For the past couple years, a 360-degree view of consumers has become an ever-increasing, catch-all term promised by MarTech companies in order to sell their solutions. Recently, the term has been put into question in an article published by CMS Wire as to whether it is fact or fiction. Does a 360-degree view exist? Some professionals are beginning to question the validity of the term and how useful this type of customer view could be for marketers.

A 360-Degree View Can Be Attained, but Not Overnight

A 360-degree view, or rather a well-rounded, full insight into your consumers, is attainable, but it takes a lot of preparation and commitment to achieve. Many marketers have grown weary of the term because some companies are using it to sell false promises, whereas others don’t realize that attaining this amount of consumer data takes time and the right strategy. In the CMS Wire article, a report published by Gartner is referenced and states “A true 360-degree customer view does not exist, but that’s okay.” It’s true that no consumer is going to provide their entire life story to any brand, but industry professionals are getting distracted by the literal sense of the term “360-degree view” and losing focus on what’s important. The terms intention implies that brands will be able to reach consumers from a multitude of angles and outlets – having as complete and encompassing of a view of the consumer as they can. No brand should need to have every detail of information on a customer in order to appropriately reach them. Rather, building a strategy that acquires the information that is needed and relevant should be the central focus.

Building Out A Strategy to Identify Your Audience

Industry professionals are realizing that a quick solution to attaining a full view of their consumers seems too good to be true —because it is. However, a well-rounded, detailed view of your audience can be done with the proper foresight and investment into building a strategy that will work. Acquiring a deep understanding of your audience takes time, consistency, and implementation of a plan.

Identify Your Goals for Interacting with Your Audience

Every marketer has different uses for the audience they’re targeting. Each brand is trying to appeal to slightly different aspects of their consumers’ behaviors and interests. First and foremost, identifying what exactly you want to know about your consumers and how you hope to engage with them is extremely important as you work towards building a strategy.

Determine What Information You Need to Successfully Engage Your Audience

Once you know exactly why you want to interact with your audience and what kind of audience you want to reach, the next step is determining which information about the consumers you’ll need in order to engage them. For some brands, it may be determining the time of day when their audience is most likely to engage. Other brands may be interested in identifying which social media sites in which each audience member is most active. Every consumer is going to behave slightly different than the next, but identifying which of their information and behaviors will help you to accomplish your goal is the main objective when building out their consumer profiles.

Implement a Strategic Plan

Gaining audience information and a full view of your consumers isn’t going to happen overnight – not even if you purchase a third-party data list. There will still be gaps in information and behaviors for the consumers. Implementing a strategic plan is essential to build out a full view. What tactics will you implement in order to acquire more information over time? What kinds of offerings do your audience members want to see? How many times will you have to target each consumer before they move through to a final sale or to supplying the information you want? The beauty of engaging with consumers is that as you continue to engage, the more data and insights you will attain. Over time, these interactions will build out a detailed understanding of your audience.

Utilize Tools that Will Accomplish Your Goals Efficiently and Cost-Effectively

Once the strategy has been established, the last and greatest area of importance is investing in tools that will be most useful and helpful for analyzing and growing the information you have on your audience. Today, the assortment of options to choose from within the MarTech stack is excessive. Many companies have fallen into the trap of purchasing an overabundance of services and offerings in hopes of attaining a 360-degree view of their consumers. In reality, most of the time the outcome is confused, overwhelmed marketers with an aerial view of an unorganized, wasteful mess of tools. Using too many solutions is a common problem that too often becomes a burden on your employees and your finances.

A better strategy is to find an intelligent data platform that can accomplish as much of your MarTech stack as you need, all in one place. Of course not every single consumer data function available is going to be housed under one platform, but there are some available that have most of the capabilities necessary for success. From there, a few integrations won’t be nearly as overwhelming as trying to have 20 different solutions speaking to one another from different providers.

Omeda’s CDP is leading the industry with offering the majority of a marketer’s MarTech needs all in one place. From subscription fulfillment and email campaign management to a full audience data management system, including marketing automation tools, personalization messaging, website metering and gated paywalls, and consultative insights to current data available, it is a great place to start building your strategy to attain a full, robust view of your consumers.