Companies can’t attain a single view of the customer until they connect data sources and unify fragmented data from across systems and channels into a single source of truth.
Of course, achieving this view is just the first step to enable better marketing and business outcomes. Ideally, said single source of truth is an advanced solution that also helps you:
- Resolve multiple customer identities for a person into a single, consolidated identity
- Create individual-level, persistently updated (see: in actual real time) customer profiles
- Dynamically segment individuals based on an unlimited number of profile attributes
- Build models that help evaluate customers and predict their future behavior and value
- Orchestrate lifecycle marketing programs that are responsive to customers’ journeys
If you’re looking to facilitate better, data-driven decision-making in key areas of your business, it’s time to finally achieve a single, unified customer view.
And that means investing in business technology that creates such an always-accurate view.
Why companies continue to struggle to build a true single customer view today
Look at the legacy tech in many companies’ stacks today. Odds are you’ll see a collection of tools that, when used together, provide a mostly accurate, near-real-time view of customers.
Moreover, different teams across the business — marketing, ecommerce, analytics, customer service, etc. — use different tools to understand and engage with individuals.
And each system has its own unique data storage methods and identifiers for individuals. On their own, each of these solutions only provides a partial view of the customer.
In turn, the aforementioned business technology users end up wasting time and resources trying to stitch disparate customer data together. (And often with limited success.)
Even if they are successful, the data is often days or weeks old by the time it’s available to teams to utilize for various activities (e.g., analysis, segmentation, modeling, activation).
“Part of why digitally native brands have been so successful comes from their ability to unify all their first-party data in one place with the single customer view at the center of their business, and then act on that data immediately,” BlueConic VP Michele Szabocsik recently wrote for MarTech Advisor:
These digital-first companies don’t rely on a mishmash of dated and/or disconnected business solutions to cobble together a single view of the customer. (Doing so would undoubtedly lead to untimely, irrelevant experiences for their prospects and customers.)
Rather, they invest in an advanced, single-source-of-truth database that helps them establish a legitimate single customer view at the heart of their marketing and data infrastructure.
Specifically, they invest in a customer data platform (CDP) like BlueConic that helps them:
- Realize the promise of fully unified first-party data that is accessible in real time to all stakeholders who require access (the aforementioned teams, among others) and can be applied whenever and wherever these business users need.
- Orchestrate real-time, one-to-one marketing for every customer lifecycle stage and, simultaneously, get rid of the time-consuming, often costly process of relying on IT or agencies to pull data sets and create lists for segmentation, modeling, and activation.
- Recognize individuals comprehensively and consistently across channels by standardizing and resolving their identities (i.e., reconcile the numerous identifiers created by their various solutions) across all systems in their technology stacks.
Many organizations use BlueConic’s pure-play CDP to build their own single customer view and take advantage of said view to better understand and engage with customers.
Take BlueConic customer Bob’s Discount Furniture, for example:
- The retailer imports online and offline transactional data into our CDP and combines it with other first-party data (e.g., location, demographic, and behavioral data).
- This enables the company to create unified profiles at the individual level, which marketing and customer service use in their collective customer experience management efforts, including promotional emails and on-site support.
- These profiles help Bob’s develop segments it can market with hyper-specific messaging. For instance, Bob’s uses unified profile data to target customers who bought a crib two years ago and are now likely ready to buy toddler beds.
- All in all, this single customer view helps several teams at Bob’s enhance their understanding of customer behavior and streamline operations based on real-time data.
Companies across industries — particularly retail and ecommerce businesses like Bob’s — want to accelerate their omnichannel strategies today. In other words, they want to:
- Minimize the gap between having first-party data and acting on it
- Streamline and scale their customer data-oriented experimentation
- Help them get things done in a more intuitive and/or automated way
- Provide more real-time, personalized experiences to customers
- Recognize and interact with prospects and customers across channels
The only way for these companies’ aspirations to come to fruition is with a pure-play CDP — and the single customer view it gives their organization — at the center of their tech stacks.
How a single customer view helps teams across your business — not just marketing
The pure-play CDP is well-known as a premier solution for marketing organizations — one that helps them carry out their core tasks with greater efficiency and effectiveness today.
But it’s just as helpful for other teams across the business. For instance, with BlueConic:
The quality of your first-party data improves substantially.
Data scientists can spend less time on data enrichment and cleaning. BlueConic’s progressive profiles dynamically sync customer attributes and data points from across systems and sources in real time. This significantly diminishes the person-hours needed to enhance profiles and ensures high data quality at all times.
Data risk mitigation and privacy compliance is streamlined.
You can also capture consent data in this central profile and federate it across other systems in your stack. That means you always know who has opted in and out of receiving your marketing messaging. BlueConic’s segments also update automatically to reflect real-time changes to an individual customer’s consent status.
Teams across the brand become more agile and flexible.
The single customer view BlueConic provides companies today creates a ‘glue’ among all their systems that didn’t exist before. This view empowers growth-focused teams across the business to quickly and efficiently adjust personalized messaging and programs and, in turn, increase their agility and flexibility.
Users that need customer insights can easily access them.
Business intelligence reporting, segment comparison, campaign and lifecycle orchestration analysis: Analytics pros can accomplish these tasks and others with ease in BlueConic. Aggregated data helps them evaluate segments and craft hypotheses that help drive business decisions and customer interactions.
Companies can deliver bespoke experiences to individuals.
Engaging with customers throughout their unique buying journeys is simplified with BlueConic. For instance, business users who set up lifecycle marketing programs (a.k.a. Lifecycles) in BlueConic can pinpoint key touchpoints and milestones along customers’ journeys based on the single, unified view of their first-party data.
At the end of the day, you can realize better marketing and business outcomes, increase operational efficiencies (and eradicate inefficiencies), and accelerate digital transformation across your entire organization — from marketing to customer service — with BlueConic and the single customer view it provides.
Building a single customer view with a pure-play CDP: Your path to success
As BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach explained to CMSWire, businesses “gain a mechanism to maintain a single repository of information about an individual person” with a CDP.
But each person who shares data with you expects you to use it wisely and intelligently.
That means you need to understand their preferences and interests in real time, engage with them across channels, and share only relevant and timely messaging.
And you can only accomplish these tasks with BlueConic’s CDP — a platform that enables companies of all kinds to both realize and properly leverage a true single customer view.
Watch our 2020 MarTech Conference Q&A with VF Corp to learn how the multi-brand company benefits from the single customer view in our pure-play CDP.