Today's marketing manager should have a single, trusted, comprehensive view of customers and potential customers to be able to target marketing most effectively. By understanding customers thoroughly, businesses can capitalize on sales opportunities. Fortunately, the number of touch points between customers and businesses has increased greatly due to the web, social media, and mobility. But it takes skill to effectively manage all the data generated by these customer-business connections.
Not only is access to marketing data required, but also analytics, integration, and governance. Data quality is a key determinant of how successful a company is in developing a 360 degree customer view. Ultimately, the 360 degree view is about more than just having a big database, but is about being able to assemble all the pieces of data that are relevant to each sales opportunity.
Taking in a Range of Customer Data
Each company must determine for itself the amount of information necessary to create a holistic view of their customers. How much is "enough" information? When do you know enough about your customers to offer them an engaging customer experience? The answers depend heavily on the type of business, its products, and the target customer. The information may come from a wide variety of sources, including online forms and social media. Much of this marketing data will be unstructured, but big data technologies are allowing unstructured data to be processed into useful insights so that businesses can be confident they are getting a true picture of customers' habits, likes, dislikes, and tendencies.
How Customers Feel About a 360 Degree View
Customer relationship management (CRM) company Salesforce asked people how they felt about being the object of the comprehensive customer view, and the reactions were largely positive. The overall feeling was that if their marketing data allowed companies to personalize service, provide faster assistance, or prevent situations in which they have to give the same information to multiple people over and over, then it was a good thing. "I don't want to have to repeat my information to 5 different people when I call their support line," said one. Said another, "It dramatically increases the likelihood that I would continue to give a company my business."
End Result: Better Loyalty, Engagement, and Revenue
When high quality marketing data is used in innovative ways, the return on investment is positive and swift. Customers are more loyal, engagement with customers is stronger and more productive, and sales increase. Revenues from existing customers can be expected to increase, as can conversion rates for new customers due to more effective marketing and sales activities. And with more accurate customer information, it's easier to contain marketing campaign costs. Assuming data quality is sufficient, you can experience better customer relations as well as a healthy return on your marketing data investment.
Quality of Data Is Critically Important
Just because marketing data is "big" doesn't automatically make it effective. A large amount of low quality data is still low quality data. Marketing data must be "clean" to be able to fuel your marketing engine properly, just as the fuel you put in your car must be clean to keep you moving forward without problems. Data cleansing involves getting rid of duplicates, filling in incomplete data, correcting errors, and in some cases enriching data from high quality records to gain a more complete customer view. Sourcing data carefully is important, but cleansing has to be done regularly due to the degrading effects of time on data accuracy.
The 360 degree customer view allows businesses to take their customer interactions from the transactional level to the experiential level, and increases the likelihood of stronger, more loyal customer relationships. But marketing data must be regularly cleansed to maintain data quality. ReachForce offers data cleansing solutions that de-duplicate, correct, and enrich data to ensure that the fuel for your marketing engine is clean and powerful. Because without high data quality, you could be wasting marketing dollars and leaving sales on the table.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.