Taking a Holistic View of the Customer to Build Better Brands

October 07, 2014

Recently Signal participated in an Argyle Executive Forum in New York City on the topic of Leadership in Digital Marketing. Argyle’s events bring together marketing executives from a range of industry verticals to discuss digital strategies and best practices. It was great to hear how major companies are using data, real-time intelligence, and social media to drive their brands forward.

The conversation in New York was all about the customer. I took part in a panel titled Leveraging a Holistic View of the Customer, alongside marketing leaders from JetBlue, Time Inc., and MasterCard.

Here’s an overview of the conversation and what I shared with the audience:

If marketers want a true view of the customer, they must take advantage of their first-party data. Getting that data is partly a question of technology; once you’ve got that in place, then the key is connecting the right sources so you can assemble the data you need.

Simply collecting data and dropping it into a database isn’t enough. First you need to synchronize the data points to an individual—and do it at the right time, at scale. Then you need to align your reporting and analysis marketing systems.

Signal has made it possible to match data and apply a Universal ID in real time. So the question becomes: how will you use that data?

There’s no single answer; the ultimate outcome is a continual learning process. It’s important to check to make sure that you have the right sources, data points, and match IDs. These checks allow you to cultivate the trust you have in the data, so you can move on to the good stuff: activating that data. Use the data you collect—don’t just curate it.

Marketers are already collecting tons of data: by going deeper and connecting what you have, you can do more with your data, and create consistency across systems and endpoints. You can understand what a customer has been exposed to, and how they’ve engaged with your brand.

Crucially, you’ll have that knowledge in the moment. Even if you don’t need it for every interaction, you’ll have the opportunity for true real-time actions. And your insights will have helped you create a better brand.

Joe Stanhope was formerly Senior Vice President of Marketing at Signal.

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