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.

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