Industry Voices: The Challenges Retailers Face in Creating a Unified View of the Customer

Integrating data to better understand who your customer is and the best way to reach them is often an obstacle for even the savviest retailers.

We recently sat down with retailers, including Enjoy Life Foods, Natori and Knix, to discuss their current marketing efforts and how they define digital transformation. Previously, we dug into the marketing channels they rely on most, challenges they face with measurement and whether they’ve acquired enough first-party data. In today’s “Industry Voices: A Focus on Retail” video, we look at how they incorporate all the data they’ve collected to create a more unified customer view.

“You’re trying to connect all the dots,” said Heidi Jessop Maund, director of ecommerce at Natori. “So you have your ESP, and you have your loyalty programs, CRM, any customer data from your platform. And you’re trying to put all those data points together and have them make meaning. We have some antiquated systems, so it's hard for us to really put everything together. There's a lot of new software we're working with that is actually helping us give this unified view of the customer. And it's so meaningful from our marketing strategy, to our customer service team being able to get a read on who the customer is and how to work with them.”

According to Danielle Brown, CMO at Knix, because many companies have disparate data sources and are using partner data when they're advertising on different channels, everyone's going to claim success on a conversion. “Everyone's going to claim more credit probably than is worth in the channel that you're collecting that data from,” Brown said.

“But having a map and having a clear architecture that everything's going to fit into is really important," she said. "The mistakes that some people make is they say, ‘OK, I've got this huge data set that happens to be my biggest data set. So let me take that and then add to it. And I think the more thoughtful thing to do if you're planning and looking forward is to say, ‘OK, how am I going to use this data going forward? What am I going to need?’"

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