We are constantly reminded of how quickly the world, our customers, and the way we do business is evolving and changing. Customer data strategy is an important part of your organization’s short- and long-term success. For this reason, it is important that you create it in such a way that you are able to account for current and future challenges and opportunities, as well as external and internal dependencies.
In this article, we will discuss three components of an agile customer data strategy that will ensure that you are set up for success now and in the future.
Create a comprehensive customer data strategy
While a customer data strategy for one department or team is good, the strength of any approach depends on coordination and insights that lie across arbitrary organizational reporting lines and divisions.
Sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support, as well as many others depending on your unique organization, should be considered when creating your customer data strategy. This enterprise-wide approach may seem daunting at first, but it’s the only way you can understand, adapt, and provide the kind of customer experience that consumers increasingly demand.
A holistic approach to customer data strategy means that everyone in the organization reads from the same manual, enabling easier coordination of responses to challenges and opportunities, and ultimately an increased speed of transformation.
Related article: Why data management is a shared responsibility
open data strategy
As we just found out, customer data covers different teams, platforms, and stages in the customer journey. Finding one place to organize all this data can be challenging even for small businesses, but corporate organizations quickly face sometimes formidable hurdles when rethinking their data strategies. A single off-the-shelf, closed-loop system that ingests and integrates data across all channels and stages in the customer lifecycle can do well because integrations are easy. But most organizations need the ability to integrate internal and/or external data sources that are constantly evolving and often in need of rapid switching.
There are pros and cons to trying to rely on one set (or small group) of off-the-shelf third-party systems. The upside is flexibility and not being dependent on large, often monolithic platforms, which, despite having integration APIs, can sometimes make you want more in terms of their connectivity to other critical systems. The downside to a more open data strategy is the cost of maintenance, continuous development, and technical debts that internal systems can often incur. You will need to work across your teams to determine the best approach and perform a cost-benefit analysis that will be specific to your organization.
While many turnkey solutions provide everything an organization needs to solve their data challenges now and in the future, you should consider whether you need a more open strategy that includes a more holistic view.
Related Article: How Much Customer Data Should You Collect? Sometimes less is more
Make it a guide to the future
There are a myriad of considerations that your customer data strategy needs to be integrated and planned for, and I have no doubts that more will continue to emerge in the coming months. Planning to withdraw third-party cookies, increasing the amount and variety of privacy regulations around the world, and consumers’ constant demands for more personalized and personalized experiences are just a few of the considerations.
Once you’ve defined your customer data strategy, it’s time to make sure you have a plan in place to make sure it can improve over time. I prefer an agile approach, whether it’s formal agile principles (eg using the scrum framework) or some variation, although your organization may have its own way of doing things. No matter the exact approach, iteration and optimization is essential because just as your customers continue to evolve, so does your data strategy.
Making your customer data strategy future-proof certainly does not mean being able to predict the future, but the goal should be to put in place a system capable of responding to internal and external changes and dependencies. This means that it will be agile enough to help you manage challenges and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Your customer data strategy is critical to your organization’s short- and long-term success. He leads the sales, marketing, delivery, and customer service teams, and can make the difference between success and failure in the ongoing battle over providing the best possible customer experience. An agile strategy will ensure your ability to adapt to the changing needs of your customers, evolving data and privacy regulations across the sites you serve, as well as being able to adapt to the latest technology trends and requirements.
Related Article: True: Marketers Should See This