What to remember when building a customer view strategy
Customer relations is in many ways a central tenet of modern marketing. Trust and relationships built between brand and consumer are key drivers of spending and loyalty. Yet, whether your business is large or small, managing these customer relationships is a challenge and can be time consuming.
The advantages of a customer view strategy
One approach that marketers have adopted to tackle this is customer view. Sometimes called single customer view, this approach is best defined as an aggregated representation of the data that an organisation knows about its customers. It aims to provide a seamless experience for the customer, irrespective of how many platforms are used for interaction. A single customer view enables marketers to track interactions and communications across different channels. This also allows marketers to better organise their campaigns. It’s particularly useful in bigger organisations as multiple teams often have different responsibilities. It helps teams who deal with different stages of the customer journey offer a seamless service.
Two things to remember:
While there is no one approach to building a single customer view, there are a few important things to remember when starting out on your strategy.
1. Quality over quantity when it comes to data
A recent whitepaper by Econsultancy (and distributed by Marketing Week) has suggested that data has to be at the core of any customer view strategy. According to the whitepaper’s survey of 2,250 marketers, this can include both internal data and second- and third-party data. But, please remember the quality of data far more important than the quantity.
Perhaps the most useful section of the whitepaper is its ‘actionable tips’ section. It suggests that starting with a strong data strategy will work wonders for your customer view. It argues that:
‘Your data strategy needs to address how it will be collected, stored, shared and managed over the short and medium term. Don’t neglect data management and measurement policies, as they define what is being measured, and how.’
Yet the whitepaper also emphasises the need to remember that amassing the largest amount of data possible is not the end goal. High-quality data is the key. Often, ‘first-party data is a largely untapped resource for most organisations, so always start with that.’ It also adds ‘it’s important to look beyond basic analysis as true insight lies in the models you build on top of your data, be that internal or external, and the ability to adjust these models based on performance.’
2. Keep your eye on loyalty
One of the key benefits of adopting single customer view is that customers receive much more personalised, streamlined treatment. They really connect with brands they interact with. Yet Marketing Land suggest that one of the biggest mistakes with a customer view strategy is to lose sight of this longer-term goal. Instead, they focus on short-term wins and low-hanging fruit.
Marketing Land wants to help businesses gain long lasting, repeat customers. It is tempting to use promotions and incentives to boost take rates and customer acquisition and celebrate the win. But, by tracking conversion over the year it is possible to see which initiatives transform new customers into loyal ones. It argues that:
‘It is intuitive that we should want a consistent view of consumers. On another level, we have to recognize that we must help members of the marketing team better understand their contribution to success. Fractional attribution that looks at the complete customer journey, and applying empirical analysis can help.’
By ensuring that your customer view is dedicated to better mapping the long term customer journey, it is possible to reap the longer-term rewards of your efforts.