3 Customer-Centric Hurdles Marketers Need to Clear

2. The Architecture Hurdle

To create the full 360-view of the customer, the architecture should let you see the customer’s omnichannel marketing behavior, life cycle purchase behavior, and everything in between. Then, you can send that information across all channels to deliver a better experience for any given customer when they’re interacting with the business.

Some key—and often overlooked—steps:

  • To build a customer profile, you need to start small and continue to grow it as more sources and channels are added.
  • The first goal is to get a full scouting report of how your customers are behaving against the business. Life cycle marketing gives a way to execute against the scouting report to generate real results. 
  • Put your own pixel tag on your own site and finally own your data. That will enhance the customer profile and deliver greater intelligence back to touch points.
  • Share that enhanced customer profile with advertisers to make their cookies smarter. Programmatic buying is dropping a cookie and building a profile based on that digital clickstream. However, search marketers can only see data that has been collected through that engine. Share that customer profile with your advertising partner, agree on a shared identifier, and now you can create targeted personalization with a smarter cookie that incorporates the full view of the customer.
  • Once you have the intelligence, you want to share it with everyone. But instead of just sharing with digital platforms, share with associates in the store. Stores are least served by technology advancement. They’re overlooked. They were the original frontier, now they’re the last mile. They’re stuck in analog while the rest of the world is digital. It doesn’t have to be that way.
  • Get a full view dashboard—detailed, but easy to consume from the director level to CEOs. And that’s important, because you are going to need support from the top to succeed.

3. The Investment Hurdle

Venture capitalists have wanted to create a point solution that solves all of a marketer’s problems. That’s the way digital technology has evolved and how it’s created and funded in the first place. And there are success stories, for sure. But as the customer journey has grown more complicated, fueled by disparate systems and data, the need for a more comprehensive view has also grown.

Now, the need to look at the bigger picture has become apparent to investors and marketers alike as they search for a more robust, actionable customer connection in the context of a business’s total marketing investments.

To address digital, paid search, and social, and to pull that together in an integrated way, is difficult. It’s inferred how the channels are related, but you can’t really see it. This investment route has proved challenging for marketers trying to put the customer at the center of everything they do. The biggest success—and biggest payoff for investors—will be from looking at the entire process, with the customer at the center.


Augie MacCurrach is the CEO of Boston-based Customer Portfolios, a marketing technology leader that uses insight and analytics to increase customer value.  You can follow Customer Portfolios at @CustPortfolios on Twitter.

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