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How to Gain a 360-Degree View of the Customer

Back in 2013, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and the founder and CEO of Square, famously advised a group of tech companies to “meet customers where they are.” His rationale is that nearly everyone has a smartphone, so he designed Square primarily with the ability to accept credit cards via mobile in mind. 

While it turned out to be a genius move for Square, when it comes to marketers, the advice isn’t as easy to follow. Why? Because today’s customers are everywhere. They’re on email, mobile, social, in stores, on apps, using SMS, receiving direct mail, and so much more.  

Modern marketers know the importance of creating omnichannel campaigns to present a seamless customer experience. But when your customer is active in so many places, you often end up with siloed bits of information living here and there. This disconnect makes it very difficult to gain a comprehensive view of the customer and use that data to make more informed marketing decisions. 

So, how can marketers consolidate customer information under one profile to gain a 360-degree view of each customer?

Adopt an omnichannel mindset 

According to Aberdeen Group, organisations with a poor omnichannel strategy retain just 33% of customers, while brands with effective omnichannel engagement programmes keep 89% of customers.  

Cultivating a lasting relationship with today’s customers requires marketers to stop thinking in terms of any one channel and instead analyse a customer’s activities and behaviours across all channels. Unifying all disparate data sources to execute off a unified customer profile will enable brands to create a hyper-personalised experience at every touchpoint.

Collect data from every touchpoint

Creating personalised campaigns, messages, and offers starts with the collection of permission-based data and preference insights. Providing unique value exchanges such as exclusive content, coupons, loyalty points, and other rewards can incentivise customers to share data willingly and allow marketers the opportunity to record customer behaviours during each interaction with the brand. An analysis of the data will reveal insights that can be used to further strengthen the relationship with the customer. 

Because there are so many channels and touchpoints where brands and customers cross paths, a significant amount of customer data is generated. And since brands must collect that data from various channels (social, email, mobile, etc.) as well as different platforms ( CRM / sales automation, marketing automation, social media management, etc.), it becomes nearly impossible to collect, analyse, and fully leverage that data. As a result, customers don’t receive the seamless experiences they crave, but instead, receive disjointed communications that damage brand reputation and decrease loyalty.

Store data in one place

With new platforms cropping up every other day, the marketing stack continues to grow, and marketers continue to struggle with keeping track of their customer data. When these various platforms fail to integrate – and not just loosely – with one another and share data in real time, there’s no way to get a 360-degree view of each customer, analysing all the available data to segment audiences, and take away actionable insights to inform future marketing campaigns.  

Many marketers are overwhelmed by the number of platforms in their marketing stack. They don’t need yet another system to store customer data. For most, a better option is to deploy a comprehensive CRM and marketing automation solution that unifies all customer data under one roof. Consolidation helps to save marketers time, as well as provide customers with a more seamless brand experience at every touchpoint. 

A unified platform can go a long way toward helping marketers better understand customer preferences and behaviours, and then plan and execute more successful marketing campaigns by leveraging data-driven insights.