Marketers certainly know more about their customers today than in the early days of the Web. The widespread use of analytics means that no out-of-the-ordinary move goes unnoticed.
Indeed, marketers can measure the number of clicks on a banner ad, retweets of a Twitter post, and how many people watched their 30-second video ad on Facebook. But are they able to put it all together? Do they really know what their marketing is doing? And do they have a true 360-degree view of the customer? Is it even attainable? We reached out to some experts for their take.
Jon Burg, Head of Product Marketing, AppsFlyer:
Today, marketers have better quantitative and qualitative 360-degree insights than ever, but our expectations of what 360-degree insights should be has changed over time. We don’t just want to collect more and better data, we want to understand it and use it to foster better customer insights, relationships, and sales conversions. In a sense, we have moved from data collection to activation and automation. Today’s most advanced businesses are using mobile as a common thread across all customer interactions, and are reaping the rewards of this investment in 360-degree marketing data. However, we have not and may never reach the 360-degree customer insight nirvana. This level of intimacy, understanding, and activation is not a point of arrival, but a journey towards more, better, and smarter data. The rise of connected business, mobile devices, and robust APIs continues to reveal new depths of data to be mined and opportunities to explore. The true winners will be those that build insight-driven businesses, moving data from collection to activation.
Julie Ginches, CMO, ViralGains:
The 360-degree view of the customer is a major buzzword right now, but the truth is the industry is not there yet. While marketers have made a lot of progress building technology stacks that cobble together data, analyze it, and make it accessible, there are still major challenges to overcome. It is still difficult to identify the same person across multiple channels—especially between paid and offline channels. Additionally, marketers are limited in their ability to orchestrate innovation under one master plan. Progress is happening, but we are a long way off from a clear, 360-degree view of the customer.
Adam Solomon, Chief Product Officer, PebblePost:
Technology is increasingly providing marketers with richer data on what consumers are doing across different marketing channels, and the underlying connective tissue to connect those touch points. The more difficult part will be extracting meaning from this deluge of data in order to better understand which touch point experiences, in which sequence, made a difference for them. In order to make progress on that front, marketers will increasingly need to leverage the power of data science, AI, and machine learning to start identifying important and useful patterns in their consumer data across channels.
Michael Cohen, VP of Marketing, eRelevance:
Today’s integrated multichannel marketing campaigns digitally surround the target (customer or prospect) with communication channels like email, SMS, social ads, mobile apps, conversational SMS, etc. For most, creating the content to support these campaigns requires multiple disparate systems; now try tracking and reporting on the results. This is the marketing nightmare most face in order to get a 360-degree view. The challenge has always been the lack of an integrated dashboard to pull in data from the many systems needed to build the campaigns. Without the visibility such a dashboard provides, it is nearly impossible to get a 360-degree understanding; it is death by 1,000 spreadsheets! While many brands have invested significantly to create the 360-degree view, most can’t afford to, so, big surprise, they just don’t do it. What’s needed is a platform that allows all content to be created across all digital channels in one place with easy execution, tracking, and analysis.
Rosemary Waldrip, VP Marketing, Music Audience Exchange:
With technology rapidly changing how people interact with the world, the customer journey is constantly evolving and in perpetual need of re-evaluation. Control over the brand/audience relationship has almost completely moved into the hands of the audience, so it is critical for brands to start with a deeper understanding of what the audience wants before building out the messaging, content, and media mix. While brands have more tools than ever to view specific touch points of the customer experience across channels, the best thing a marketer can do is start with a more cerebral understanding of the target audience and apply that insight in a way that most effectively resonates with people who are increasingly tuning out anything they deem uninteresting.