For several years now, the most persuasive case studies in marketing innovation have been around unifying the company's view of the customer. Being able to see every message and interaction a customer has experienced is very challenging because it requires a system. Small companies have some advantage in having fewer people and data flows to co-ordinate, but they are disadvantaged in lacking the overhead and tools to connect the dots.
Customers have every right to demand that companies remember what they said to and did for a customer. Increasingly, the ability to leverage unified customer data will differentiate winners and losers in the marketing arena.
Only Dead Fish: The Real Marketing Lesson We've All Just Learned, 2012-Nov-12 by Neil Perkin
Much of the effectiveness of the [recent Obama] campaign's use of data would not have been possible without a unified data source. I've just completed some research work for a client in the area of multichannel marketing, and joining up disparate data sources to create a single customer view is something of a holy grail for many clients right now. The reason is that it improves the effectiveness of not just one channel, or a couple, but of everything you do. If you're able to profile your customers and prospects better, and have a more rounded and accessible history of all of their interactions with your company, your customer service team have more context which they can use to be more helpful, your email campaigns can be made more relevant by understanding whether the person your sending it to has clicked on one of your ads, or visited your website, or prefers to interact through mobile.