360-Degree View of your Customers and Customer Data

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Every company wants to better understand their current and prospective customers, but how do you pull all the stuff you know and data you’ve collected into a cohesive view? Let’s talk about some key factors in building this customer portrait.

  • Marketing Operations plays an important role in achieving the 360 degree view of the customer/prospect.
  • You have to capture the right data to complete the picture.
  • Your marketing organizations will evolve over time in response to this holistic customer focus.

Marketing Operations Role

Marketing Operations is the glue for the overall marketing organization. They will manage the process of building the 360 view of the customer, whether that be implementation of an entire framework or a series of steps, to help the organization build a complete picture. They will define the right data elements needed to complete the picture.

What process will marketing operations use to help the organization attain this 360 degree view? It is recommended that organizations start by identifying existing data elements in their systems, such as a MAP (Marketing Automation Platform), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and other existing databases within the organization. The next step is to ingest the data into a common platform that all functions can pull from. Most organizations have a plethora of data and can quickly become overwhelmed, so if you have a data team, they can really help cleanse, transform, and model your existing data. As you go through this process, you’ll probably discover gaps in your data. That’s okay; you can make a plan to address those as you move forward.

What to do with the Data

Here’s what your customer data can do for you:

Drive customer intelligence – Better data enables better persona capture and ultimately better outcomes. Capturing demographic AND behavioral is important to build the personas.

Customer alignment across functions – Think sales and marketing handshake and take it a step further to include product marketing. Having these three functions in synch with the same view of customers/prospects will reduce errors. Your programs and tactics will be more successful.

Predictive Analysis – Who’s going to buy what and when? That’s the million dollar question for most organizations. Weaving together all of this data can help an organization understand how its customers/prospects act, enabling better responsiveness and a reduction in churn.

Reduce customer/prospect attainment and retainment costs – Attracting customers and keeping them is expensive. Knowing your customers/prospects through the data they provide will help ensure costs are reduced overall for the organization.

Drive customer loyalty – Knowing who your customers/prospects are and meeting their needs and expectations creates loyalty. This is their customer experience and having the data about that experience is critical – it will make or break the relationship.

Some Examples!

Theoretically, we all understand that knowing our customers better is good for us and them. Here’s some examples of how building that 360-view can really help.

  • You’re selling automotive parts to car companies in the U.S., and you’ve found that short, informative marketing videos are very effective with the engineering audience. You want to extend your business into Japan. Building out a robust persona of Japanese engineers, you realize that videos are not an effective marketing tool there. They prefer to read product information. So you develop online and print materials for that audience.
  • You’ve developed a campaign to nurture prospective clients, but by tracking metrics you discover that after two emails, your open rates drop off significantly. You adjust your plan and invite your prospects at this point in the funnel to both live and on-demand webinars instead of emailing them a white paper. Not only is the event well attended, but it gets shared on social media over 1200 times in the next week. 
  • A customer calls the support desk, unhappy with the performance of your product. Your customer support team looks up the customer and sees that she is a consultant and popular public speaker with a large network of followers. You immediately forward her call to the white glove team to ensure that her problem is solved quickly. Three hours later she tweets about her great customer experience with your company. 

Develop your Marketing Organization

Developing and using a 360-view of your customers will spark marketing organization evolution as a data-centric approach creates common goals.  No longer can each organizational function operate in a silo. Having an aligned agreement on the view of the customer/prospect will allow organizations to reduce churn and collaborate more effectively.

  • The contact nurture function will work with the sales and product marketing teams to create the most compelling campaigns, programs and tactics to achieve sales-ready demand targets
  • Sales development teams will have the customer/prospect data to inform their  conversations with their contacts. They won’t get blindsided by not knowing something about the contact vital to the sale
  • The digital media team will be able to create omnichannel programs that speak consistently across all channels and provide a personalized experience that meets the customer/prospect where they are.

Ultimately having a robust 360-degree view of the customer/prospect will strengthen the sales, marketing and product teams across your organization. Marketing will produce the right programs and tactics. Sales will have the right conversations with customers and prospects, and product teams will design the right products.

Take the time to evaluate what data you have in place today from your various systems and develop strategies to address data gaps in achieving the 360 degree view of the customer – you’ll be glad you did!

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