The single customer view: Is it really achievable?

Achieving a single customer view is supposedly the ultimate goal for digital marketers, but is it really feasible?

Building this complete, joined-up view of the customer is a costly and time-consuming project, and while some have made decent progress, others still have a mountain to climb.

A new report published today by Econsultancy and Innometrics investigates the current landscape for businesses seeking to obtain that single customer view, and looks at how brands are approaching the gap between digital and retail, among other challenges. 

The Single Customer View report features in-depth opinions from senior-level executives working within ecommerce, online and marketing departments, from companies including Mothercare, Camelot, myHermes, EE, Clarins, Rank, Occam and Seren.

Here’s a brief summary of three topics investigated in the report…

Four talking points from our new Unified Marketing Report

Obtaining a single customer view has become something of a holy grail for marketers, however its achievement is extremely problematic.

An ever-increasing number of customer touchpoints and data sources make it near impossible for marketers to correlate all this information in one place.

Econsultancy’s new report, The Path to Unified Marketing, examines the difficulties that brands face in obtaining a single view of their customers, as well giving an overview of the state of the industry.

Published in association with Tealium, the report is based on a survey of 313 client-side marketers in Q2 2014. Here’s a summary of four main talking points:

Only 16% of businesses use data to form a single customer view

While digital media has given businesses numerous channels to engage with their customers, only 16% of companies currently use that data to form a single customer view (SCV).

Creating a SCV gives businesses the ability to track customers and their communications and purchase behaviour across channels.

A survey by Experian found that while 72% of businesses recognise the benefits of using data to offer customers a joined-up multichannel experience, 84% aren’t able to use the data effectively.

More than two-thirds (70%) believe that a SCV would lead to cost savings, with 20% claiming it would help to reduce their bad debt.