How to Overcome Two Major Pitfalls Getting in the Way of Your Personalization Goals

According to a recent Teradata survey, 90% of marketers see individualization as the future of marketing – moving beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalization in a real-time context. This should come as no surprise in a world where consumers’ TVs remember their favorite shows, and smartphones can be unlocked with just a fingerprint.

But one-to-one marketing takes some serious data-driven diligence, and 87% of this year’s survey respondents consider data to be the most underutilized asset in marketing – that’s an 89% increase over last year’s survey results.

So what’s the issue? Teradata’s survey offers insight into that as well. Let’s take a look at two of the top obstacles preventing marketing from becoming more data-driven, and how developing a customer identity management strategy can help solve these challenges.

Inadequate CRM Databases

Sales force automation tools revolutionized B2B business operations, ushering in the unprecedented ability for sales teams to manage relationships with clients and prospects, as well as track the progress of new deals and existing upsells.

But for B2C businesses, these databases still fall short for one very key reason: their inability to strategically manage both structured and unstructured data.

To truly reach audiences with relevant messaging and experiences, businesses need insight into consumers’ interests, activities, favorite brands, life events, and more – all of which are unstructured data points with countless potential value entries. Unfortunately, legacy databases lack the ability to reconcile these types of data points with structured information (gender, age, location, etc.) in a way that makes it easy for marketers to query, segment, and utilize the data.

B2C organizations need to implement a customer identity management database with the ability to not only collect both structured and unstructured data from various devices, but also to consolidate this data into complete customer profiles. This type of dynamic-schema database gives businesses the single, actionable customer view needed to connect with users on a 1:1 level.

Internal Data Fragmentation

While lack of data consolidation due to housing customer information in legacy databases is a major roadblock to building personalized user experiences, another key issue is the inability to gain a single view of customers within the organization.

Think about it – let’s say a customer creates a profile on a footwear retailer’s website using a Facebook account, granting the retailer access to Facebook “likes” such as clothing companies, fragrances, and shoe brands. However, the business has no way to get this useful information integrated into its email marketing platform of choice, so instead of receiving a discount towards Uggs, the customer’s favorite footwear brand, he or she gets a generic 20% off coupon code like everybody else.

When this coupon code fails to work, the customer tweets @ the retailer asking for help. After 24 hours pass, the individual calls customer support to re-explain the issue. To make up for the inconvenience, the customer service rep offers condolence in the form of a new discount code, which just so happens to be valid towards everything except Uggs. This disjointed experience is sure to frustrate even the most patient of consumers.

Unfortunately, as marketers attempt to scale internal and legacy database solutions to manage today’s multi-channel consumer data, they wind up with a totally disorganized view of their customers, making the lackluster user experience described above increasingly common. Teradata’s survey reveals that 92% of marketers agree that integrating data across teams would lead to more efficiency. However, 80% of respondents believe that silos within marketing inhibit a seamless view of campaigns and of customers across channels.

Businesses must diminish organizational data silos and implement a customer identity management database that dynamically aggregates and synchronizes data across recommendation engines, email service providers, ad servers, and more. Only once brands have a single view of consumer identity data can they begin to create cohesive customer journeys that span today’s multitude of consumer touchpoints.

To start building truly individualized user experiences and relationships, businesses must make fundamental changes to the ways they have traditionally captured, managed, and used customer data. To learn more about establishing a single view of customers to power personalized marketing initiatives, download our free eBook, “Achieving A Single Customer View: The Holy Grail for Marketers.”

By Tobias Meyer-Grunow