Today’s customer journey is a winding one. It involves both physical and online interactions across a variety of different touchpoints, from social media to email to websites. To make matters more complex, customers expect a streamlined, personalized experience wherever they interact with a brand. To be successful, marketers must have a thorough understanding of customer intent and path to purchase.
Advertisers, retailers, and media companies are using omnichannel data to help them better understand customers and deliver a stronger customer experience, leading to improved conversion rates and customer retention. But what is omnichannel data, exactly? And how can you use it effectively to improve your marketing initiatives? Let’s explore the answers to these questions.
What Is Omnichannel Data?
Omnichannel data is data generated from every customer interaction with a company. It reveals customer behaviors, preferences, attitudes, and values. Omnichannel data analysis differs from multichannel data analysis in that omnichannel data analysis emphasizes an integrated approach. Rather than simply collecting siloed data and looking at it channel-by-channel, an omnichannel approach seeks a holistic view.
Marketers are using omnichannel data not only to better understand historical customer activity and present behavior, but also to predict the future needs and wants of customers. Omnichannel data can be used to improve product recommendations used in upselling and cross-selling strategies. Omnichannel data also reveals bottlenecks in the customer journey and how the customer experience can be smoothed.
What Is a Customer 360?
A customer 360 is a holistic, real-time view of your customers and the customer journey based on omnichannel data sources—from form submissions, to purchase transactions, to customer service calls.
Challenges involved in creating a customer 360
While creating a customer 360 delivers significant ROI, it isn’t easy. Three challenges face today’s marketers as they seek to use omnichannel data to improve the customer experience and drive more revenue.
Siloed data: Omnichannel data is stored across dozens of websites, devices, ad platforms, social media platforms, and more. Without a “single source of truth” that brings all this data into a central location, marketers can’t get a holistic view of their data. Additionally, siloed data tends to suffer quality issues due to inconsistencies in overlapping data.
Variety of data: The many channels and platforms involved in omnichannel marketing are generating a multitude of data in a variety of different formats. This data can be extremely difficult to wrangle without a powerful data platform that provides elastic infrastructure, unlimited scale, and risk mitigation.
Privacy regulations: Marketers seeking to use omnichannel data must address the requirements of privacy regulations designed to give customers control of their data, including GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). A consent management strategy and robust data security management capabilities are crucial.
How to Build a Customer 360
Omnichannel data forms the foundation of a customer 360. Here are four steps to craft a holistic view of your customers and the customer journey.
1. Map touchpoints
Before you can gather the data needed to inform your customer 360, you need to know where to look for that data. The first step is to identify each touchpoint in each stage of the customer journey. Consider all the ways and places your prospects and customers encounter your brand—from awareness, to consideration, to decision to retention.
2. Identify sources of omnichannel data
Next, based on your map of touchpoints, pinpoint each source of data that will inform your customer 360. Consider websites, ad platforms, mobile apps, social media platforms, software tools, and SaaS applications that you use in your marketing and sales efforts. You may also benefit from looking at third-party data sources.
3. Integrate data in a single location
To create a holistic customer 360, you must have the ability to work with all your data in a single location. A robust platform such as the Snowflake Data Cloud gives you the ability to store, manage, and analyze large volumes of live data from all sources in a centralized, governed repository.
4. Identify insights and create customer profiles
Now that you’ve identified all relevant data and have centralized access to it, you can work with it and mine it for insights. Based on these insights, you’ll then create customer profiles describing customer behaviors, preferences, attitudes, and values.
Why a Robust Cloud Data Platform is Essential for Omnichannel
Any omnichannel initiative requires a robust cloud data platform capable of meeting the challenges involved in omnichannel data analysis. Here’s what your data platform should allow you to accomplish.
Leverage a single source of truth
Marketers are collecting purchase data, CRM data, website traffic data, paid media data, and more. To craft exceptional omnichannel experiences, you must be able to analyze these data sets together and see the bigger picture of how customers are interacting with your brand.
Analyze streaming data
Omnichannel data comes from myriad sources in a variety of formats in real time. You need the ability to analyze streaming data, and to do that, you must have a data platform that provides elastic infrastructure, unlimited scale, and risk mitigation.
Omnichannel marketing is a team effort. Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service all have unique perspectives of the customer journey, and these perspectives are invaluable for building a better customer experience. Your teams should have the ability to work with omnichannel data without worrying about running afoul of privacy regulations. A good cloud data platform provides robust governance and security to ensure safe collaboration.
How Snowflake Supports Omnichannel Marketers
The Snowflake Data Cloud eliminates data silos to establish a single source of truth across products, channels, engagement, and advertising. With these insights, you can drive greater personalization, make better content decisions, and improve experiences while ensuring strict data privacy and security. With Snowflake, you can:
Better understand your content and your audience: Seamlessly store, integrate, and query viewer engagement data across channels. Power your data science algorithms to better understand how content drives audience acquisition and engagement, thereby driving subscription and advertising performance.
Increase personalization in content and advertising: Develop a 360-degree view of subscriber behavior and enrich audience profiles with third-party data to make data-driven content decisions, improve customer experiences, and deliver highly targeted advertising.
Maintain governance over consumer data: Securely share live, governed customer data across media firms, brands, and advertisers to refine attribution models and better predict return on ad spend while leveraging Snowflake’s functionality to help you comply with consumer privacy regulations, such as CCPA and GDPR.
Access third-party data to augment internal data sources: As part of the Data Cloud, Snowflake Marketplace gives data scientists, BI experts, analytics professionals, data scientists—and anyone else who desires data-driven decision-making—access to a growing list of ready-to-query data sets. Whether you’re seeking to better personalize subscriber experiences, looking for extra psychographic or demographic data, or searching for alternative data to gain investment insights, Snowflake Data Marketplace has the data sets needed to augment existing data streams.
To see Snowflake’s omnichannel data capabilities firsthand, sign up for a free trial.