720

A “360 degree customer view” is a well understood concept – so why are people now talking about a “720 degree customer view”?

I have a problem. Some marketing jargon makes me literally Laugh Out Loud.

All it takes is for some smooth consultant with good hair and an expensive suit to say “we can leverage your cloud-based ecosystem-as-a-service for actionable C-level insights” and I’m Rolling On The Floor Laughing (literally)

I’m guessing this is why people stopped inviting me to Big Data conferences.

Inflation is a problem in the world of marketing. The temptation is always to “demand 110%” or to sell amplifiers that “go up to 11”. Marketeers also want to brand something that is a small evolution of an existing idea as being something radically new and (in their words) “disruptive”.

Both of these trends have led to the creation of the latest term to set me off: “A 720 degree Customer View”

I do honestly understand what people intend with this term, but it is just plain WRONG.

In the olden days, customer data was scattered around different systems in an organisation. Then came the data warehouses and now a “360 degree customer view" was possible which allowed you to see the totality of how a customer interacts with the organisation – all purchases, complaints they’ve made, payments they’ve missed etc. etc.

The current argument is that there now exists additional social media information about the customer – tweets, likes, friends and so on – and when you add this to the existing 360 view, 360 plus 360 equals 720, and so now we should be working towards a “720 degree view”.

I do wonder what happens when the next wave of information becomes available in the future – from the Internet of Things, for example – are we then going to have to build a “1080 degree customer view”?

To me, a 360 degree view of the customer is a desirable ambition – let’s get all the data about the customer, wherever it may be, and let’s build a full picture so that we can better serve them.

Where’s the best place for all this data? Well, EXASOL of course: http://www.exasol.com/en/test-drive/

But the term “720 degree customer view” just sounds like you’ve gone around the circle twice and have gotten a bit dizzy in the process. It’s an empty marketing phrase that signifies nothing.

And it makes me laugh – please let's not use it.

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