63% of consumers say that they would not buy from a brand with poor personalization tactics (Forbes, 2020). Effective personalization relies heavily on the single customer view, the holy grail of customer profiles. It aims to assemble an accurate representation of a customer by merging their data into one consistent and comprehensive record. That way, you can be sure you know what you need to know to craft personalized messages and experiences that really speak to people (or even that the people you’re speaking to are who you think they are). Unfortunately, building a unified view of the customer is trickier than it seems.
At Amperity, we often talk to CMOs, CCOs, and IT leaders who are trying to unify their customer data. Nearly all of them tell us that despite months (or years) of effort, expensive consultants, and heroic efforts by their IT teams, they still lack the single view they set out to achieve.
What’s really holding everyone back?
What’s the real problem? Is customer data unification really so hard? In our experience, customer data is often siloed in difficult-to-link technologies. But rather than the data being poor quality, we find that often enough the data itself is rich and valuable. When brought together in an intelligent way, it forms a deep and useful customer knowledge base that can power advanced analytics, personalization, and targeting.
So while data quality and access to siloed data can be an issue, there are two more fundamental blockers that we encounter when we work with brands to unify and make their customer data usable:
The problem of identity resolution has never been so complex as it is today, due to the explosion of customer data, channels, systems, and applications. To achieve a single customer view, data has to first be brought together from these disparate systems, which requires building, maintaining, and monitoring data pipes into and out of a centralized system.