This is how to create a central customer view

Summary of Crystalloids presentation at the DDMA Afternoon Update about creating a central customer view (Oct-2019)

This is how to create a central customer view

Creating and maintaining a central client profile has been a top-3 challenge for marketers for many years, according to the survey of the DDMA (Data Driven Marketing Association). A part of the customer profile is almost always missing, and the quality is insufficient to reach goals in analytics and customer activation optimally. 

Especially for organisations with legacy systems, processes and culture, this can be a challenge. Data and insight are often spread across multiple applications, the view is incomplete, and personalisation cannot be adequately performed.

Opportunities for marketing to quickly analyse and activate data

Jan Hendrik Fleury, chairman of the DDE committee and Commercial Director of Crystalloids, opens with his vision that data should be available centrally. When this is achieved, activity in one channel can directly support engagement or analytics in another channel. 

Research by Econsultancy in 2018 shows that data-driven leaders have their marketing teams manage the customer data. In the past, this used to be done by the IT department, but several reasons caused this to change.

This is how to create a central customer view

Does marketing have to do it alone? No. It is all about working agile together with IT and other disciplines. New functionalities can be continuously delivered to satisfy the ever-changing wishes of the business and the customer. The collaboration happens in three areas: technology including data, the human factor and the process:

This is how to create a central customer view

Creating a Central Customer View

To get data centralised, there are several solutions available. They are all called differently, but organisations often use them simultaneously. Jan Hendrik talks about the advantages and disadvantages of some of the solutions.

This is how to create a central customer view

Customer Data Platforms and identity software allow achieving unified data and the highest possible recognition of customers and prospects. There are various CDPs, each focusing on a different area, some specialise in data, others in decisions and/or campaigns. 

It sometimes happens that within one organisation two or even three CDPs are used, such as a data warehouse/information lake, a decision engine and campaign functionalities. 

Data Management Platform is another option to centralise data, but it does it only partially. This solution focuses on the second and third-party data such as cookies, IP addresses and device IDs. But as third party data are becoming less available, the solution becomes less attractive. The reasons for that are major changes in default browser settings and cookie consent caused by intended the EU Privacy Regulation. As a consequence, the amount of third party data will decrease significantly. There are still opportunities to sync with, for example, first-party data from Google.

Jan Hendrik indicates three essential elements when it comes to achieving central customer view; fact-oriented modelling, information architecture and data architecture. He advises hiring experts if organisation does not have the capabilities in these areas.

This is how to create a central customer view

Jan Hendrik concludes with 8 takeaways:

  • Start with an extensive mapping of both consumers and the business journeys to get clear what you want
  • Bring the applications to the data and never the other way around
  • Marketing/sales must work together with IT and data specialists
  • Collaborate by adopting DataOps, DevOps and SCRUM Agile
  • Avoid vendor lock-in to stay in control and save costs
  • Adopt data by design
  • Adopt privacy and security by design
  • Monitor on data flows, data quality, connectors and costs

To view the whole DDMA presentation including Nationale Nederlanden and CDP Institute, please follow this link.  See below the presentation from Jan Hendrik Fleury.

View the presentation (in Dutch)


Crystalloids helps companies improve their customer experiences and build marketing technology. Founded in 2006 in the Netherlands, Crystalloids builds crystal-clear solutions that turn customer data into information and knowledge into wisdom. As a leading Google Cloud Partner, Crystalloids combines experience in software development, data science, and marketing making them one of a kind IT company. Using the Agile approach Crystalloids ensures that use cases show immediate value to their clients and make their job focus more on decision making and less on programming.

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