Skip to main content

Select your location

Single Customer View: Seeing the big picture

Bella Copland
Rendering of 3D sphere

The Single Customer View (SCV) shows every interaction a customer has with a brand across all owned touchpoints. In simple terms, it brings together customer data into one place.

A SCV is key to enabling the well-executed hyper-personalisation that is able to deliver 8x the return on investment on marketing spend, and lift sales by 10% or more. 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences.

What is a SCV? What isn't a SCV?
Strategically identifying and then stitching together data needed to better understand customers. The painstaking process of piecing together absolutely every data set and data point in an organisation.
A key enabler to further analysis and decision-making on how to better tailor and personalise customer journeys, offers, products and channels. Customer analysis or specific decisions on personalisation.

Driven by tech

The idea, product and principles of a SCV are nothing new. However, the advent of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), and the rise of Cloud Platforms (Google, Microsoft, AWS) have made creating a single view of the customer easier and reduced the cost of entry. However:

  • more channels mean greater complexity when it comes to confidently identifying a match across devices and between cookies
  • tighter regulations around privacy and data protection have increased the risk of not being compliant and meant the ‘death’ of the 3rd party cookie
  • more ‘walled gardens’, or data being held by social media providers or platforms, mean that interactions that are hidden and inaccessible to brands.

This trade-off is what makes decisions around a SCV so complex for so many brands today. Let’s take a step back and look at what a SCV is meant to do, how brands can extract its value, and why its success isn’t just down to the data (or technology).


Data from Kin + Carta and Google Cloud has revealed that 57% of business leaders see “building a single view of the customer” as the most important area of focus to enable business growth in the next 12 months.


Get the foundations right with a platform-mindset

For too many organisations there is not one SCV, but many - with different teams or functions housing their own version of their truth which they utilise to inform decision-making. This, unsurprisingly, results in disjointed campaigns, misaligned strategic and operational decision-making, and ultimately wasted or inefficient spending with a lack of realised return.

In this situation, organisations find themselves having to undertake resource-heavy and expensive analysis every time they want to bring data together, creating non-scalable data products (for example a churn model or recommender tool) which are not easily connected.

A platform mindset drives an integrated ‘horizontal’ approach by connecting and coordinating data across the customer journey. In this approach, there is a focus on the constant improvement of the SCV platform, taking on feedback to improve its capabilities as required by use cases and users. Organisations that are serious about creating one single view of their customer need to move away from the ‘project-based’ approach to analytics, and towards a platform-based approach. At Kin and Carta we call this a data-as-a-product approach, setting the foundations for real data-driven decision-making.


Set a strategy for getting to that ‘ta-da’ moment with your SCV

The SCV is an enabler in meeting the expectations of customers. It can unify different data from consumer interactions, stitching this together, and providing a more complete view of the consumer.

Analytical activities benefit from this consistent, well-structured data repository and the build of models or customer segmentation is simplified. This enables decisions to be made more readily on how to best create a personalised experience.

Too many organisations have built a SCV, or procured a CDP and immediately expect a ‘ta-da’ moment. But ultimately, without the strategy to activate and realise value from a SCV, the platform is at risk of being as useful as any other tech tool that just sits and gathers dust on the ‘virtual’ shelf.

Capacity, skill and the will to transform

The truth is that transformation is hard. Without the right mechanisms, it is all too easy to fall back into old habits. These mechanisms can include:

  • Identifying the points and moments of leverage: identify the forums (e.g. team meetings, review meetings) and key roles which have the ability to recognise when and where there may be a deviation from the defined SCV approach, as well as those that have the ability to implement actions and change to rectify these.
  • Clear and transparent communications: develop and distribute clear communications on the expectations of the new approach moving forward. Use multi-media assets (videos, emails, meeting announcements) and case studies to bring to life the importance of a SCV, and how individual teams and team members are expected to interact, contribute and feedback on the platform.
  • Lean but effective governance: it may be necessary to establish governance to keep the organisation on track with one single view of the customer. This includes a forum to discuss new platform integrations, or MarTech decisions moving forward.


“Understanding customer behaviour is key to creating intelligent products that aim to drive loyalty and growth. A streamlined approach will only lead to better experiences for customers and contribute to business growth.”

Mark Collin, Managing Director of Product and Experience at Kin + Carta Europe


Commitment is key

This age-old concept of the SCV continues to be a key factor in future success. However, it will only be the organisations and brands which commit to the principles of the SCV which will unlock its benefits. A SCV is not a tech problem, it is a business opportunity.

Contact us if you would like to explore how progressive organisations are combining technology, experience and data to create intelligent products that drive loyalty and growth.

Get in touch

Share this article

Show me all