Still looking for a 360 degree view of the customer? – Marketing sciences

Lizzy foo kune

Foo kune is a vice president and analyst covering marketing, martech and adtech data and analytics and has been with Gartner for over five years. She boasts of having a background in research and analysis, including roles with the MIT Media Lab, Bain & Co, and MinneAnalytics. She also worked with Performance Digital to oversee data science and analytics.

On the Internet, no one knows you are a dog. Perhaps that was true in 1993 when this legend of a Peter Steiner cartoon appeared in The New Yorker. But after 30 years online, that’s no longer the case.

These days everyone knows I’m a Bernese Mountain Dog living in Greater New York City who loves Nylabones and Jolly Balls. I eat a special type of premium dog food because it is good for my coat and helps me manage my weight. They also know I like to bark at the worker delivering dinner my human ordered through a mobile app. Yet all of this data begs the question: what do businesses get from the relentless pursuit of a 360-degree view (of the dog)? The answer? Nothing.

Wrong thinking

This year my Gartner colleague Benjamin Bloom and I published a “Maverick” study, designed to expose unconventional or alternative views, arguing that the pursuit of a 360-degree view of the customer will destroy your business.

The research is not an indictment against customer data. It is an indictment against the idealistic, unrealistic and impractical pursuit of an omniscient customer view. This contradicts the prevailing wisdom, seeking a 360-degree view of the customer is a mandate for most, if not all, organizations. We recommend that you drop your lawsuit for several reasons.

One of the main reasons is that the cost is disproportionate to the value. Organizations have spent most of the last 20 years researching this iconic 360 – and have a lot to show for it. May be too much. In some cases, we’re talking to organizations that have four or five CRM systems, a customer data platform, master data management, random big data projects, and more.

The value of collecting and unifying customer data remains uncertain. Half of Gartner respondents Marketing data and analytics survey 2020 agreed that the pursuit of a 360-degree view of the customer, also known as the “unified view” or “single view” of the customer, is not worth the investment.

Take Clorox, for example. As she began to personalize and place ad content using consumer data, her marketing team developed increasingly targeted and personalized messages for very specific groups, but found no results. clear improvement in business results.

Another problem with a 360-degree view is that it potentially violates privacy rules. As global data privacy regulations continue to mature, marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain and secure the data needed to create a 360-degree view of the customer. The cost of compliance is high and the fines for non-compliance can be severe. The risk of overinvestment in customer data will only increase as data privacy regulations and efforts evolve and customers become more protective of their own personal data.

Then there is the issue of trust. The customer doesn’t want you to know everything about them. As a consumer yourself, are you comfortable with the idea of ​​an organization having 360 degrees of you and everything you have done online (and offline) in a database of a? Brand ?

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has provided a worrying lesson for brands: If you focus on knowing more about your customers than they are willing to share, you will suffer the consequences. Then there is the problem of cementing outdated data collection methods. Businesses that depend on user-level credentials to track and target customers will be in dire straits as device makers, web browsers and tech giants continue to limit the ability of marketers to track users across the digital ether. Most notably, with Apple phasing out its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), the death of third-party cookies and a shorter retention period for first-rate cookies will impact the ability of digital marketing teams to collect data.

Required data

Instead, marketers should focus on how their organization creates value for customers by collecting only the data necessary to support marketing operations, product innovation, or customer experience. In their 1993 harvard business review article, “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines,” consultants Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema describe three ways companies can create value:

  • Operational excellence: giving customers what they need as efficiently and cost effectively as possible
  • Product Leadership: Delivering innovative, best-in-class products that outperform the competition. For example, Tesla, which doesn’t even have a marketing or communications function, is focusing on using customer data to improve its products.
  • Customer privacy: using data to tailor offers to specific customer groups or segments.

Simply put, we want organizations to realign themselves to their goals.

How are you doing that? Start with your use cases. Why are you aiming for a 360 degree view? How does this align with how your business creates value? Next, consider how your existing technology responds to it and where gaps may exist. Most importantly, measure your performance against your use cases.

Marketers who excel beyond their competition will focus on consolidating and integrating the customer data they already have, while matching the right data for the right goal at the right time to meet the value disciplines of their organization.

Tags: customer experience management, data driven marketing, marketing strategy, marketing leadership, personalization

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