A Unified View of the Customer is Here at Last

For at least 30 years, marketers have been trying to bring together everything they know about their customers. In the old days, it was as simple as merging lists. Combine your CRM list with your direct mailing list, and you had a better customer view.

These days, a single customer view (or a 360-degree view, a panoramic view—whatever you’d like to call it, it’s a nice view) has changed from being a nice-to-have to being business-critical. Consumers are engaging with your brand on any and every channel, and they expect you to know what they like, what they’ve bought before, and what they’re looking for now.

It’s absolutely crucial for brands to keep up with their customers. That calls for consistent, real-time dialogue with the consumer, based on their activity. The interactions at every touchpoint should be captured and connected to that customer’s unique profile: If a customer talks to a bank’s call center in the morning, the bank teller should know that when the customer stops by in the afternoon.

To know what to say in those conversations with the customer—whether it’s via a display ad, an email, or in person at your store—a single view provides more than analytics: It empowers you to take action. A single view gives you the ability to receive a signal from one channel, and use it to impact what you do in any other channel.

We have technology to thank for both the challenge and opportunity of so much customer data and so many ways to engage with consumers. But until now, technology hasn’t provided a solution to efficiently pulling this data together in real time and making it meaningful and actionable.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce Signal’s Unified Customer View, the industry’s first customer identity management solution that helps marketers unlock the longed-for single view of the customer on an always-on basis, while allowing brands to maintain full control of their customers’ profile data.

A Unified Customer View helps brands collect data across devices and channels, build holistic profiles using all the first-party data that a brand has about their customer, and use those unified profiles for better measurement and marketing. Our Unified Customer View solution gives brands ownership and control of their synchronized and matched profiles, so they can decide how, when, and where their customer profile data should be used.

The Unified Customer View solution provides more than just a synchronization and matching service. Signal’s platform is ecosystem-neutral, so we are able to provide brands with a “portable” asset that maximizes the value of their first-party data and has persistent value to the brand.

Why is Signal’s solution so important? Signal’s Unified Customer View is the first always-on solution in the industry to give brands ownership of their unified data set that is fully portable, so it can be leveraged across measurement, activation, and media channels. This includes across all of a brand’s paid, earned, and owned media, powering any marketing use case, with any technology or vendor across the ecosystem. One of the exciting things about Unified Customer View is that it builds on the work we’ve been doing for over two years with Yahoo! Japan, one of the world’s largest internet companies.

Unified Customer View also collects real-time data spanning the entire range of online and offline channels and touchpoints (web, mobile app, email/ad impressions, CRM, point of sale, etc.), synchronizing and matching the data at the customer level on a continuous, always-on basis in a cloud-based profile. Signal’s Unified Customer View offers excellent matching capabilities: We use deterministic matching, rather than relying on inferences based on probabilistic statistical algorithms, producing highly accurate results.

Unified Customer View offers identity with purpose: actionability and measurement. We can provide cross-channel collection from every touchpoint, and seamless delivery to any endpoint. That’s powerful stuff.

We’re excited to offer a solution that makes true cross-channel, real-time marketing a reality. After all, it’s time that marketers catch up with their fast-moving customers.

Originally published February 10, 2015

Marc Kiven

As an industry veteran and the founder of Signal, Marc Kiven has a wealth of digital marketing expertise from senior executive roles at aQuantive (Avenue A | Razorfish and Atlas), Right Media and Centro. Marc serves as a director on the Signal board, is an active participant in the IAB and also a frequent speaker at digital marketing events including OMMA, DMA and TechWeek.

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