At Ascent360 many of our clients include well known outdoor brands who are at various stages of their journey towards the implementation or use of a Customer Database. We’ve learned a lot from them over the years and thought this was worth sharing.

  1. We have multiple islands of customer data and we’re not getting any value from them. Customer data is considered so valuable that more and more CFOs are either considering listing it on their balance sheets as an asset or have done so[1]. The challenge becomes how to integrate this data when it exists in unconnected silos around a company (Ecomm, Customer Service, Product Reg, etc.). That’s where Customer Data Integration (CDI) can help to match these disparate customer records, so that there is a Single Version of Customer Truth, AKA a Customer Database.
  2. We can’t measure the RO(Marketing)I on Marketing Spend. Sending sweet looking, targeted, gender specific email is one of the first dividends a Brand should see from using a centralized Customer Database. The next is understanding how much revenue these emails are generating. Each email that is sent should close the loop from; sending, measuring standard email metrics such as open rates and unsub rates, etc., through tracking which links are the most productive, to using a Web Analytics tool to track purchases on a web site and gaining valuable ROMI metrics. This customer purchase behavior should be another feed of data in the Customer Database.
  3. We’re a Product Centric Company and Not a Customer Centric Company. Product Centric (“Hey everyone, we’ve got these great new skis, with these killer new bindings, who wants a pair”). Customer Centric (“Hey all you college educated females, aged between 30 & 45 who love to ski and also bought those killer ski pants from us last year – Have we got something for you..”).
  4. All customers are equal, but some are more equal than others. Most of us are aware of the Pareto Principle, AKA the 80/20 rule. A Customer Database will allow Brands to understand not only who are the 20% of customers who drive 80% of the revenue and treat them differently than other customers, but also use that as a model to target prospects who look like your best customers online, through display advertising.
  5. We’re getting no value from Product Registration Data. We are often surprised when we see how little is being done with Product Registration Data. At worst, paper cards gather dust in a cardboard box, at best it sits on a lonely segment of a hard drive that no one visits. This is such valuable information about people who have taken the time to fill out a card or an online form, to say “hey Brand X I love your stuff”. However, its value is multiplied when combined with data such as demographic, purchase and maybe social media in a Customer Database.
  6. The Customer Database Framework. At Ascent360 we use this Framework to guide our customers along the Customer Database journey. We thought it might be of use.