So what exactly is a single customer view? Put simply it is a single view of a customer or prospect that includes all the data your organisation currently possesses regarding that person. This could include contact details, purchases made, preferred communication channels, previous responses to marketing activity and more. The benefit of assembling this data into a ‘single view’ is that it empowers marketers to better target and personalise future customer interactions.
Mining for gold
The issue, however, is that this information is oftentimes held in a number of disparate databases and a single customer view is not available. That notwithstanding, an effective workaround is possible in the form of a ‘data mart’. Here the important data from disparate systems and data silos is drawn into a separate data depository and a single customer view enabled. Updates made to client records in the individual systems are then automatically populated into the data mart view, so the customer view is always current.
From an ROI perspective, the creation of a datamart can deliver outstanding results for marketers, as the following case study demonstrates:
A large multi-national insurance company had concerns about the efficiency of its marketing efforts and approached Datamine to request some ‘exploratory’ work be done. The company wanted to establish whether it would be possible to extract data from its array of different systems — data which could then be applied to better inform its strategy around brand expansion and customer propositions.
Datamine brought together a host of different systems and data silos into a single data mart – enabling a single customer view and identifying multiple opportunities. One entirely unexpected result was that Datamine uncovered millions of dollars in premiums which had not been charged, even though the policyholders were still being provided full cover.
The $80,000 project returned almost $10 million to the company immediately — and provided insights which led the insurer to establish an additional brand and associated product range in the marketplace, while simultaneously improving its foundation business through better targeting and messaging.
The bottom line
As companies face questions about their customers and marketing strategies, the inclination to turn to gut instinct or industry experience for answers is waning as the true value inherent in existing customer data is better understood. The short truth is that marketers who embrace evidence-based decision making are virtually guaranteed a competitive advantage. Huge opportunities await those inclined to jump into the data pool, and once they get started they’ll never want to stop.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sally Carey is a director of Datamine and has over 20 years experience consulting on data analytics solutions across a range of industry sectors. Sally specializes in delivering clarity from the complexity of big data – advising organizations on a host of predictive analytics disciplines - including quantitative decision making, loyalty programmes, organisational change and marketing strategy.