Many organizations are using external business, institutional, and specialized marketing data to enhance their single customer view. However, there are many different data providers and the question is which one to choose.
If an organization has a relatively broad market, the answer may be that no single data vendor can meet all of the objectives. For example, an organization may sell to a variety of for profit organizations, non-profit organizations, and government markets. It might take at least 3 different data source providers to develop a single customer view that includes external marketing data for each of these different markets. Further, even within each of these general markets, there may be sub-markets that require different external sources. Public universities and federal government agencies both broadly fit under the category of government institutions and yet the best lists for these groups may come from completely different companies.
In addition to choosing external data based on the market, additional in-depth information might be needed to be included in a single view of your customers to help up-sell and cross-sell existing customers or prospect to potential customers. A general compiled business list may be a good start to find basic information about a customer or prospect such as the name of an organization, the location, a general description of the business, the CEO, and other basic information. However, if other senior level personnel in the business or more detailed information about that organization are needed, additional lists may be required to build the database. There may be specific key indicators of an opportunity that are contained in Public Record files such as UCC filings, ERISA, or Workers’ Compensation information or there may be certain business intelligence that has been researched, such as what type or how much equipment an organization owns, by a different list provider.
The challenge in utilizing all of this external marketing data is keeping it properly organized. Further, there most likely will be overlap and duplication between some of the external files. A Customer Data Integration (“CDI”) application can keep this information together and correlated. A CDI application can enable the best business intelligence from each file without the perils overlap and duplication. By appending Common IDs to records that are part of the same organization or are related to an organization, these multiple files can be correlated to records in order to build the appropriate single view of each customer and prospect.
Sales can have a single customer view that is based on both internal and external data in order to help cross-sell and up-sell customers and prospects. Marketing can analyze data based on a combination of internal data from disparate data sources and external business intelligence. Further, the perils over counting the same organization as more than one “opportunity” during data analysis can be reduced since the multiple representations of the same organization will have the same Common ID as part of the Customer Data Integration process and therefore will only be counted as one.