April 12, 2011

Social Overlay Data

During the next two years, you're going to hear a lot of people telling your to integrate all of your data sources.

It's 2000 all over again. Back then, experts demanded that you integrate online data with offline data, for a "360 degree view" of the customer.  You followed suit, and you learned that it was important to integrate data to better understand your customer.  You also learned that you didn't generate the unfettered profits promised by business leaders.

Over the next two years, there will be numerous products and services that allow you to append "social profiles" to your customer base.  There will be a gold rush to describe how customers use social media, an attempt to make the information actionable.

In the short term, why not ask your customers, at checkout, if the customer is on Facebook, or if the customer is on Twitter?  Just give the customer a couple of boxes to check.  Then add that information to your customer database.  Analyze customer behavior by these simple indicators.

If you're a classic cataloger, you may find that you can reduce annual contacts by a couple, just by knowing this information.


  1. Kevin, I totally agree with you and I clearly remember the days of the 360 degree view very well, although I think it was even earlier than 2000, it seemed to me we were talking about that in the 90s as well. Yes, certainly most of those initiatives never lived up to their promise and many consulting firms came and went that tried to implement the systems and processes that would deliver on that promise.

    There is no doubt that data is exploding and the tools to harness the value of that data are also exploding. Good news, the cost of tools are coming down. Bad news, we don't need more tools we need an operational capacity to leverage the value of tools and data we already have. It's not about more tools, but about the people that can leverage the tools and data to make positive changes within a company.

  2. Julie Nagy12:04 PM

    I like this suggestion Kevin!

  3. Sometimes, you just have to keep things simple. Thanks, Julie!

  4. Yes yes yes!!! I asked the same to the people of Otto Group and others and everybody tells me they don't ask because they are told that FB and Twitter etc. is not a Marketing-Channel etc. I personally recommend everybody to simply ask, because people are going to tell me if they like me to relate in those channels.


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