Following our most recent roundtable, which focused on the single customer view, we released our latest expert-led supplement featuring a number of Q&As and features, all of which you can download for free.

In the extract below, our panel discuss the considerations that should be taken into account when seeking the single customer view, the pros and cons of personalisation and the importance of transparency.

What are the dangers of buying data to reel in new customers?

Lewis Lenssen (Rakuten Attribution): When buying data, retailers must be wary of privacy issues. When collecting and building their own database, businesses can be sure that they have rigorously followed all privacy laws, but can never be as sure about how any bought data has been collected.

James Cartlidge (Quidco): Credibility and trust. If you’re not 100% transparent with customers it will only hurt your brand.


Is there an aspect of determinism manifested in analysing consumer data?

Nicola White (MediaCom): Fundamentally data should always form the basis of most if not all of consumer decisions and insight. Analysis should also be compiled by an independent, unbiased team who share the single goal of analysis for true reflection and results, as opposed to any individual purpose.

SCV is a goal shared amongst many marketers for many years. But is it right for all companies?

Luke Judge (Net Media Planet): No, there can be no one-size-fits-all solution for SCV that will work for all companies. Every company is unique in some way, and therefore requirements will differ. What is true is that every company will benefit from having a better understanding of their customer’s journey across all the channels that they touch when interacting with the company in any way.

NW: I think a level of customer insight and understanding is a must for all companies, if they want a chance of being successful in their market. Whether all companies require a fully-fledged system to achieve SCV remains a question for the individual entities, however to ignore the value of customer behavioural analysis would be ill-advised.

We hear plenty about the pros of ramping up our efforts in personalisation, but what are the risks?

LJ: When delivering a personalised message rather than a vanilla message, there is always going to be a chance of getting the personalisation wrong, and delivering a message that stands out as being incorrect for the viewer. This can have an adverse impact on the perception surrounding a brand.

LL: The risk is that if retailers aren’t certain of the identity of the person using the device then they will show content  that isn’t right or designed for them. The most common example is when there are multiple people using a single device, where the website will display ads and content that’s based on someone else’s browsing behaviour.

NW: There will always be users that resent high levels of personalisation and feel that their online behaviours should be kept private and not used for the purpose and benefit of the advertiser. There should always be an effort made to ensure transparency so that consumers can have more autonomy in deciding the level of personalisation to receive in their content.

Would better technology solve some of the issues with pursuing the SCV?

LJ: Yes, but not all of them. Having a single view of the customer requires the stitching of data across many touch points using multiple devices; technology can help with this stitching, but it cannot solve every instance of inaccuracy.