What You Need to Know About 360-Degree Customer Views and Predictive Marketing
One of the most common challenges that marketers face today is getting a holistic view of the customer journey. With the emergence of digital channels and the need to tie in-store and digital activity into unified customer profiles, marketers want a single place that aggregates customer activity across these channels, and displays it in a way that enables strategic analysis and personalized insights.
This is where the 360-degree customer view comes in.
360-degree views involve centralizing all of your customer data and building an omnichannel profile of each individual. They allow you to segment, query, and analyze customer actions and behaviors to generate business insights. With this, marketers can dive into individual customer journeys, track their timeline of interactions, and generate reports about their buying behavior, content interests, and preferred digital channels.
Having a 360-degree customer view is critical to the future success of any business. It not only enables more targeted customer engagement, but also gives marketers a more accurate attribution of their marketing activity and campaigns.
Elements of the 360-Degree Customer View
So what sort of customer information should this 360-degree view contain?
In the past, marketers kept all of their customer data in complex spreadsheets and databases. This not only required some degree of technical knowledge to access and manipulate, but also meant that data was stored in isolated siloes, with transaction history, email activity, store information, support history, and more divided across separate files and CRMs.
Today, customer platforms can integrate all of this data into one location, enabling marketers to explore and analyze the customer journey in a format more like a Facebook profile than a spreadsheet.
Having worked with many businesses to build these customer profiles, we’ve identified three major components that any 360-degree customer view needs to have:
- Behavioral activity,
- Customer/demographic attributes, and
- Derived insights
Combining these components give marketers a holistic picture of each customer’s past activity, demographic profile, and likelihood to take certain actions in the future.
This screenshot provides an example of what a 360-degree customer profile looks like (as seen in the Canopy Labs platform):
Sample screenshot of a 360-degree customer profile in the Canopy Labs platform.
Let’s explore the different components that make up the 360-degree Customer View, and how marketers can use them to understand their customers and engage them in a personalized manner.
1) Behavioral Activity
The first component to any 360-degree View is the customer’s timeline of activities with your business across online and in-store channels. Collecting this behavioral data and tying them back to a customer ID is critical to building the customer journey and 1:1 marketing.
Some common activity streams that the customer view will include are:
- Purchase transactions: A history of the customer’s past purchases with your business, including items purchased, dollar amount, and any discount codes or special offers used.
- Email activity: The customer’s activity with your emails, including email receives, opens, clicks, and more.
- Website browsing: The customer’s browsing behavior on your websites. Tools such as Canopy Labs allow you to monitor customer interactions on your website, regardless of whether users are logged in or not.
- User comments: If your website allows customer reviews and comments on products, it is important to tie these comments back to their customer view as well.
- Customer support interactions: Connect your customer’s history of support requests and interactions from programs such as Zendesk.
- In-store activity: If you track in-store visits through iBeacon or membership cards, you can include this data into your 360-degree customer view.
Depending on the nature of your company, you may want to incorporate additional elements into your 360-degree customer view. For instance, a fashion business might log the customers who line up early for an exclusive launch event, since they display strong loyalty and interest in your brand. Make sure you choose a customer data platform that supports custom actions and attributes.
2) Customer-Level or Demographic Attributes
Another component to the 360-degree customer view is the demographic data that you collect about each customer. This personal information helps to build a better picture of the customer, enabling simple demographic segmentation based on location, gender, age, and more. Some common demographic attributes include:
- Address: Adding a customer’s address allows you to customize offers and recommendations based on regional variation and availability.
- City: Show only products that are in stock locally and customize offers based on weather conditions, local events and celebrations, and more.
- Gender: Build a simple segmentation of product recommendations based on gender.
- Age: Segment for products that fit the customer’s specific life stage, and predict their lifetime spend based on individuals in that age range.
- Loyalty program: Information around whether that customer is enrolled in your business’ loyalty program, and if applicable, loyalty tiers or points collected.
Note that some customer data platforms “guess” at a customer’s demographic profile based on browsing patterns or IP address, and use that to build a “best estimate” of their location, gender, age, or other attributes. In general, we recommend only entering customer demographic data that has been confirmed through a signup form, loyalty program, or other source.
3) Derived Insights
The third and final component to any 360-degree Customer View is the insights generated from combining behavioral activity with customer demographic data. If the first two components of the 360-degree view tell you a bit more about your customer, then the third component tells you how you should be engaging with them.
The insights component of the 360-View forms the basis of “Next Best Action” recommendations for marketers – helping to answer questions like which products you should be recommending to this customer, whether he or she is at risk of churn, and more.
Some common insights that your Customer View should be displaying include:
- Engagement and risk scores: Scoring your customer’s likelihood of future engagement, such as churn risk, lifetime value, RFM scores, and more.
- Segmentation: Segmenting customers based on their activity across multiple channels. For instance, marketers could create a segment of individuals who opened an email within the past month, but haven’t purchased in over a year.
- Product and content recommendations: Generating product recommendations by aggregating purchase data with email and web browsing activity.
- Customer lifetime value: Estimating how much each customer is likely to spend with you over their lifetime, to identify the additional opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.
- Propensity scores: Scores that predict how likely the customer is to take a certain action, or exhibit a certain behavior with your business. These models may score a customer’s propensity to buy, cancel, churn, or more.
- Credit scores: If your company collects this information for your business, it can help inform the sort of financial products and services to recommend, and the customer’s appetite for purchasing.
This is critical to modeling customer behavior, projected spend, and future actions, and your Customer View should include this information to enable marketers to action on the insights that this view generates.
Altogether, the 360-degree view offers a detailed overview of customer data across various marketing and customer databases. They allow marketers to see a customer’s lifetime of activity, behavior, interests and preferences with your company. Businesses can generate better insights about its customers, identify top prospects and those at risk, and offer more context to the various actions that customers take – both online and offline.
By centralizing your customer data and presenting this in a visual and appealing manner, the 360-degree customer view gives marketers new ways to analyze their customer data, generate insights and findings, and provide more targeted and relevant engagement with customers that fit their decision journey.
However, it’s important to remember that having a 360-degree view is not the goal in itself, but rather a means of achieving specific targets for your marketing team and business. Use 360-degree views to answer important product and customer questions, identify patterns and insights, and create new questions to answer with your customer data.
Learn more about 360-Degree Views
The Intro Guide to the 360-Degree Customer View is brought to you by Canopy Labs, a predictive analytics company. We work with businesses of all sizes to better understand – and sell to – their audiences. If you have questions about this guide or are interested in learning more about customer analytics, feel free to get in touch!