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The Single Customer View database: the marketing Holy Grail?

A watertight Single Customer View database should be an attainable and desirable goal for all marketers.

Although various attempts have been made to relabel it or consign it to the wastepaper basket of commercial history, it remains the best way of understanding your customers and delivering personalised marketing campaigns.

A Single Customer View database unifies customer attributes, behaviour, transactions, and sentiment across every channel. The appeal of this is obvious: when data is siloed across an organisation, it becomes much harder to understand your customers and deliver meaningful, targeted communications.

When you build a Single Customer View database, the information gathered by sales, marketing, IT, finance, and any other department in your business, is consolidated across every channel. This makes analysing, understanding, and communicating with your customers much simpler, and ensures a consistent customer experience across every touch point.

Of course, depending on the size of your organisation, putting this into action and seeing the benefits, can be a big task.

A route to a view

Before you consider investing in a Single Customer View database, it’s vital to ensure that you’re working with a solid foundation of clean, accurate data. The priority here should also be deciding what data is useful to your organisation. Make sure customer information is kept up to date, and if you’re asking for more information from your customers ensure you’re offering a high value exchange for their data. Without accurate, up-to-date information, any attempt at analysis or marketing personalisation will be flawed.

When you’ve successfully built these foundations, make sure you can implement your insights across your marketing channels. From mobile and CMS to email, direct mail, social media, and display advertising, your campaigns need to deliver consistent experiences to each customer.

Campaign management tools such as Apteco and Acoustic, , can help deliver seamless, automated multichannel campaigns.

From theory to practice

So how does a Single Customer View database work in practice? Parkhouse worked with a global publisher, to implement one. They had information from thirty million customers across the globe (and multiple marketing channels), but no way to streamline them into a coherent whole and identify what resonated with individual buyers.

The company identified a need to increase open rates and conversions, and enlisted Parkhouse to deliver its “One Map” project in 2013. By building a global preference centre, consolidating all international marketing teams onto Adobe Campaign, and deploying a bespoke platform designed to meet the needs of specific business unit requirements, Parkhouse created a 360-degree Single Customer View database.

The new solution has enhanced digital marketing intelligence, streamlined their standard data sets, and increased open rates by 30%.

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