales channels.
From there, our software solution makes it easier than ever to define and activate Customer 360 directly from your data cloud. Instead of attempting to piece together data from multiple tools, we help you leverage your single source of truth data warehouse.
With Flywheel, activate your Customer 360 to over 30 destinations. Use our solution to activate your unified customer data and unlock the massive potential for experimentation and predictive marketing. It’s easy for any marketing member to do, as our software does not require SQL.
Discover how Flywheel can help your business activate Customer 360 and drive revenue. Contact our team today!