by Mark A. Stevens, January 2014
We have seen the amazing growth of consumer-driven content and the frequency with which consumers express their perspectives on brands. Fostering and engaging in this new dialog is critical, but social media cannot be seen simply as another channel to serve. The increased sharing of brand information between consumers is fueling an environment of accelerated competition and rising customer expectations.
Competing in this new environment starts with having a data-driven customer strategy. The data deluge has enormous potential for businesses, but is coming at unprecedented volume, speed, and variety. How do you know what data to capture? How can you generate insights from it? What can you actually do with those insights to improve the customer experience? How quickly can you adapt? A recent study conducted by Oracle found that 60 percent of companies are unprepared to address these challenges, and 97 percent need to change their data strategies.
A successful, data-driven customer strategy includes three critical elements: a modern data platform, customer information discovery, and rapid operational integration. Here are some best practices to keep in mind while creating the right strategy for your organization.
A successful, data-driven customer strategy includes three critical elements: a modern data platform, customer information discovery, and rapid operational integration.
A strong technology foundation is a must. Establish a single platform to manage both structured and unstructured data sources. Consolidate systems, and ensure high-speed interconnectivity between remaining systems. Ensure the data is ready on-demand, on any device, and secure.
It is critical to have a structured process to gain insights from the data. Prioritize data discovery initiatives based on your business strategy. Establish a mindset of continuous discovery. In addition, secure the tools and competencies necessary for information discovery such as data analysis and data visualization.
Integrate new data sources to operational processes, and ensure new insights lead to real enhancements to the customer experience. Here are some examples of data integration strategies that can improve your overall customer strategy:
Mark A. Stevens is vice president of Oracle Insight and Customer Strategy, where he leads the team’s Customer Experience global strategy practice.
A successful customer strategy requires a holistic approach to data management, encompassing the systems necessary to manage the data and the tools to effectively capture and analyze it. But ultimately, success requires asking the right questions, interpreting the findings, and executing quickly. Companies that get this right will have a clear advantage in the marketplace.