Authored by: Geoff Soon, Managing Director, South Asia, Snowflake
“Customer 360,” or the practice of obtaining a holistic, real-time view of customers from multiple data sources, can unlock massive improvements in the lifetime value and retention of customers. This view of consumers has been the key to winning in the experience economy. However, for most brands, it is merely a dream due to inefficient data and analysis ecosystems within global marketing organisations.
The good news is that marketers are well aware of the untapped benefits of personalisation and are investing in their analytics capabilities. However, the challenge is effectively implementing personalisation to drive ROI. On one hand, while almost three quarters of marketers surveyed in Malaysia (71%) agreed that they take an integrated approach to customer engagement data, they also acknowledged that their top two challenges were incomplete customer data across all channels and poor data integration across systems, according to Econsultancy.
Retailers can no longer win out based on products alone, as consumers have shown a willingness to pay more for great customer service along their purchase journey. In order to create the personalised experiences that will win over customers, marketers need to adopt data warehouses to break down data silos.
DATA SILOS: A ROADBLOCK TO DATA-DRIVEN MARKETING
Data silos across organisations are part of the underlying problem. Marketers are collecting more customer data than ever before including purchases, customer relationship management (CRM) histories, website traffic, and paid-media insights. Legacy technologies and data silos make it difficult to piece all the data together and see the bigger picture of how customers are interacting with the brand. With data stored in different places, it is complicated to connect the dots and obtain a complete picture of who your customers are, and what their journeys look like. This means that many marketers are missing the opportunity to cultivate high-value customers, leaving revenue on the table.
Additionally, continued reliance on legacy data warehouses, which do not allow companies to access and query information in real time or in parallel, also makes it difficult for brands to attract and retain top data and analytics talent that could accelerate the company's progress toward Customer 360. A lack of flexible and scalable infrastructure to support their work is a primary driver of turnover among data professionals, and because demand for their skills outstrips supply, they have reasons to be highly selective.
HOW A CLOUD-BUILT DATA PLATFORM ADDRESSES MARKETERS’ TOP CHALLENGES
A modern cloud-built data platform can address these challenges associated with siloed data with technology to make Customer 360 a reality in three key ways.
First, is that it enables real-time, simultaneous queries and analysis of data across separate data sets, which is fundamental for a holistic personalisation strategy. This lets retailers identify high-value customers and ensure that they have a positive experience at every touch point. This would not be possible without knowing when, where and how customers are interacting with the brand.
Second, it reduces latency, making data and analytics teams more agile and productive. Data science professionals will also gain increased capacity to experiment and try new queries that may improve the effectiveness of Customer 360 initiatives without fear of disrupting core activities.
Third, marketing organisations can hold onto valuable talent by relieving data scientists and analysts of tedious “data munging” tasks, letting them focus on more value-adding work. It is important to remember that interesting, meaty challenges, coupled with the tools and technology to make meaningful progress, are as important as compensation when it comes to attracting and retaining data talent.
These benefits of a data platform will help marketers create a true Customer 360 framework for retailers to deliver exceptional, and personalised, experiences to customers. In addition, cloud built data platform can also help retailers reap quick returns on their investments with more agile data and analytics teams, harness predictive analytics to improve customer experience and inform marketing decisions, and get ahead of IT and regulatory compliance requirements. In order to move forward with implementing a modern data platform, marketers should create a data map to identify gaps in your data set wish list, consult with users from the data and analytics teams to aid in selecting a cloud-built data platform that best serves the company's needs and gather feedback from IT to understand their pain points, as well as enlist their help in selecting a vendor that can meet the needs of the entire business.
Harnessing data to achieve Customer 360 is a lofty, but achievable goal. Marketers need their data teams to stay engaged and happy to make progress in effectively delivering the personalised experiences that consumers expect today.