Power of Single Customer View and How to Achieve It!


According to IBM, every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data in any language. That’s a lot of data. I actually had to look up quintillions in Google.This one challenge with the data is the scale and the volume. The other issue is the rate at which we’re creating data. Over ninety percent of the world’s data has really been created in the last two years, so it’s explosive in terms of growth and that’s why Big Data has hit us hard and it will be a  challenge for all of us to keep track of where does it come from.

  • Well, it’s a whole host of different channels from a marketing perspective and one of the key growth areas is social media. Every tweet, every post on Facebook, every like, every interaction on linkedin is creating some form of data that is stored somewhere.
  • Another source of data could be communications. So for example, any text you send, any email you send,  any electronic communication you make is creating data that’s going to be stored somewhere.
  • The source could also be something like pictures or videos. For example, those of us who take pictures and upload them to flickr or other social networks to show our friends and family, again it’s creating data and it’s being stored somewhere.
  • The source could be traditional things like purchase transactions. For instance, you go to Walmart and buy your groceries. That information is captured and put into a database.
  • It could be some our GPS signals and geolocation. It is relevant for marketers to work out where people are and delivering communications to them based upon where they are at that moment in time.

So we’ve got a whole host of different sources. It’s important to learn the source because as a marketer if you’re going to do something with the data you need to understand how it’s actually coming at you.

Digital app, social media, mobile and tablets – this is where most of the data, in terms of the marketing function, has come from and it’s got to the point now where we have got masses of data available to us and it presents an opportunity for marketers. If we can basically take this data and harness and do something with it, it has got some opportunities.

What is Single Customer View?

Single customer view  is a holistic view of your customer and prospect and it’s being able to look at them in their entirety.

I might go into a shop and buy something, and what I do in that shop could be put in a database somewhere. I might interact with that organization via my mobile phone or smartphone in some ways, perhaps with an App. I might interact with them online. I might email them a query. I might send them a letter (people still send letters) or I ring them up. All the ways I interact could be recorded in different databases. For a business to get that single holistic view of me, they need to tie that all together and put into one place. That will give them a single customer view.

Tesco is a good example of an organization that really has gone some way to achieving that by using their loyalty card. So if you interact with them using your loyalty card, they can tie it all back. You’ll read more about it a bit later.

Benefits of Single Customer View

Customers can be managed better and it can increase brand loyalty: Say I bank with Barclays. If they have have a single view of me, that personally enhances my customer service levels because essentially they’re going to manage me better and I’m gonna get better customer service. So there are business benefits and there are customer benefits.

Cost reductions: I may be receiving communications from the same business but in different places. I may be getting duplicated communications. By reducing the number of communications, there’s a cost saving for the business because they’re not having to spend so much on contacting me for the same things. And I don’t keep getting confusing offers.

More accurate campaign execution: If you’ve got that single view of the customer, you understand them better. You can then start to target them more effectively, and the message is more relevant. For example, a bank sends a different sorts of offers on loans to a customer over multiple channels. Finally, when the customer rings up Bank, Bank turns him down due to his low credit score. Beside the embarrassment, there’s so much cost involved by Bank in communicating to that customer without knowing that he is not credit-worthy. A single customer view helps there.

Challenges with big data and creating Single Customer View

There’s a recent survey conducted by the US marketing association where top 1000 CMOs were interviewed to find out what their thoughts were and how big data could be a benefit to marketing. The largest benefit they said, which is fairly obvious, is gaining better insights of customer behaviour.

The benefit that CMOs perceive in terms of harnessing big data is to drive better campaign response and conversion rates because if you’ve got data and you can do something with that you can actually influence the performance of your campaigns and that obviously gives you more ROI.

It all sounds great but there are some challenges as well in terms of harnessing what we can do. So the same group of people were surveyed to see what they thought the biggest challenges were and one of the biggest challenges was being able to analyze and mine and gain that insight into the data.

Another survey that’s done by the Columbia Business School found that over ninety percent of corporate marketers believe that successful brands uses data effectively. They also found that there’s a desire out there to be data driven but when it actually comes to practice, there’s a massive gap. The study also found out that marketers are collecting traditional data like demographics and transaction data. The challenge for marketers is how to collect digital data such as social media content.

Digital data is difficult to link back to customer.

In digital perspective, you can identify people in three ways – you’ve got login processes, you can use personalized URLs, and you can use cookies. That’s the traditional way of identifying people who interact with you online.

Anonymous data: These are people who are coming to our websites. We can’t identify them. Apps like Google Analytics rely on the IP address to basically identify visitors coming into our websites and it’s still fairly anonymous. Google Analytics gives us good feedback but it’s still anonymous so it’s hard to build a relationship with people you don’t know. It’s impossible.

Recognized data: These are people who might interact as log in user and we can identify who they are. The depths of the relationship that we have with them is greater because we know who they are, but again it’s not as deep as it could be.

The challenge for digital data is really to look at this anonymous group and essentially generate data connectivity.

If you’re from UK, you are familiar with Tesco’s loyalty card. They use their club card loyalty program to help identify who we are. If we go into Tesco and pay cash, they can’t tie that transaction to us or if we use credit card they’re not allowed to do that. But as soon as we apply a loyalty card they tie the transaction to us as an individual and they can start to build up a transactional history as to what we’re buying as individuals. That works great if we go online to buy from them again. They can link us back and put it in the database. But if I tweet something about Tesco or stick something on Facebook, they can track that but they can’t link it back to me as an individual. For example, like on twitter, my twitter name is not easily identifiable to them and no one can actually link that back. So there’s a big gap between between the digital space and the data that’s being collected. In the social media space, it’s much harder to tie customer data back and get a whole picture of of your customers and prospects.

There’s a certain lack of data connectivity when it comes to a single customer view.

FirstHive shifting the marketing paradigm

There are very very few platforms in the world today that carries intelligence to integrate data collected over multiple channels and give you a single window view of your customers. FirstHive is one of them.

FirstHive’s proprietary algorithm collects all the available data and personas about your customer from multiple touchpoints and creates a unified view of your customer.


FirstHive has already helped big B2C brands to learn actionable insights about their customers. Marketers use FirstHive to create customer identities and run personalized cross-channel automation campaigns. FirstHive has also launched its SaaS-based DIY platform, and is helping  mid-size businesses too to get control over their customer data, together with large enterprises.


Use the single customer view effectively to get a competitive advantage over those that don’t. If you have multiple channels, you’re gonna be collecting lots of different data in lots of different places and if you can put all that data together into one place, your marketing will be more effective.

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