The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Some thoughts on customer centric, 360 degree view, and Social Networks.

This has been bothering me for a while. I think it took me getting out of a large organisation, to begin to see the futility in the customer centric, 360 degree view, mentality. Everything about 360 degree view, as defined, is company centric.

For the uninitiated, “360 degree view of the customer” is about creating and providing access to a comprehensive collection of information about individual customers. It’s the corporate memory for customer interactions.

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I say futility, because while it sounds like the right approach, its impossible to be customer centric from the viewpoint of any one organisation. Why do I say that? There is only one customer centric view, and thats the view from the customer. No one organisation can replicate that view. The orgnaisation, the Bank in our case, is merely one small part of the customers marketplace.

This matter is becoming more apparent with the advent of social networks. Everyone suffers from information overload, and everyone wants to connect with the right people at their own level. That level can be high, and manifested in a need to have as many ‘friends’ as possible, or at the other end of the spectrum, lurk where required, and otherwise be invisible. These characteristics are not driven by age, rather they are driven by personal need.

Social Networks allow people to manage how they interact and with whom they interact. As Social Networks become more sophisticated, with FaceBook being the best iteration, so far, people feel they can interact, yet feel more in control. This is just the beginning, and either FaceBook or others will do an even better job.

The point is not the actual Social Network. The point is more that people gravitate towards things that provide them control, and resent when others try to take that control away. FaceBook is in some respects the next evolution of TIVO, and pop-up blockers.

Perhaps the 360 degree view concept is backwards. What of a 360 degree view of the marketplace? The marketplace is what the customer sees. What is the marketplace? Its whatever each customer sees, and the Bank is one small speck of dust within that view. To some customers its bigger, and to others its smaller. I recently read, that the average north american consumer is bombarded with 4,000 marketing messages annually; that boils down to 11 per day. Clearly the individual value of each ‘hit’ is minimal, given that overall volume. Customers want to avoid that bombardment.

A 360 degree view of the customers marketplace, would not focus on the 4,000, but rather focus on how the customer chooses to manage his marketplace. Does he/ how does he use TIVO? Does he use pop up blockers? What does he buy, and how if at all, does that relate back to the marketing he chooses to see? These are very hard questions to answer, but Banks have to find a way to understand how customers accept, and how they avoid avertising.

Written by Colin Henderson

May 28, 2007 at 21:12

Posted in Marketing

2 Responses

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  1. i think the problem isnt the 360 degree view -thats a natural prgression on what is often siloed data … agree 100% its the customer view thats important.. unfortunately a 360 degree view will be used for traditional marketing tecniques and just will not work in a future world ..i could see a future world thats more mass market C2B rather than B2C, lets face it marketing killed off email


    June 4, 2007 at 16:50

  2. YES!!! C2B has to be the right vision. Thats why I buy into VRM (Vendor Relationship Management), which has a few influential people in support.


    June 4, 2007 at 18:13

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