What Does a 360-Degree View of the Customer Really Mean?

What Does a 360-Degree View of the Customer Really Mean?

The latest buzzy concept in marketing is the idea of a “360-degree view” of the customer. It goes like this: Consumers demand personalization. Personalization requires data. Data must be at least 360 degrees to be any good, or it’s not fit to analyze. But what does a “360-degree view,” or “360° view” mean? How can you be sure you’re not sitting at, say, 270°? Or even 45°?

What is a 360-degree customer view?

The 360-degree customer view is the digital marketing concept of bringing together customer information data from all points of contact across an organization, sanitizing, consolidating, and making it actionable. There are parts of the customer journey that marketers can see with great clarity: We can track social media traffic to a blog or product page; we can retarget ads to those who have visited the website, and more. Creating a full customer view is about filling in the gaps.

Closing an imaginary circle of data means your marketing becomes more relevant and more likely to spark action. It means picking up missed opportunities to turn visitors into customers. Ultimately, it means better relationships, more repeat customers, and more revenue.

Here’s what we believe a true 360-degree view looks like—and how you can get there with your customer data platform.

Customer Data: What Does a 360-Degree View of the Customer Really Mean?

Finding Customer Clones

What do these five people have in common?

  • The person who read your blog
  • The person who browsed your product pages
  • The person who visited your brick-and-mortar
  • The person who chatted with your chatbot
  • The person who made a purchase online

These five people appear in different databases in different departments in your organization. Marketers might only concern themselves with the first two. The sales department may only be aware of the middle two. Customer service might only know about the last guy.

When you start consolidating data, including offline and siloed data, you can see the truth: these five people are all the same person. Each point of contact was a stop in their customer journey.

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But that’s still not the whole 360-degree view. Let’s add in three more people:

  • The person who purchases
  • The person who subscribes to your blog
  • The person who calls customer service with a question

It’s easy to imagine how much more persuasive, relevant, and robust your contact and interaction with this customer could be. Your next email drip could include helpful tips about the product they called customer service about. It could suggest accessories for their purchase and fresh content that’s relevant to their interests.

Making Marketing Smarter

Using this data wisely can give your marketing some memory. Think of it this way: You know that feeling when you run into an acquaintance and they blank on your name? And you have to say, “It’s Grace… we went to the same middle school…I drove you home after Amber’s birthday party… we have worked in the same building for three years…” And eventually they pretend to remember?

That experience doesn’t make you feel special or valued. Quite the opposite. But that’s often how marketing treats consumers. We send an email that says, “Hello, VALUED CUSTOMER, would you like some SHOES? Here’s an article on BUYING SHOES.” And they’re thinking, “It’s me, Grace… I bought a pair of shoes last month.”

How much better would it be if your next email said, “Hi, Grace, I hope those new stilettos are working out for you! Here’s an article on how to rainproof the velvet, and a link to a handbag that matches perfectly.”

Instead of an awkward blank stare and a sales pitch, now you’re having a conversation.

Upgrading Relationships

Consolidating marketing, customer service, and sales data makes it easier to solve problems, inspire loyalty, and drive referrals and repeat business. A complete view of customer data levels up relationships at every stage of the journey:

  • A casual browser nurtured with hyper-relevant content becomes a repeat visitor
  • A repeat visitor nurtured with smart retargeting and contextual offline reinforcement becomes a customer
  • A customer who receives personalized follow-up becomes a repeat customer
  • A repeat customer with continued smart nurturing becomes a raving fan

A Single Golden Profile

It starts with seeing the customer as a single, complete, multifaceted person, not a series of unrelated brand contacts. That means not just pulling data from multiple sources, but also combining, sanitizing and consolidating that data, intelligently using it to fill in your blind spots, so that you arrive at a single “golden profile.”

Need Help Achieving a True 360-degree View of Your Customers?

Data management is the foundation of a true 360-degree customer view. Treasure Data enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDP) is designed to help businesses unify, analyze and activate their data.

Want to see what the 360-degree view looks like in action? Learn how retailer Muji used customer data and an online app to increase in-store revenue by 46%.

Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor was head of marketing at Treasure Data. He focuses on marketing, martech, CDPs, and digital marketing. Follow him on Twitter @RtMixMktg.
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