Modern marketing is experiencing incredible growth, driven in part by Big Data. However, given the plethora of channels that it emerges from, it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. With a multitude of information out there now, it can be difficult to identify individuals across channels. So what can organisations do to combat this and better track the full customer journey?

Big Data is now fed into from both online and offline channels and silos. Prior to the digital age, it was considerably easier to combine separate streams of data relating to the same person, as customer data records related solely to an address or postcode.

However, in today’s digital world, linking data which an individual generates across their offline and online journey is challenging. The sheer amount of channels has had an impact on the range and volume of information available, while simultaneously compromising an organisation’s ability to connect with their customers. Although this leads to greater opportunities for engagement, the ability to deliver consistent personalised experiences and meaningful touchpoints has become trickier.

A linked view

‘Linkage’ is becoming one of the buzzwords of the industry, with its importance rising. Through identifying users by their device or internet connection, it links their identities across each interaction together to create the single customer view marketers need. To accurately engage with customers across multiple channels (both traditional and digital), marketers need to attain this ‘linked’ view.

This linking empowers marketers to achieve a holistic view across multiple data sources, a capability which will continue to grow in demand as more activity shifts to the digital sphere.

A holistic view of the customer

Critical to business success is a unified, cross-channel view of the consumer. Expectations of omnichannel experiences don’t change for consumers as they move between different channels; from social media and traditional media to desktop browsing and in-store shopping. Brands are under pressure to provide consistency, regardless of the choice of channel and device. Businesses are expected to understand exactly what customers want, and at what stage of the journey they want it.

A single customer view is about achieving an in-depth understanding of an individual through the online and offline journey they make, irrelevant of where they are interacting and transacting.

The key to unlocking this? Data

Once the customer view is cracked, marketers need to ensure they tailor their marketing content in consideration of previous encounters and preferences, ensuring that the customer’s experience is always as seamless as can be. First and foremost, this needs be done flexibly and at scale.

The single customer view is on the uptake, but moving at a slower pace, with four in five (81%) businesses still reporting challenges in getting this view. Technology provides its own challenges: from the way it necessitates real-time work, to using data from multiple sources and accessing insights that sit elsewhere within the business.

Information linkage and the single customer view will address a growing business requirement – one which is essential across all sectors. Although it is apparent that change won’t happen overnight, it will come and, when it does, it will begin a new chapter in the business – customer relationship.



By Matt Dunn, targeting managing director at Experian

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