Customers have assumed the position of power in their relationship with brands.

As technology gives people unprecedented information and choice regarding products or services, companies have to work twice as hard on meeting and exceeding customer expectations at every touchpoint.

To add more complexity to this, the number of touchpoints is ever growing and therefore the customer journey is becoming increasingly non-linear. 

In order to get to grips with the individual paths consumers take to purchase, organisations need to collect all the data on the past and present activity of its customers to build a better understanding of the single customer view (SCV). 

In our new Customer Experience Optimisation report, produced in partnership with Ensighten, we asked more than 600 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals around the globe about their own efforts in building a single customer profile, particularly in regards to how it is activated and optimised.

Here are some of the findings.

Utilising the single customer profile

Creating and utilising a single customer profile across all marketing activity is still a work in progress for most businesses. 

We asked our respondents: “do you or your clients currently use a single customer profile for all marketing applications?”

Less than one in five (18%) of the responding companies are using a single customer profile for most of their marketing applications. In comparison, 45% are not using a single customer profile at all.

With 37% of companies making use of a single customer profile in only a minority of their marketing applications, and a further 45% not utilising a single customer profile at all, it is clear that they still have plenty of scope to improve.

Collecting data

When asked which offsite sources our respondents collect data to enrich customer profiles from, it was revealed that just over three in five client-side organisations (62%) are collecting data from email.

This is the only offsite source where more than half of the responding companies are actively using the platform to improve their ability to optimise the customer experience.

Less than two-fifths of company respondents are using social media (37%) and search (35%) data to add depth to their customer profiles. Even fewer organisations are maximising data from instore transactions (20%), display advertising (20%) or mobile apps (16%).

Having a rich pool of data is a crucial element to activating the single customer profile and for truly providing a personalised customer experience. 

Optimising SCV

The ability to optimise the customer experience to a highly personalised level is based on the ability to understand a consumer beyond their previous purchase habits. 

We asked our respondents: “what types of data do you or your clients collect for the purpose of customer experience optimisation?” 

Currently, most organisations are collecting behavioural (81%) and transactional (78%) data to optimise their customer experience. However, they are considerably less likely to collect social (32%), attitudinal (29%) or job-related information (28%) for the same purposes. 

While this information may not give useful insights in isolation, in a broader, data-rich context, this information can prove extremely useful.

For much more on the topic, download our full report: Customer Experience Optimisation.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 13 April, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (2)

Martin Wallace

Martin Wallace, Marketing Manager at Innometrics

Good article. I think, for a customer profile to be truly beneficial to both business and consumer, they need to be actionable in real time.

The consumer operates in real time, so businesses need to be able to respond accordingly. Data can be collected in real time - the key is making it actionable in the same instance.

almost 3 years ago

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David Bailey, Social Media Marketing Executive at SDL

Excellent points, Martin, what will be key to winning in this arena in the future will be using past data to predict future behavior for each customer. Whilst not truly real-time it will greatly aid the customer experience.

over 2 years ago

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