Get a 360-Degree View of Your Customers With Unified Data
In the race to build sales and generate leads, companies across industries are using their heaping piles of data to read their customers’ minds. The goal is to get a 360-degree view of who their customers are and what they're looking for in a product — essentially, using existing data to create data-backed buyer personas. However, many are finding that their data is too disorganized, inconsistent or low quality to build truly effective personas.
Companies in 2022 have gotten used to producing and collecting massive amounts of data. Zippia reports that 97.2 percent of businesses invest in big data and artificial intelligence to improve operations. However, the average company only analyzes 37 percent to 40 percent of this data. This is because not all data is created equal. From corrupted files to fragmented customer data, organizations can easily get lost in their disorganized heaps of records. A lack of data management can also be costly. According to Gartner, poor-quality data costs companies $13 million per year.
To gain a holistic picture of their customers, executives must ensure that the data they're gathering is usable and that it can be funneled into a single source of truth. Unified data platforms and customer data management software are growing in popularity because they do just this — allow organizations to transform their complex datasets into quality insights that professionals can leverage from a single source of truth. Some of the world’s leading brands, including Chipotle and Red Wing Shoes, are leveraging unified data platforms to learn more about their customers.
Here are some of today’s best practices for implementing a unified data strategy:
1. Harness data to innovate the customer experience.
With over 2,500 stores across the globe, Chipotle needed to achieve complete visibility and control of its data. After grappling with supply chain challenges and high system reaction times, it was time for the Mexican grill to digitally transform its operations. First, it chose Semarchy’s Master Data Management (MDM) solution to integrate its locations, global products and menus. Later, Chipotle created a customer loyalty program that delighted individuals worldwide. Finally, it could analyze its datasets, remove inaccuracies, and innovate the customer experience, all with the help of a streamlined data foundation.
Hogan Le, senior manager, governance and BI systems at Chipotle, discusses this shift: “Semarchy has really evolved with our company; mainly because the product agility and flexibility allows us to go where the business takes us,” Le says. “With hundreds of DCs and suppliers, being able to standardize and get this information into an MDM solution makes it so much easier for us to manage that data, and also to report on it and to analyze our business based on having clean master data.”
2. Clean data consistently to improve your customer view.
Companies must consistently clean their data to generate a 360-view of their customers. This means removing inconsistencies, weeding out irrelevant datasets, and unifying what’s left across all departments. Red Wing Shoes did just this by managing more than 9 million customer records in one MDM platform. This system allows the company's marketing, sales, and customer service teams to quickly review and update customer records in real time.
Keep your data clean to make better data-driven decisions. In doing this, you'll cut the noise and better understand your customers’ needs and behaviors.
3. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes.
Although digital transformation and acceleration are at the forefront of business conversations, only 24 percent of executives describe their companies as data-driven. I strongly urge companies to increase this percentage in 2023.
Avoid the mistakes that less-equipped companies are likely to make. Remember that inadequate data can impair customer communications, allow you to develop misguided marketing strategies, and create barriers that hurt customer loyalty and trust. Unified data is the key to treating your customers as the unique individuals that they are.
Brett Hansen is the chief growth officer at Semarchy, a unified data management platform.
Related story: Red Wing Shoes is Flying High With a Unified Platform for Data Governance
Brett Hansen is chief growth officer at Semarchy, responsible for leading go-to-market strategy for the rapidly growing data company. Prior to joining Semarchy, Brett was CMO at Logi Analytics through its acquisition and integration. He also held marketing and product executive positions at Dell Technologies and IBM. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and History from James Madison University as well as an MBA in Marketing from the University of Montana.