Shoppers nowadays are interacting with brands across many touchpoints – email, direct mail, social media, website, in-store, and in the call center. Unfortunately, each one of these touchpoints also has its own platform, its own point solution or operational system with a siloed view of the customer.
This has become a problem for marketers who are looking for the Single View of Customer (SVC). Many marketers are searching for a Customer Data Platform (CDP). These platforms promise to connect all your disparate touchpoints to create the Single View of Customer, so you can personalize customer interactions at every touchpoint. But how exactly does this happen?
As engineers are building the SVC within the CDP, data is standardized, enhanced and consolidated to create a unified customer identity system that is connected to each touch point and their respective identifiers.
Not only should data be cleansed and validated, the engineers need to determine the likeliness that two records are the same person. Without this matching, they would see one Augie that bought in store, one that bought online, and one that visits the website and adds things to the cart. Getting this right is imperative – it determines how you value and message those customers moving forward.
There are many commercially available software packages that provide traditional name and address enhancement and matching to create individual customer and household records. Some organizations have created their own matching engines, but I recommend sticking with commercial software or open source packages. This traditional matching is great, but it is not enough in today digital world. We need to expand this basic identity system to recognize the many-to-many relationships that customers have with emails, tokenized credit cards, devices and mobile numbers. At any given touch point, customers identify themselves and transact in a variety of ways. The unified customer identity system must recognize all of them.
Once the customer data has been standardized, cleansed and validated, you can match customers based off home or residential area. When customers provide their address for shipping, billing, or by filling out an account online, we capture that information and match addresses to determine that these people are somehow related. We don’t infer how they are related, but we know that they are all part of the same household.
This is especially important for catalog and direct mail sends. If four customers live in one household, they don’t need to receive four catalogs in their mailbox. One catalog on the kitchen table can be seen by all four people. In fact, this household should be prioritized for each send, since the amount of revenue that can be attributed to that one catalog can potentially multiply by four.
Superhouseholding has the same principles of householding, but it’s not based on typical matching attributes like name, address, and email. It’s about how customers are connected in a larger network.
For example, an IP address can connect multiple people. But this is too broad. If someone is on their computer searching the web, and their friend is using the wifi on their phone, it will show up as the same IP address, but they are two different customers and need to be treated as such. Connecting on IP address can link a whole slew of people together who shouldn’t necessarily be grouped that way.
It is more likely that we would connect customers based on a tokenized credit card. It’s less likely you would let someone you aren’t connected to use your credit card. So, if two people are using the same credit card to make a purchase, it’s more likely that they are somehow connected.
Superhouseholding can also be used for direct mail and cataloging, but you need to be careful about how large the networks are. If you’re really trying to save costs, you can use it to eliminate people within a larger network. We have the tools, but marketers need to be careful how they use them.
It’s important to note that retailers can toggle across all those views –superhouseholding is an addition to regular householding, which is an addition to the standard SVC. Whether you opt to use the household or the superhousehold, you can save money and effort on direct mail campaigns. For reporting purposes, you can toggle between all three to see the impact that your campaigns have on your bottom line.