The old paradigm of focusing on optimizing “product sales” is shifting to managing customer relationships. It’s one thing for organizations to know when a customer purchases a particular product or service, but it is more important to know how these customers move across all lines of business feeds. This is the elusive 360-degree view of the customer that so many marketers claim they have, but in reality, most retail and financial institutions have not implemented the data management principles that make this possible.
In order to recognize the same customer across all products and services, your company requires a customer master data management (MDM) system. Linking all records for the same customer across the enterprise creates an ideal environment for customer data analysis that adds real value for your business’s strategic decision makers. Understanding and implementing solid data management principles will provide the key information that will inform your marketing strategies and give value back to your customers through better service and experience.
Leveraging Data Insight to Formulate Long-Term Strategy
If you are trying to develop and define your sales strategy with inadequately linked customer information, it may lead to poor if not disastrous results. An effective strategy should rest on a firm foundation of comprehensive policies and technologies that underpin customer MDM:
- Processes for data governance that are ongoing and constantly reevaluated as technology and compliance requirements evolve.
- Boundaries and silos created by organizational structures should not factor in to how data is managed.
- Guidance for the implementation of new technologies that can seamlessly fit within your existing framework.
A judicious investment here can lead to significant improvements in customer experience and retention, establishing long-term customer loyalty. With quality customer data analysis, your business should have the ability to implement suggested product campaigns and alert preferred customers of early sales or unique offers, creating new upsell and cross-sell opportunities. This allows you to acknowledge the relationship customers have forged with your business and lead to an improved bottom line.
What Features Should You Look for in an MDM?
First, and most importantly, your MDM should be non-intrusive and transparent. It should sit beside, and not inside, your existing data systems. It should provide a true customer identity service to other systems and processes. The transparency is in the matching rules regardless of the type of customer matching, whether deterministic, probabilistic, or hybrid. An MDM system that’s a “black box” (a closed loop system that is not understood or accessible) creates a dependency on specific systems and vendors that can limit your potential for growth.
Two other important factors are traceability and human intervention (human-in-the-loop). No MDM system is 100% accurate, so when it does make a mistake, you should be able to trace it back to the root cause:
- Poor input data
- Mistakes in the extract, transform, and load (ETL) process
- Issues in the matching process
Without adequate metadata and a standard set of data management principles, it will be possible to know if any customer matching errors occur. Once the problem is discovered, the MDM system should also provide a straightforward way for a person to assert a correction to the system so that the same problem does not reoccur.
Finally, you want a very scalable system. The new big data technologies have paved the way for almost unlimited scaling of systems. Server-based systems can limit your performance and future growth. However, an MDM system that runs in a distributed computing environment allows you to leverage multiple resources or areas of expertise without the limitations of infrastructure.
Black Oak Analytics employs High Performance Entity Resolution (HiPER), an entity identity information management (EIIM) system that allows you to effectively identify and market to a targeted audience with increased efficiency through entity matching and resolution.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can transform your business with effective customer data analysis, contact Black Oak Analytics today at (877) 805-0736 or request a consultation to learn more about our HiPER platform.