The last two years have seen digital consumption rise by over 30 per cent, creating a dramatic shift in how people think and act.
As the digital economy grows and evolves, people continue to raise their expectations regarding what they expect from brands. They have the power to hold them accountable for providing a seamless and highly personalised experience at every interaction, driving a shift in how organisations must operate. The dreadful alternative for those who fail to do this is obvious – competitors will swoop in to fulfil their needs.
Creating a 360-degree customer view lets you understand people’s needs, behaviours and perceptions at every touchpoint – online or off. Customers are more than the sum of their transactions – they’re complex individuals with unique requirements and expectations.
Yet, to deliver upon those expectations, it’s imperative to understand the full context of the customer’s experience. It’s not enough to simply listen; you must actively engage with people across channels by asking questions, listening carefully, responding thoughtfully and making recommendations based on what you learn.
Data as your most valuable currency
The concept of a 360-degree view of the customer is nothing new. It has been an aspiration for decades. But at the heart of this approach is data with advanced technology accelerating change. In the past, static business applications might have been able to get by with a few customer surveys and some demographic data. But now, we need more if we want to create truly personalised experiences that resonate with customers at every touchpoint – not just in one area or from one source.
Fast track to today and nearly every product or service is linked to software, and almost everything connects with the cloud. These digitised, intuitive technologies enable data to be leveraged and predictive analytics to proactively analyse problems before they arise and anticipate customer needs.
Why the struggle persists
Despite technological advances, data still needs to be accessible and actionable if it is to be used effectively. But even then, making sense of data is challenging. A Gartner Marketing Survey found that only 14 per cent of organisations have achieved a 360-degree view of their customers. And this is because the data generated, from sales and marketing interactions to a customer service call, often resides in disparate systems, making it difficult to unify all sources into one.
Creating a complete view
Breaking down the silos enables you to better understand where customers are in the buying process, how they make decisions and where they go for information before making a purchase. This means collecting data from multiple sources and turning it into actionable intelligence to create a 360-degree customer view. With the right tools, you can enable personalised interactions and experiences that are more relevant and timely than ever before. The result is a more satisfying customer experience that drives loyalty, higher retention rates and increased revenue. Benchmarks that also elevate marketing’s standing within the organisation.
Automation is also an increasingly important part of the solution, allowing data to be pulled from multiple sources and delivered in a way that supports business decisions. For instance, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) help you to better understand your customers by providing more detailed data beyond basic demographics and buying behaviour. This includes specific products they’ve purchased, how much they spend on each one – and even how those purchases relate to other behaviours such as travel plans or shopping habits.
This data can then be used to build actionable intelligence to create more targeted products, marketing campaigns, personalised offers, or identify new customers who have a high likelihood of buying from you again. CDPs are also an excellent tool for fraud prevention. By analysing customer data across all touch-points and devices, they can help you quickly identify suspicious behaviour and prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place.
Leveraging data to drive change and create value
According to Microsoft’s Driving Personalisation e-book, organisations leveraging their customer behaviour data to uncover deeper insights generate 40 per cent more revenue than their competitors. But aligning data and analytics to business objectives is not an easy task. It’s not just about having data or the right tools and platforms; it’s about understanding how to use it to create business value.
Winners use data not only for marketing and sales but also customer service, product design, innovation and much more. They identify new trends in their industry and understand what drives these changes and how they impact their entire organisation. And they do this because they are able to create a 360-degree customer view, anticipate what they want and need, be agile enough to adapt and then deliver it engagingly and at the right time.
Download the Driving Personalisation e-book to learn more about how to create a 360-degree customer view.
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