Cus­tomers inter­act with the com­pany over mul­ti­ple chan­nels (touch-points). Chan­nels are broadly clas­si­fied Web, Call & IVR, Mobile, Social, TV, Print, Email, and Stores/branches (or any phys­i­cal loca­tion).  There are many indus­try spe­cific chan­nels such as ATM for finan­cial ser­vices and Kiosks for Travel and Retail. Other than cus­tomer inter­ac­tion data com­pa­nies have access to customer’s social pro­file (from social media sites), demo­graphic & psy­cho­graphic pro­file data and pur­chas­ing pro­file (product’s owned).  Com­pa­nies also want to relate cus­tomer inter­ac­tion and pro­file data with cen­sus and geospa­tial data. All this makes for a lot of data!  This data has the poten­tial to help you answer some of the most inter­est­ing mar­ket­ing prob­lems but get­ting this data in to one read­ily acces­si­ble place (or tool) is very challenging.

You might be ask­ing your­self: What are some of those inter­est­ing prob­lems you would be able to answer across all this dis­parate data? Con­sider some of these examples:

What prod­ucts do my cus­tomer seg­ments have affin­ity towards and what addi­tional prod­ucts can I cross-sell to the segments?

  • Can I qual­ify my leads, to increase conversions?
  • Can I cal­cu­late ROI on mar­ket­ing cam­paigns based on life­time value of customers?
  • Am I reduc­ing my call cen­ter costs by changes made to the self-service models?
  • What % of pop­u­la­tion in a zip code are my cus­tomers? What is my ROI from the social media?

It is very tough to lever­age all the data sources needed to begin answer­ing those ques­tions. The chal­lenges are many, such as stor­age of large data, query per­for­mance and ease of query­ing (Big Data prob­lems). Other than tech­nol­ogy chal­lenges, there is the chal­lenge of inte­grat­ing the dis­parate data sources.  And of course at the end of day the total cost of own­er­ship (TCO) must allow the busi­ness to deliver the ROI for the mar­ket­ing organization.

In my opin­ion and from my expe­ri­ence, most orga­ni­za­tions strug­gle to suc­cess­fully solve these busi­ness prob­lems. Some com­pa­nies strug­gle to get over the chal­lenges of get­ting the data in one place. Some com­pa­nies strug­gle to solve the busi­ness prob­lems after get­ting the data in one place. Some com­pa­nies have severe orga­ni­za­tion chal­lenges in terms of hav­ing that “data ori­ented decision-making cul­ture”. Get­ting all of them right is like win­ning the pres­i­den­tial pri­mary first and later win­ning the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and win­ning the reelec­tion! The rewards are many for win­ning but there are plenty of losers along the way.

The goal of my blog is to dis­cuss some of the inter­est­ing prob­lems that can be solved and to walk you through how those chal­lenges can be addressed. I am hop­ing the blog will be inter­ac­tive. I am look­ing for­ward to address­ing ques­tions you raise by writ­ing a com­plete blog post on any impor­tant top­ics raised.