It is becoming more and more common for companies to want an easy-to-use tool to access their externally hosted marketing database customer records. With the increased emphasis on the transparency of customer data, clients want real-time access to their customer and prospect data for the following reasons:
- Better understanding of who the customer is. What marketing segment is the user currently in? Are there additional members of the customer’s household?
- Ability to update their marketing data in real time. Did your customer recently move? Do they have a better phone number or email to reach them at?
- Management of permissions. Do they want to switch from weekly emails to monthly? Are they shifting from being mailed offers to receiving offers via SMS?
- Review promotion history. Was this customer scheduled to receive the latest direct mail offer? Did they open the email for the current campaign?
A CLU tool is designed to provide customer service, retail store personnel, or regional office employees with the ability to look up details on a customer via a web-based interface, and then make changes/notes to their customer records. Gone are the days when marketing users had to take a class on SQL where they would need to understand the marketing database data model, data dictionary, and the necessary table join clauses. Of course, data privacy has to be a key concern, so the tool you choose will need to leverage the latest security technologies as well as provide role-level access so only the approved groups of users are seeing the data they are allowed to view.
Under the hood of the CLU should be a powerful, real-time data store (ODS). The data store should be synced with the marketing database daily, at a minimum, so that both systems have the most current data. Both the database and application should reside in a clustered, highly available environment to support 24-hour operations, seven days a week. Today’s global economy demands those requirements! Lastly, should other third-party solutions require access to the same data, reusable APIs should exist to allow the profile and/or preference data to flow to authorized parties with minimal custom development.
By allowing for real-time interaction with the marketing database, you are empowered to create exceptional, connected user experiences with your customers.