360-degree customer view
Components of a 360-degree customer view

One of the most common challenges that marketers face today is getting a holistic view of their customers’ activity. With the emergence of digital channels and the need to tie in-store and digital activity into unified customer profiles, marketers need a single place that aggregates customer activity across these channels and displays it in a way that enables strategic analysis. In essence, marketers need a 360-degree customer view.

Having a 360-degree customer view enables more targeted customer engagement and also gives marketers the ability to attribute their marketing activities and campaigns. Creating 360-degree views involves centralizing all of your customer data and building an omnichannel profile of each individual. You can then use these complete profiles to segment, query, and analyze customer actions and behaviors to generate business insights. Marketers can dive into individual customer journeys, track the customer’s timeline of interactions, and generate reports about customer buying behavior, content interests, and preferred digital channels.

Elements of the 360-Degree Customer View

So what sort of customer information should your 360-degree customer view contain?

In the past, marketers kept all of their customer data in complex spreadsheets and databases. As a result, teams with technical knowledge were the only ones who could access and manipulate the data, limiting the analysis that could be done. Additionally, the data was stored in isolated silos, with transaction history, email activity, store information, support history, and more divided across separate files and CRMs, which made it almost impossible for marketers to look for trends and patterns or uncover insights across channels.

Today, customer data platforms can integrate all of this data into one location, enabling marketers to explore and analyze their customers’ behavior in a format more like a Facebook profile than a spreadsheet.

We’ve identified three major components that the 360-degree customer view needs to have:

  1. Behavioral activity,
  2. Customer/demographic attributes, and
  3. 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):

 360-degree customer view
Canopy Labs 360-degree customer view

Let’s explore the different components that make up the 360-degree customer view, and explain how marketers can use these components to understand their customers and engage them in a personalized manner.

1) Behavioral activity

The first component of any 360-degree view is a timeline of the customer’s activities with your business across online and in-store channels. Collecting this behavioral data and tying it back to a customer ID (usually an email address) is critical for filling in the customer journey and understanding each customer’s needs and interests. It will enable you to create 1:1 marketing offers that resonate with each customer.

Some common activity streams that the customer view should include are:

  • Purchases: A history of the customer’s past purchases with your business, including items purchased, dollar amount, and any discount codes or special offers used. This will help you understand which products the customer finds most appealing.
  • Email activity: The customer’s activity with your emails, including email receives, opens, clicks, and more. Email engagement indicates the customer’s level of interest with your offers and your brand.
  • Website browsing: The customer’s browsing behavior on your websites. Using web-tracking software, you can monitor customer interactions on your website, regardless of whether users are logged in or not. This data enables you to get a better sense of the products and categories that interest each customer.
  • User comments: Customer reviews and comments on products, engagement with communities or forums, and more. These interactions can provide important information about customer satisfaction and interests.
  • Customer support interactions: Your customer’s history of support requests and interactions. You can use this information to understand your customer’s satisfaction level, their level of engagement, and identify possible problem areas with your website, customer service, or customer journey.
  • In-store activity: In-store visits tracked through iBeacon or membership cards can be included in your 360-degree customer view. This data will help you determine how your customers like to shop, the time they spend in-store, and whether they make purchases when they go to your store locations.

Depending on the nature of your company, you may want to incorporate additional data sources into your 360-degree customer view. For instance, you may want to track customers who line up early for tickets to a popular event or who attend an exclusive launch event, since this behavior displays strong loyalty and interest in your brand. Regardless of the source of data you wish to track, make sure you choose a customer data platform that supports custom actions and attributes so that you can add additional data as you have more sources.

2) Customer-level or demographic attributes

Another component of the 360-degree customer view is the demographic data that you collect about each customer. This personal information helps to paint a better picture of the customer, enabling you to understand basic information such as location, gender, age, and more that will help you target customers with the right offers. 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: Knowing the customer’s city enables you to show them products that are in stock locally and customize offers based on weather conditions, local events and celebrations, and more.
  • Gender: Tracking the customer’s gender helps you target more effectively and create product recommendations based on gender.
  • Age: Understanding the customer’s age helps you target them with offers that fit their life stage, predict their budget and lifetime spend.
  • Loyalty program: Information around whether that customer is enrolled in your business’ loyalty program, and if applicable, loyalty tiers or points collected.
  • Credit scores: If your company collects this information, it can help inform the type of financial products and services to recommend and the customer’s ability to purchase.

Some customer data platforms guess at a customer’s demographic profile based on browsing patterns or IP address and use that data to build an estimate of the customer’s location, gender, age, and other attributes. In general, we recommend only entering customer demographic data that has been confirmed through a signup form, a loyalty program, or another source.

3) Derived insights

The third and final component of a 360-degree customer view is the insights generated from the combination of the behavioral activity and the customer demographic data. The first two components of the 360-degree view are a record of information about your customers, and the third component draws out the patterns and trends, telling you how you should be engaging with customers based on the information you have about them.

The insights help to answer questions like which products you should be recommending to each customer, whether he or she is at risk of churn, and more. Using these insights, marketers can determine the “next best action”.

Some common insights that your customer view should be displaying include:

  • Engagement and risk scores: Using customers’ level of engagement to score their likelihood of future engagement, such as making a purchase, churn, and more.
  • Segmentation: Segmenting customers based on their activity across multiple channels.
  • 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 the customer’s likelihood of taking a certain action or exhibiting certain behaviors with your business. These models may score a customer’s propensity to buy, cancel, churn, or more.

Deriving insights about customers requires modeling customer behavior, projected spend, and future actions. The platform you use for your 360-degree customer view should include the ability to model customer information so that you can take action with the data you are gathering.


Generate better results for your business

The 360-degree view offers a detailed overview of customer data across various marketing and customer databases. This consolidated view allows marketers to see each customer’s activity, behavior, interests, and preferences over their lifetime 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.

However, it’s important to remember that creating a 360-degree view is not the goal in itself, but rather creating it gives you a tool that enables you to achieve your specific targets. By centralizing your customer data and presenting it in a visual and appealing manner, the 360-degree customer view gives you new ways of analyzing customer data, generating insights, and providing more targeted and relevant campaigns and offers.


If you have questions about this guide or are interested in learning more about customer data platforms, feel free to get in touch!