Customers expect relevant experiences from brands. I know because while I’m a marketer at Salesforce, I’m also a customer myself. Recently, I was notified by my bank that my debit card had been compromised. I was a bit worried that someone had gotten into my account, but luckily, my bank proactively froze my card and locked my account. They’d even already mailed me a card with a new number!

Given this turn of events and my marketing background, I expected to receive a few emails about that debit card shipment, or maybe about account security services from my bank — but those never arrived. Their generic marketing continued just as before and was clearly not personal to me — which tells me that they probably lacked a unified view of my customer data.

If data had been unified, my bank would have been able to target me with content that was pertinent to the current stage of my journey. Unified data is key to delivering relevant customer experiences.

Break down data silos

Why didn’t my bank have a unified view of my customer data? Well, there’s a good chance that all of the different data associated with my account has been siloed across different bank departments.

At many organizations, there are no points of connection between data sources like these. My bank account’s marketing settings are probably separate from my financial information and account activity history, all of which are likely handled by different teams — who may even be using different software.

The first step in unifying customer data is breaking down data silos at your company. Each customer should have one comprehensive set of data associated with them, not half a dozen data files scattered across departments. Team members from every department can access customer data more easily when it’s organized in a central location, which makes for more intelligent marketing decisions.

Use unexpected data sources

Once you’re storing different kinds of customer data in a single location, you should diversify your approach to collecting data. Don’t rest on your laurels and rely on data sources you’ve always used — there are new treasure troves of easily accessible data just waiting to be discovered. You just have to know where to look.

Your customer care and social media teams likely have access to detailed customer information that can supplement your existing data sources and provide valuable marketing insights. I had a handful of calls with customer care, and even tweeted about my debit card being compromised, but my bank didn’t use any of that information to customize their future messaging to me.

Don’t make their mistake: all data that customers have shared publicly or willingly authorized the use of can be used to create tailored customer journeys.

Think like your customers

All I wanted was for my bank to show that they were sympathetic to my ordeal with the debit card, and to highlight a few security services for protecting my account in the future. That content would have been very relevant and impactful to me, and it would have been very easy to deliver. The only marketing strategy the bank needed was to think like a customer.

When considering the right messaging mix, simple human logic is often the only strategy you need. My debit card was compromised due to a bank account security issue. Therefore, I would logically want to hear more about what’s going on with my debit card and what I could do to make my account more secure.

The best way to create relevant experiences for your customers is to imagine what you’d want or need if you were in their shoes — and then use their unified data to help deliver that.


Discover how Data Studio can help you break down silos and unify data to create relevant customer experiences.