Mark Sutherland

The personal site of Mark Sutherland, eCommerce & Digital Leader

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Data and the Single-Customer View

I was recently asked for my views on the Single-Customer view as part of the eCommerce Insights blog titled, ”

Single Customer View Cynics vs Believers: Is SCV within reach or a mythical beast?”


My contribution is reprinted below and the full article is listed here

“I have some doubts as to the single customer view and how important it is. This is not because I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for some businesses and some industries but I don’t think it’s always applicable in the (B2B) organisation I currently work in. So, where does it work? Definitely in a B2C environment, where it truly is an individual that you are working with; it makes absolute sense for all parts of your organisation from marketing, to sales, service and aftercare to be working with a holistic view of the customer’s account and his or her engagement with your organisation.

However, in many B2B organisations there are often matrix organisations dealing with other matrix organisations. For example, SIG comprises lots of businesses purchased over time, some of which manufacture their own products, and many of which distribute products. An engagement may be with one organisation from a financial point of view – for example if ABC Construction deals with us, all invoices may ultimately be paid through one account – but it’s actually more likely that ABC Construction has several operating arms, each with their own purchasing entities, and dealing with individual parts of SIG.

Buyer behaviour and project management strategies may differ wildly within different functional entities within what is nominally a single organisation; and this tendency grows in my experience the larger the organisation you are working with.

So what do you think? Am I right? Please comment below.