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Cardwell Marketing Intelligence: Data Quality Importance Report


Introduction

A single customer view enables employees to see information that has been gathered about customers from a single point. Cardwell Marketing Intelligence (2013) defines a single customer view as a consistent summary of the customer’s information. The use of customer relationships to manage sales is an opportunity for firms to build stable sales growth rates for their products. Olszak & Bartus (2013) suggest that creating long-term customer relationships create potential for growth through increasing customer loyalty.

Ostrow (2011) carried out a research that shows that most firms have a small share of the customers’ wallet because they have not identified their customer. Soliman (2011) conducted a survey that linked increased marketing performance to CRM and focusing on the main customers. There is the challenge of obtaining useful information from the social media because of the large size of data and the lack of a standardized form of input (Olszak & Bartus, 2013).

Agent technology can be used to standardize information found on social media. Scribe (2013) recommends firms to focus on smart data, instead of the entire data available in mass media. Grover (2011) highlights privacy and security as some of the barriers to customer data integration. Zablah, Bellenger, & Johnston (2004) explain that knowledge management involves the creation, storage, and retrieval of information to be used in decision-making.

Cardwell Marketing Intelligence

Customer data challenges

  • Many large firms have spent money on CRM technologies, but only a few have managed to develop and maintain a single customer view that they need.
  • The difficulty to create a single customer view emerges from the fact that data is collected from different sources.
  • There is a need to coordinate information systems across different sources and departments to create a consolidated view of each customer from a single point.
  • Different sources may provide the same information causing duplication of data. They may also vary on the details creating inaccuracies on data collection.
  • IT systems face the challenge of relating customers to social factors, such as type of business, household, and residential area.
  • The Internet and automation of business processes have resulted in data changing quickly over time. Information that was once considered accurate may become inaccurate if it is not updated in real-time.
  • There is a need to identify and understand the customer using more details about his expenditure and interaction pattern.

Most firms still rely on their IT systems to provide information about CRM. Very few companies rely on third-party companies to maintain customer information (Scribe, 2014). Cardwell Marketing Intelligence (2013) found out that 72% of firms have started to apply some form of single customer view. However, only 16% of the firms have an effective technology to manage single customer view. Only 34% of the firms used technologies that could capture data from different sources (Cardwell Market Intelligence, 2013). Scribe (2014) found out that the number of firms integrating business systems increased from 15% in 2012 to 16% in 2013.

Customer relationship management (CRM): Single customer views

  • An effective CRM tool captures data from multiple sources.
  • It extracts data in different formats and standardizes them to increase usability.
  • An effective tool has the ability to identify relationships that exist between customers.

Misdolea (2010) explains that most software applications fail to integrate data from different sources into meaningful information. They are unable to standardize the different formats emerging from data appearing from different sources. Data integration is necessary to enable all departments to see the same picture. Cardwell Marketing Intelligence (2013) discusses that a single customer view is more successful when data has been consolidated and is retrieved from a single database. Time is saved by having a single database maintaining CRM information from different sources.

Trusted views reveal your customers

  • Competitive companies are able to present accurate information about their customers to all business sections in the firm.
  • Accurate information is constantly updated.
  • The firms can accurately target different market niches through product differentiation.
  • They can increase customer satisfaction and retention through an improved customer service and focused value creation.

One of the challenges is that CRM may keep information that may not be useful to the firm’s decision-making. Misdolea (2010) discusses that CRM maintains all the information about the customer, such as a phone call, a visit, and an email. More important information would be about customer’s lifestyle, type of job, purchasing power, age, and other determinants of potential customers. A telephone number may be useful in identifying the customer. It can help in offering a satisfactory customer service.

High quality data drives success and secures competitive advantage

  • Data is used for carrying out evaluation and making decisions.
  • High quality data are essential for accurate evaluation, better decision-making, and the overall running of businesses.
  • High quality data are obtained when data from different sources are standardized and integrated as a single view.
  • Every critical business process and core systems should be supported with high quality data.

The quality of data increases the usefulness of the information derived from the single customer view. Cardwell Market Intelligence (2013) elaborates that when a firm generates clean and up-to-date data, it can increase its revenue by 5% to 6% annually. The challenge of obtaining accurate data comes from the different data sources and touch points. A high possibility for error emerges when data is entered from a high number of different touch points.

Getting ahead of the curve

  • Companies that lead in innovation are also pioneers in valuing the collection of high quality data.
  • Data may enter the system in an inaccurate form because of the source of data.
  • Accurate data may fail the quality test when it is not updated in real-time.

Many large firms have invested in information systems in an attempt to gather single customer view data (Trillium Software, 2014). Cardwell Marketing Intelligence (2013) discusses that about $12 billion was spent by firms in CRM and marketing automation in 2012. Large firms have the challenge of handling large amounts of data from different sources.

Powerful technology delivers total data quality

  • The solution lies with the strength of the technology used to handle data.
  • There is the benefit of using automated systems to collect data.
  • Firms can also use tools that correct data by adding missing information, after comparing data from different sources.
  • The Trillium Software offers an opportunity to maintain quality data in the business systems at all times.
  • The Trillium Software corrects, standardizes, and consolidates data using an accumulation of data in real-time.
  • It is able to monitor the quality of data used in core business processes.

Olszak & Bartus (2013) discuss some of the characteristics of an effective third-party technology. They include autonomy, reactivity, pro-activity, social ability, self-analysis, learning, temporarily continuous, and mobile. Autonomy means the ability to function without external assistance. Reactivity refers to the ability to understand changes in the environment. Pro-activity refers to the ability to align its performance with an objective. Social ability refers to the ability to interact with other technologies and users. Learning refers to the ability to improve performance from its constant application (Olszak & Bartus, 2013).

Better CRM with the Trillium Software System

  • The software increases the level of confidence that users have on the data it provides.
  • There will be an increase in revenue per customer because the software enables firms to accurately target customers with their product lines.
  • The software enables firms to identify their customers accurately for compliance and regulatory reasons.
  • Customer service is improved because it enables firms to identify the customer’s preferences through a transaction or interaction history.
  • It reduces the errors found in reusable data by cleaning, up-dating, and consolidating data.
  • It can help organizations maintain a customer-focus mentality in all its core processes and operations by providing the single customer view information to all departments.
  • The software utilizes reusable rules and standards to increase the speed of integrating data across sources.

Employees will trust the software if it provides accurate information consistently (Olszak & Bartus, 2013). By managing the type of data used for CRM, Trillium software reduces the risk of using inaccurate data to make conclusions (Trillium Software, 2014). The Trillium Software is able to detect inconsistencies within its system (Trillium Software, 2014). Olszak & Bartus (2013) explain that an effective third-party tool should be able to assess its performance in real-time.

Realize the promise of CRM with better quality data

  • Firms have an opportunity to improve the quality of data they feed to their critical business processes and strategic planning.
  • The technology offers a solution in identifying the customer and market positioning.
  • It enables firms to make use of customer information to maximize profits.
  • It helps in identification of customer relationships and ensuring that they are targeted with the right channel and products.
  • It helps the firm to evaluate the lifetime value that the firm has delivered to its loyal customers.

Both large and small firms experience challenges in integrating customer information. Misdolea (2010) discusses that the difficulty in managing data has grown because of the number of factors that have to be considered in the global environment.

Case studies

In the Porsche Case Study, the firm was faced with the challenge of handling data on a global platform. There was the challenge of a large size of different languages and cultures. The data were large and not standardized. The Trillium Software offered the capability to clean and standardize data. It also allowed retrieval of specific information from a large size of data (Trillium Software, 2014).

In the Porsche Case Study, the Trillium Software automated customer information enabling the system to display accurate information in real-time (Trillium Software, 2014). In the UMB Bank Case Study, the Trillium Software enabled CRM that assisted UMB in increasing revenue (Trillium Software, 2014). The firm was able to use the software to identify their current customers as potential customers with products that complement each other.

The software enables handling of large amounts of data within a few seconds (Trillium Software, 2014). As a result, employees in different departments can access different types of customer information they need faster and accurately. Ability to retrieve information from the database when needed by front desk employees is important for the success of CRM initiatives. Misdolea (2010) explains that an organization has to act quickly to maintain the advantage it has in gathering information in a timely manner. When it delays, it loses the competitive advantage given by the piece of information.

One aspect of the Trillium Software is that it tries to identify if there is a relationship between a single customer and others (Trillium Software, 2014). The relationship could be between a single type of business, households, or firms. The relationship could mean that some customers operate in the same type of business. They may also reside in the same residential area. By understanding customer relationships, the information can be used to identify trends in expenditure and lifestyle.

Conclusion

Firms face the challenge of integrating data from different departments and sources in the firm. Trillium Software offers a solution in integrating customer information into a single view. It reduces the amount of time needed to re-process data from different business sections within the firm.

The Trillium Software has the capability to handle large amounts of data within a few seconds, increasing the ease of retrieval and use. Firms have been spending resources in enhancing their IT systems to integrate data from different departments. Very few have been successful in creating a single customer view that is updated in real-time. The Trillium Software has the qualities of an effective third-party technology for CRM.

References

Cardwell Marketing Intelligence. (2013). Single customer view. Web.

Grover, D. (2011). Effective customer relationship management through e-CRM. Viewpoint, 2(1), 27-38. Web.

Misdolea, R. (2010). , 14(1), 201-207. Web.

Olszak, C., & Bartus, T. (2013). Multi-agent framework for social customer relationship management systems. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 10(1), 367-387. Web.

Ostrow, P. (2011). Leveraging the 360 degree customer view to maximize up-sell and cross-sell potential. Web.

Scribe. (2014). The state of customer integration 2013. Web.

Soliman, H. (2011). . International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(10), 166-182. Web.

Trillium Software. (2014). Creating a single customer view: the importance of data quality for CRM. Web.

Zablah, A., Bellenger, D., & Johnston, W. (2004). An evaluation of divergent perspectives on customer relationship management: towards a common understanding of an emerging phenomenon. Industrial Marketing Management, 33(6), 475-489. Web.

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