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The Single Customer View

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. A single customer view is a method for gathering all the data about your prospects and customers and merging it into a single record. This usually takes place on a profile page in your CRM.

By consolidating every piece of information about your customers and prospects in one centralized location, you get a powerful overview of every action they performed –including websites and mobile platforms, CRM systems, email, all types of advertising, and printed materials.

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.

Benefits of the Single Customer View

Work with Clean, accurate and current data

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.

Deliver Consistent and Personalized Messaging Across Omni-channel Campaigns

SCV is essential for designing good omnichannel campaigns where coherent and consistent messages are critical to avoid alienating customers. In today’s world, data is everywhere. The main challenge is to properly collect all that data, and – more importantly – to connect data points from multiple sources.

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With one accurate view of each customer updated in real time, you can confidently use the data you have about them to tailor your marketing efforts to each individual. It prevents marketers from working with outdated data.

By providing the right message at the right time at every stage in the customer journey (which is a marketer’s main objective) you make customers trust you, which leads to higher brand loyalty and will lead to repeat customers.

Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Aberdeen Group)

Relevant and Accurate Segmentation

When using the SCV method, your company can achieve precise customer segmentation. 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 customers, upsell, or gain referrals.

Saves Costs on Print and Direct Mail Campaigns

SCV also improves the effectiveness and ROI of 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.

Most importantly, the use of precisely targeted and relevant data substantially increases the ROI of your direct mail.

Creating a functional SCV helps not only marketing efforts, but the overall business organization. Although it is a newer approach to understanding the full customer journey, it is effective and important for many B2C and B2B companies.

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