No more data silos: how the ‘Open Garden’ helps marketers connect with real people

Harnessing the power of data is the holy grail for most marketers. But companies are still finding it challenging to achieve the Single Customer View (SCV). In a survey by Experian, over 1,000 marketers worldwide cited poor data quality, siloed departments, and the inability to link different technologies as some of the major challenges in creating a SCV.

In the fourth episode of Everything You Need to Know (EYNTK) about data and customer experience, Jed Mole, European marketing director at Acxiom explains how to tackle these challenges with an ‘Open Garden’ approach which allows brands to identify and connect with real people under a solid data foundation.

“We have to get rid of silos, and one way or another we have to create a single customer view,” Mole explains in the video. “The Open Garden approach enables data to flow across whatever technology, platforms or partners it needs to in privacy compliant ways to deliver a better customer experience.”

Catch up on last week’s episode which examined the ‘safe haven’. Next week’s episode will tackle connecting data.

Video Transcript

Welcome back to Everything You Need to Know about data and the fundamentals of customer experience. Hopefully by the end of this short taxi journey, you will know everything you need to know about the next generation single customer view.

In episode one we talked about how 1s and 0s are effectively a binary code that represent real people. People who will respond positively to relevant marketing and a great customer experience.

What drives that? Those insights come from data. So where do we piece together the data? Of course that’s the single customer view, the heart of relevant marketing.

We know there’s more data than ever before but we also know it’s more fragmented and fractured than ever before. Marketing technology, wonderful though it is, also creates data silos.

Over the years we’ve added email platforms, mobile platforms, social platforms, and so many more. All doing great things but all running the risk of siloes. And today in this modern world we engage the market increasingly through partners. Does that create another data silo? At least there’s a risk. When we look back on organisations we realise that actually there’s another opportunity for a silo.

64 percent of brands will admit that their online and offline data is handled by separate teams. In our experience, we find that CRM, digital, customer service, and sales teams are each operating with their own single customer view rather than a combined true single customer view.

For all of the data silos, there are also two primary formats of data. Online or digital and offline or CRM. Digital data is huge in terms of its scope and volume. It’s dynamic and often up to the second, never mind up to the minute. But it does tend to be relatively light on detail, whereas CRM or offline data has got huge amounts of detail but it’s relatively light in terms of volume.

The fact remains, the truth is only revealed when the two are combined.

So we have to get rid of silos and one way or another we have to create a single customer view. We don’t necessarily think there’s one right or wrong way of doing this. We just believe you have to. And we believe in order to do that, you need something called the open garden approach.

What the open garden approach enables you to do, is that it enables data to flow across whatever technology, platforms or partners it needs to in privacy compliant ways to deliver a better customer experience.

At the heart of it, it’s a data foundation that delivers an analytical view of the customers, a dynamic view of a customer, one that keeps the customer at the speed of life, and safe havens which enable brands to combine their data, use the resulting insights but never allow access to each other’s data.

For this to work we believe there are three fundamental aspects that need to be in place. The first is great customer recognition. The ability to identify your customers online and offline. To connect the right data to real people.

Number two, data connectivity. The ability to flow that data across hundreds of platforms and partners that both use and utilise the data to deliver a better customer experience.

And finally, data stewardship and governance, including data privacy. Which means ensuring that your single customer view, in fact your whole marketing eco-system is optimising the value to the customer. And operating in the spirit of the law.

So now that we have the single customer view, we can really begin to understand our customer. But how do you connect the online and offline insights to wherever the customer is to drive that better customer experience? I’m going to hand over to my colleague Richard who will explain exactly how, in the next episode of the series.

Thanks for tuning in and I hope you do so next time too.

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