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Ian Tomlin

Ian Tomlin Director

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Customer Science: How The Automotive Sector Is Turning To Cloud CRM Data-Marts and Dashboards To Overcome Its Customer Data Management Issues

It's only been in the last 12-months that BIG DATA and Cloud CRM data-marts have come of age.  Traditionally auto-dealers and OEMs have attempted to build a 'single view of their customers' by implementing a Dealer Management System, or sometimes a CRM system (or both).  But the nature of IT is that anytime an attempt is made to build a repository of customer data, something happens to create 'another place' for customer data to reside.

It's not uncommon nowadays for auto-dealers to operate a DMS, a separate showroom system, another separate lead management system and yet another separate contact centre system.  This means for marketers, gaining the SINGLE VIEW of customer data they seek becomes a painful task of manually producing reports from each system, mashing the data together on a spreadsheet and then spending hours crunching the data to make sense of it.  When auto-dealers are producing many promotional campaigns from many different systems, it's easy to imagine how time consuming this activity becomes - and how difficult it is to know which customers are being overmarketed to and which rarely have any contact.

This is where Cloud CRM data-marts come in.  They're a cloud information management environment purposely designed to serve the needs of marketers and the customer sciences industry to dig around customer data, to accelerate business improvement and to create high impact promotional campaigns, improve customer service and aid customer retention.

In its truest definition Customer Science is... 'the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of customers through observation and experiment.' Of course, not all, (in fact very few) auto-dealers and OEMs practice customer science - most would be happy enough to make sure each of their customers has a scheduled MOT reminder, next service date and a flag that prompts sales people to call them after 2-years to see about upgrading them to the next model!

In this article I introduce Customer Science.

One of the essential ingredients for marketers and customer scientists is the need to assimilate data in an organized and cleansed form.  This is helped by the automated extract, transform, merge and normalize tools that are built into platforms like Encanvas.  Another key capability is the ability to source actionable insights from the harvested customer data by employing dashboards, charts, visualizations, maps and other operational analytical tools.

 

 

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