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A 360-Degree View of the Customer is a Destination, Not a Journey

By Lizzy Foo Kune | July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

MarketingData and Analytics

Three weeks ago, we published Maverick* Research: Pursuing a 360-Degree View of the Customer Will Destroy Your Business.

We state:

By 2026, 80% of organizations pursuing a 360-degree view of the customer will abandon it because it doesn’t adhere to data privacy regulations, relies on obsolete data collection methods and obliterates customer trust.

(Ben Bloom, who coauthored the research, details more about this in his blog post, “Act now: Abandon the pursuit of a 360 degree customer view“)

We’ve been hearing a lot about it since!

Yet, I think it also caused a bit of confusion. The research isn’t an indictment against customer data. It’s an indictment against the quixotic pursuit of an omniscient customer view.

Organizations have spent the better part of the last twenty years or more on a quest for this mythical 360 – and have a lot to show for it. Maybe too much. In some cases, we’re talking to organizations that have 4-5 CRM systems, a “homegrown” CDP, MDM, random “big data projects,” and more (see: A Guide to What Is — and Isn’t — a Customer Data Platform).

Obtaining a “360-degree view of the customer” isn’t a journey, but a destination. With over thirteen technologies competing against one another to attain a “single customer view,” and the customer data platform descending further into the Trough of Disillusionment, we want organizations to re-align with their goals.

How do you do that? Begin with your use cases. Why are you pursuing a 360-degree view? How does that align with how your business creates value?  Then, examine how your existing tech delivers against that. Some organizations I talk to use a proof-of-concept (POC) process to audit their existing instrumentation against a set of requirements and user groups, looking at where gaps might exist. From there, you can figure out how to plug the gaps with your existing tech, new features of the tech you have, and entirely new tech.

The most important part of all? Metrics! Measure how you’re delivering against your use cases. It’s not good enough to be in perpetual pursuit of a 360-degree view of your customers – you need to know what it looks like when you’ve achieved it.

Want to learn more? Join us at Gartner’s Marketing Symposium in late August (and later, for Gartner’s IT Symposium in October). We’ll be delivering a session based on this research, “Maverick* Research: Pursuing a 360-Degree View of the Customer Will Kill Your Business.”

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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