How to Turn Data Into Currency with a Single Customer View

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Customer data is the fuel that modern businesses run on. It is their most valuable asset and should be leveraged as such to create business and customer value.

A single customer view (SCV), also known as a unified customer view, unified customer profile, or golden profile, is a centralized profile with a visual UI dashboard that contains all the customer data for a single person.

A single customer view profile will have various personally identifiable information (PII) data points including name, mobile, address, and age, along with other potential information like purchase history, loyalty programs, and previous communications or interactions.

More comprehensive SCV data points include things like current customer lifetime value (CLTV), total revenue spent at the store to date, recent purchase information, loyalty app usage, segments, and predictive scores.

One of the main functions of a customer data platform (CDP) is to create a single customer view to be used as a unified source of data-driven truth to align initiatives across your organization. This is especially advantageous for account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns that target individual decision makers in a B2B enterprise environment.

A single customer view gives your business a much more comprehensive view of an individual customer, allowing you to develop more effective and highly targeted personas, ad and messaging personalization, and more relevant and valuable customer experiences.

What data your particular single customer view contains will be particular to your business, its industry, and your customers. Look for an enterprise-grade CDP that allows you to tailor the SCV to meet your individual applications and needs.

Without a single customer view with real-time insights, companies will continue to struggle to deliver the valuable and relevant customer experiences that consumers have come to expect in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benefits of a Single Customer View

The single customer view isn’t just about understanding a single customer. Several benefits of having and rallying teams around the SCV include more accurate analytics, a reduction in redundant or poor performing marketing, and real-time views of customer behavior. The profiles can be used in aggregate by AI to analyze trends and make more accurate predictions.

When it comes to implementing a personalized customer experience it’s not just marketers who need a single customer view. Beyond marketing roles like customer service, product development, sales, data science, security, and C-suite executives need to have unified single customer views updated in real-time to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. 

Read more: How is AI impacting the way marketers deliver personalized customer experiences?

Obstacles to Create a Single Customer View

There are several obstacles you may face when trying to create a single customer view. 

The first and most relevant (and the bane of data-driven marketers everywhere) is data that exists in disparate silos across an organization. Your customer service team may have some data in their system, your analytics team will have other customer data in a product database, while your marketing team will have social media and site data. All of these data silos must be integrated together in a useful and accurate way. Platforms like a CDP can accomplish this. 

All that disparate data isn’t always clean, accurate, or in the right format. Disparate data is disconnected and can easily be linked together. The data in the different systems and platforms most likely will have duplicated profiles between different systems and need to be de-duped. Data can be decayed, meaning things like email or phone are out of date and not updated frequently. Finally not all data is as trustworthy as other data in the way it was collected. Centralized data management platforms can help address these issues. 

Ensuring you are in compliance with emerging and established data privacy laws is another major consideration when creating a single customer view. You must have some form of centralized data management solution to store that data centrally to ensure compliance with the right to be forgotten and other data privacy mandates. 

How to Create a Single Customer View

The first step is to identify all your data sources needed for ingestion. You will face all sorts of potential roadblocks in getting all this data together, including departmental specialization, multiple SaaS platforms, and widely dispersed data silos.

Next up is to ensure everyone is aligned on what your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be so all groups and individuals are on the same page and working towards the same goal.

You must identify what the right technology will be to integrate and manage all that data. For many this will be a CDP or something similar. You must also have the right skills and roles internally to manage and get data prepared, so you will need data miners, data analysts, and data migration specialists.

Next step is you need to gather all that data and scrub it for ingestion. The process of data ingestion, or data collection, will bring data together from sources such as sales records, loyalty programs, CRMs, in-store purchases, and digital engagement and interactions.

After the data is collected, it needs to be cleaned, or scrubbed, to make it ready for integration and profile unification. The data you collect needs to be accurate, consistent, and secure. In order for a data management platform like a CDP to ingest the data and unify it, missing, irrelevant, and inaccurate data must be cleaned for proper consolidation.

Once all that juicy data is clean and prepped for integration, it can be combined into a unified customer profile. CDPs are particularly suited and designed to perform ID resolution and profile unification.

Finally, you will also need a formal data governance strategy to establish operating guidelines for retrieving, storing, and processing customer data.

Read More: How to Create a Single Customer View in 5 Steps

Leveraging Data as a Currency

Implementing a single customer view is a critical first step in delivering valuable and relevant experiences to your customers.

Being able to have a single version of the truth that can be used to align efforts across the enterprise is the primary goal of establishing a SCV. The insights generated can be used to optimize your marketing and sales efforts and create more loyal customers and advocates.

Customer data is the fuel that modern businesses run on. It is their most valuable asset and should be leveraged as such for business and customer value.

With a single customer view built on quality real-time data, businesses can improve retention rates, increase loyalty and create brand advocates, improve customer satisfaction, optimize processes, and improve customer support. 

Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson is the Founder and CEO of RoC Consulting, a digital consultancy that helps brands establish the optimal balance of content, technology and marketing to achieve their goals.