Winning in Omnichannel begins with a 360 View of your Customer

Customer data has never been more valuable given the morphing of retail into an omnichannel world. In this age of the customer, the holy grail is capturing a 360 view of your customer both online and offline.

Just look at the recent Amazon and Whole Foods deal. According to WSJ, the big prize in this deal lies in the data. By bringing together online and offline data, Amazon can entice customers to make more impulse purchases online. Coordinating all the online and offline data points into a single person’s profile is the ultimate quest for any customer-centric brand. Google’s recent announcement to bridge the “online ad–offline purchase” gap to track credit and debit card transactions and link them to online consumer behavior is another leap forward in this area.

Clearly, there’s tremendous innovation underway that’s transforming the way that consumers engage with and buy from retailers with the advent of real-time advertising, big data, AI and data-sharing partnerships between service providers and retailers.

All this sounds incredibly powerful. What organization would not want to take advantage of a 360-degree view of their customers? For most companies, however, ‘joining’ different data streams is harder than it seems. Data sources can give insights, but are typically highly fragmented, which makes getting prescriptive insights more difficult.

Not only do companies need to utilize data that resides across their own disparate systems, but also they need to consider the growing array of external data sources. That plethora of data and sources requires pulling together a platform to aggregate, analyze and report on the myriad of customer data sources and types. This is where master data management (MDM) comes in.

Your customer data resides in many systems across your distributed networks and channels, which makes it challenging to gain a true 360 view of any customer. The 360 view requires access to integrated, high-quality data for accurate insights into customer details, preferences and activities. It also requires information on location awareness, products and services of interest and understanding the true context of your customer’s relationship with your enterprise.

In our omnichannel era, retailers and CPGs must adopt an integrated approach to managing customer master data. This entails collecting master data, building up a persona and profile, and combining traditional knowledge of master data with external representation of personas. By capturing the full data lifecycle from source to harmonization and governance through reporting and analytics, your organization will gain the trusted insights needed to serve today’s empowered customer.

Does your business have a unified approach to effectively achieve a holistic view of your customer data? Let’s have a conversation – share your comments with me here.