June 27, 2016 | Written by: Tony Giordano
Categorized: C-Suite | Digital Transformation
Digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google are making billions of dollars from the 360 digital data their users are generating on their platforms. The ability to precisely pinpoint behaviours and trends has never been more instantaneous. Both digital and traditional enterprises are racing to understand how they can exploit this data to better understand their customers.
- Retailers are using prior searches, integrated with prior purchases, to understand the next item a customer may consider purchasing and provide personalized recommendations.
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers are collaborating with healthcare networks to integrate member information on current drug regimes and recommend additional drug therapies for better patient outcomes.
- Financial services organizations are significantly changing their approach with the mobile-based millennials. They are correlating their customers’ demographics with their existing financial products and their social networking behavior to provide prescriptive suggestions to better manage their finances, thereby creating a better customer experience and happier clients.
Introducing 360 Digital Data
Each of these business use cases use not only structured transactional data, but a richer set of information integrated with digital data – the true definition of 360 Digital Data.
360 Digital Data is both digital and traditional marketing data that is integrated by identifying all the different relationships of a consumer with the organization through the different digital channels, creating a common identifier that provides the ability to analyze their preferences, and create a personalized experience for those consumers across all channels and media.
360 Digital Data provides deep insight on the potential purchasing behavior of a consumer based on the goods or services they have purchased through traditional and e-commerce channels and their behavioral responses in digital advertising as portrayed below:
Data coming in from the traditional bricks and mortar transactional systems integrated with the behavioral digital data gives that 360 view of what they have done , and what they are intending to do.
To provide a perspective, for some time, both technologists and business stakeholders have attempted to aggregate and integrate their disparate consumer information to provide the near-mythical 360 view of data. Most of the transactional systems that were built in the 80s tended to have siloed stores of customer transactional data. Customer data that is created for a specific transactional purpose almost always ended up with a narrow business and technical definition that only addresses a small aspect of the broader organization’s need for consumer information.
The response in the mid-80s was the development of the information technology discipline, “information engineering,” which focused attention on viewing information, particularly consumer data from an enterprise perspective. Much work in the 1990s focused on creating single customer data sets or, later, customer databases of common transactional data. One of the primary focuses of first the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software wave and later the customer relationship management software wave was to create that integrated view of customers within the organization. Despite the best intentions of software vendors, most of these attempts to create that one, enterprise view of customers failed. This well-documented failure was due to many factors, which included the cost and inability to integrate all existing transactional functions and systems into one ERP system.
However, the need for that integrated view of consumer data only grew through the 1990s and into the new century with an increased focus on customer call centers. Much of the customer relationship management wave of the late 1990s and early 2000s focused on managing customer relationships through integrated call centers that created a centralized customer data hub environment.
These systems came with the realization (and resignation) that creating only one store of customer data in an enterprise would be a non-starter and focused instead on techniques that would help create a centralized store of customer data. These techniques matured into the discipline of Master Data Management. Master Data Management or MDM now faces the challenges of expanding the structured transactional customer data integration (CDI) with the new discipline of digital data integration (DDI).
We must now expand the “common customer key” with the digital channels, which include but are not limited to:
- Digital Platforms: Facebook, Google, Twitter, SnapChat all have user ids with valuable social information on organizations, These “Walled Gardens” are important to integrate into the “common customer key” to provide not only historic (prior purchases) but intent signals on new needs to organizations.
- IOT Sensor data. Geo-location data from digital channels gleaned from clients mobile devices and collected by organizations such as IBM’s Weather Channel are a rich source of customer information on where potential customers are and the needs they have in those different locations.
- Cookie data. Cookies are great digital signatures for providing intent. Intent on purchasing, intent on interests, in other words, very valuable data. Where not in conflict with local privacy laws, collecting and integrating 1st party and 3rd party cookie data into a customer profile provides a focused set of intent data for that Digital 360 view of data.
As access to these digital channels expands, and as the need for digital analytics grow, the need to provide a Digital 360 view of a customer will not just be a competitive advantage, but an organizational requirement.
Interested to gain a deeper understanding and an enhanced 360º view of the customer? Discover more here.