Too many databases spoils the picture of the customer

I enjoyed your article on data (“Intelligent use of data earns consumer trust”, MW 20 May). However, I did feel that it overlooked a stumbling block which many brands seem to come up against – too many cooks! Or in the marketers case, too many databases.

Even with the best security, the best segmentation and the most appropriate targeting, brands struggle to use their data to best effect because they don’t have a single view of all the information they have on each customer.

When a retailer is holding the online sales data in one place, the in-store data in another and the loyalty data somewhere else, how can that brand be sure that the picture they have of a customer is complete?

Without being able to tie up the behavioural and transactional data, as well as customer preference, the brand risks betraying some of the hard-earned trust which marketers, work to build and maintain.

While security and targeting should always be a priority, unless all data is combined, even the most innovative brand will not be truly engaging their customers.

Luke Griffiths, Vice president, professional, services and marketing, e-Dialog International

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