Context marketing and the golden record

We are working with a large retailer to build out persona driven digital experiences, all based on Sitecore xDB stored data.  So far, we’ve mapped about 50 points of segmentation. It’s an exciting project, that should really showcase what’s possible with context marketing.

This post isn’t about what’s possible with Sitecore.  Rather, it’s about the requirement of clean, consistent data to drive those experiences.  Highly personalized digital interactions require a large amount of well-groomed customer data.  That data often comes from multiple systems, that often times don’t have common data designs.  The challenge becomes, how to get the data out of multiple systems and groomed into a golden record.

Folks in the Master Data Management (MDM) space often use the term ‘Golden record’, which is that single version of the truth for whatever information we’re collecting.  In our case, it’s customer-centric data that includes geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral insights.  It also includes their specific user journey footprints; activities, events, goals, etc.  That information comes from a lot of different sources.  It comes from web visits, email and print mail responses, point of sale system data, loyalty program interactions, CSR records and others.  The roadmap includes in-store shopping insights via beacon data. 

Collecting, grooming and storing all that disparate data can require the addition of an MDM solution.  A best of breed solutions will include;

  • Rule-based record merge capabilities
  • Process automation capabilities (workflows)
  • Out-of-the-box integration models for common line of business systems
  • Operational visibility through dashboards and reports
  • Configurable data management workspaces that knowledge workers can use to update exception records

Sitecore uses this illustration to portray a multi-system environment that feeds customer data and insights into the xDB for use throughout the user journey.  This nirvana state is attainable for newer companies that have the luxury to implement a modern service oriented architecture from the start.  Uber was founded in 2009 with no legacy system or design constraints.  But, what about Hertz?  They were founded in 1918 in Chicago and started out renting model T Fords.  I don't know anything about them, but I'd bet a dollar that they have some legacy systems that require a bit of master data management.  

If you're trying operationalize context marketing in your organization and are saddled with disparate systems, you may need to add MDM into your solution.  If you want a good cloud based MDM hub solution, take a look at Gaine Solutions.  If you want help designing a solution, please give us a call.