The Role of MDM in Enabling Omnichannel Connected Customer Experiences

At Reltio, we work with the world’s leading brands to enable omnichannel connected customer experiences. These brands understand how, where and when customers want to engage along the customer journey. They enable customers to seamlessly stop their engagement in one channel and pick up where they left off in another channel. They seamlessly enable multiple different customer journeys including 100% digital interactions, 100% in person interactions and every combination in between. The KPIs they use to measure ROI are customer experience through Net Promoter Score (NPS) and revenue growth.

Enabling Omnichannel Connected Customer Experiences

Woman using in store technology that's enabled by master data management enables omnichannel connected customer experiences so store associates can be more effective

Data plays a key role in enabling omnichannel connected customer experiences. It needs to be delivered real-time at scale across all channels, not just to digital touch points, but human touch points to empower employees. It’s critical that sales, call center, support, field services, and customer-facing operations teams have the data and customer experience processes to deliver connected customer experiences.

Embarking on an omnichannel connected customer experience strategy cannot be done in a functional silo. It’s a company-wide transformation. It’s driven by the senior leadership team because it’s the key to digital transformation and growth. Business and IT leaders are working collaboratively to design and deliver omnichannel connected customer experiences. This strategy requires a tight interlock between the data strategy and technology and customer experience processes. 

You can’t deliver omnichannel connected customer experiences if your data is disconnected across functional silos. For example, what if your customer opted out of receiving communications from from a particular channel, but another team is not aware of that? Consent and communication preferences need to be centralized and shared across the organization to successfully execute an omnichannel connected customer experience strategy. As quoted in this CMSWire article, Personalization Goes Nowhere without Trust, “you can’t respect consent and communication preferences if they are only managed at a functional or channel level.”

“Organizations use customer data in virtually every function of the business, including customer experience, product research, design, development, advertising, marketing, and sales. Today, companies have more data about their customers than ever before. While collecting customer data from various sources is often straightforward, enterprises struggle to integrate, transform, curate, and aggregate it with other master and legacy sources to deliver a comprehensive customer 360-degree view. Solving this problem is why enterprises are adopting and implementing customer data management.”

Now Tech: Customer Data Management Solutions, Q1 2020, by Noel Yuhanna, Forrester Research, Inc., Jan 8, 2020


Our innovative customers span different industries like life sciences, financial services and insurance, healthcare, CPG, apparel, retail, travel and hospitality and high tech. But, they all have one thing in common.  These leaders are enabling this enterprise-wide transformation by investing in a connected data platform built on a multi-domain master data management foundation that delivers a single source of truth for data in real-time at scale with secure API first access and connected graph to unlock the value of relationships. For those who are not familiar with the term master data management, check out What is Master Data Management?

“The need for real-time customer data at scale and data fit-for-purpose is exploding. The ability to integrate different sources of data is fueling the convergence of customer data.”

Rob Fuller, Customer Data Orchestration Practice Lead, Accenture Interactive


5 Steps to Enabling Omnichannel Connected Customer Experiences

1) It starts with a trusted view of the customer.
This is a basic requirement so you can recognize customers across all channels. For example, whether I contact a brand through their call center, engage with a Chatbot on their website, or log into the mobile app, it’s important that the brand recognize that Jakki Geiger and Jacqueline Geiger are the same person.

I had an experience with a retailer that had two disconnected profiles for me. One profile was tracking all of my online purchases. The other profile was tracking all of my in store purchases. Because of this problem I wasn’t categorized under the right loyalty level and didn’t get the exclusive offers I deserved based on my overall spend with the brand. You can’t enable omnichannel connected customer experience if you don’t have a single source of truth for real-time data at scale.

In the past, a single view of customer or single version of the truth has been delivered by a traditional on-premises master data management (MDM) system in batch mode for analytics, but not to drive real-time operations. Now that we operate in a world that requires omnichannel connected customer experiences this data needs to be available in real-time at scale. On-premises MDM systems are just too slow. They don’t deliver real-time data at scale. According to a recent report from Accenture, “traditional MDM is focused on establishing a sanitized single version of the truth… While this is still vital, its value alone has diminished in the digital era.” 

Innovative companies rely on Reltio for multi-domain master data management. It delivers real-time data at scale through secure API first access and a connected graph for relationships.

2) Understanding of preferences, such as consent and communication preferences.

Brands need to know and respect customer communication preferences. Has the customer consented to communication? If so, through which channels and on which topics? What is the customer’s prefered way to receive communication: SMS text, email or a phone call? Is the number for SMS text up-to-date? In the banking industry, it’s important to manage different compliance requirements specific to different products (brokerage vs. mortgage vs. credit card vs. deposits).

Traditional on-premises master data management systems were built on an relational database. They are rigid and require a complete customer data model redesign. It takes about 6 months of IT rework to add new data fields. If you need speed and agility, legacy on-premises MDM systems, even those that are hosted in the cloud, won’t meet your needs. Innovative companies rely on Reltio for multi-domain master data management. It’s quick and easy to add new attributes to the data model. You can quickly onboard a new data set. You can store multiple values such as several phone numbers, emails and addresses as well as consent preferences based on product.

3) Access to a rich customer profile with lots of valuable attributes from transactions and interactions across channels.
For example, which products or services have I purchased, which ones have I returned or cancelled? What other buying preferences do I have that would help you personalize my offer or my experience. Am I a vegetarian or a meat-lover? Do I love logos on my apparel or not? What is my lifestyle?

Traditional on-premises master data management systems are constrained. They aren’t flexible enough to handle customer preferences, transactions, interactions or relationships. Innovative companies rely on Reltio’s multi-domain master data management, which is built on a big data architecture so they can add transaction data, interaction data, preferences and actionable insights from data science and analytics to their profiles.

4) Unlock the value that comes from understanding relationships.
Some business functions want to understand the members of a household. For example, financial institutions want to understand if the customer they are interacting with is part of a household. Technology brands want to know if I’m a business buyer, a consumer or both. Many retail brands, high tech brands and financial services brands want to understand the relationships between customers, locations and employees. For example, restaurants want to know my favorite order, location, and store manager responsible for that location. Life sciences companies want to know the organizations where healthcare providers work, their locations and their specialties.

Traditional on-premises master data management systems are slow because they require time-consuming manual effort to map relationships. Innovative companies rely on Reltio for multi-domain master data management. Reltio uses a Connected Graph to uncover and unlock the value of relationships. 

5) Make insights from data science actionable by including them in customer profiles.
Some innovative brands add insights including preferences, propensity to buy and churn scores to their customer profiles. This improves segmentation and makes those insights actionable in real-time digital and human interactions.

Traditional on-premises master data management systems are constrained. They aren’t flexible enough to handle customer preferences or insights from data science because that would require a new attribute to be added. Innovative companies rely on Reltio’s multi-domain master data management, to quickly and easily add preferences and actionable insights from data science and analytics to their profiles. They can also use Reltio to provide the data science, analytics and business intelligence teams with insight-ready data and avoid a ton of time trying to organize data from disparate data sources. 

You can’t enable omnichannel connected customer experiences unless you have trusted, real-time data to power your customer journeys, across digital interactions and human interactions. To support real-time operations at scale, every interaction needs to be powered by the single source of truth for enterprise data. Reltio Connected Data Platform accelerates real-time operations and simplifies compliance and consent management, all at scale. Some of the world’s most innovative and admired retail, fashion, lifestyle, cosmetics, quick serve restaurants, and financial services and insurance brands rely on The Reltio Connected Data Platform to boost agility, maximize productivity and, above all, provide omnichannel connected customer experiences.

“Data is an organization’s most valuable asset, but it is frequently underutilized. Any business transformation must be built on a strong data foundation. That starts with accurate, accessible, complete and connected data. With the right data in place, organizations can make business decisions based on insights by applying analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).”

Shree Seshan, Director of IT Digital Data Management and Strategy, L’Oréal

→  Watch on-demand webinar with L’Oreal


Financial Services & Insurance Companies Use Connected Data to Enable Omnichannel Connected Customer Experiences 

“At Accenture, we see the critical need for retail banks to rediscover their original purpose: putting customers’ interests first and helping them manage their finances more effectively. We’re thrilled to work with Reltio helping clients to digitally transform and move to purpose-driven banking. Leveraging a connected customer experience powered by Reltio, financial services organizations will be positioned to build customer trust via the products and advisory services that customers need,” said Rob Fuller, Customer Data Orchestration Practice Lead, Accenture.

Fulton Bank is at the forefront of using innovative technology to provide the best possible experience to their customers across all human and digital channels. They recognized the need to move to a cloud based platform to gain greater access to all of their data and create business value across the organization.

“Providing a connected experience for our customers is paramount. Our goal is to leverage customer intelligence across the organization – from the customer-facing team to digital channels to back office processes – in order to deliver a unified and streamlined customer experience. We had to think beyond traditional master data management to understand the customers’ transactions and interactions. By implementing Reltio’s cloud-native Connected Customer 360 platform, we are looking to drive delightful customer experiences,  resulting in customer growth, operational efficiency and reduced risk.”

Gotham Pasupuleti, Vice President of Customer Data Delivery, Fulton Bank, N.A.

→  Watch on-demand webinar with Fulton Bank


Consumer Packaged Goods & Apparel Companies Use Connected Data to Enable Omnichannel Connected Customer Experiences 

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) has become even more important with store closures and social distancing guidelines as a way to provide connected experiences and stay ahead of competitor. To deliver effective Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) experiences, you need a trusted, unified view of your consumers. You need to quickly and easily aggregate, refine, reconcile and relate data from hundreds of sources. You need to enrich your profiles by easily onboarding transactions and interactions across channels and systems, and unlock the value of relationships among customers, products, channels and locations.

“The last 15 years have been very exciting in the beauty and luxury space, where brands have gone from competing with each other to competing with retailers and now are competing for customers’ time and attention. The key is to collect customer data, then turn it into knowledge to drive engaging, relevant, and personalized customer experience.”

Omer Iqbal, SVP, Global Architecture, Digital COE, Shiseido Group

→  Watch on-demand webinar with Shiseido Group & Forrester


Retailers Use Connected Data to Enable Omnichannel Connected Customer Experiences

The most innovative retail brands are enabling omnichannel connected customer experiences. They are supporting multiple different customer journeys, including 100% online interactions, 100% in store interactions and every combination in between with real-time data at scale.

“A key to CarMax’s strategy is to deliver omnichannel connected customer experiences, which requires a strong data foundation and customer experience processes working in concert. In an environment where we have so many different sources of data to leverage, it was critical that we had a single source of truth across the enterprise for Customer 360 and Vehicle 360 information that can be shared across all of our functions. Now that we have a multi-domain master data management (MDM) platform which delivers data in real-time, at scale, we’re able to deliver connected customer experiences across all touchpoints. We’ve also been able to pivot quickly to meet the changing needs of our customers during the pandemic by offering new services like curbside pickup.”

Gautam Puranik, Chief Data Officer & Head of Business Analytics and Strategy, CarMax

→  Watch on-demand webinar with Carmax & CX Journey


Another retailer we work with is transforming from a department store to a luxury platform. Their mission is driving personalized, seamless and magical experience across four luxury brands and all channels so they can engage and retain their customers. In the past, they could only deliver these types of experiences to their top customers. They relied on their super talented store associates to make this happen. 

Now, they want to offer this type of experience to all of their customers. They are enabling these hyper-personalized experiences in real-time at scale through the strategic use of customer data and technology. During the global pandemic while all stores were closed, they empowered 4,900 stylists and sales associates with a new omnichannel selling tool. The tool is powered by Reltio Connected Data Platform, which provides a single source of truth for their customer data including consent and communication preferences. It allowed stylists and sales associates to deliver hyper-personalized experiences while working from home. The result was 2M customer engagement sessions and $100M in sales in the first few months of launch.

This retailer uses this same data to power their customer data platform (CDP), which the marketing team uses to analyze and identify customer insights and activate those insights with engagement. Because they had a single source of truth for customer data and powered the CDP with that data, their CDP delivered business value in 90 days. They are not just making customer data better for marketing. They are making customer data better for everyone.


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