Making a Sure Bet

The idea that a poker player, suffering through a streak of terrible cards, is somehow due for better cards later is known as the gambler’s fallacy. It hinges on the very human belief that events are somehow supposed to make sense. To fit together and find balance. In reality, the poker player's odds are exactly the same, every hand, forever.

In much the same way, marketers believe that data collection somehow leads to coherent data organization. We’re collecting more and more of it every day, through every channel. And many of us believe that all that data will somehow add up to reveal a consistent identity—a unified picture of a consumer that aids personalization and customer experience.

A new global report conducted by Signal indicates that just six percent of marketers have figured out cross-channel identity. That means data fragmentation is an overwhelming challenge for a vast majority of marketers, putting them in the position of constantly playing catch-up while they juggle bits of a picture that don’t make sense.

Obstacles like data collection and fragmentation mean that marketing measurement and personalization are out of reach—crucially important elements that could be solved with preference management. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, is an essential tool in creating seamless user experiences, customer engagement and, most importantly, a whole picture where there were once just pieces. Having a lot of data is one thing, knowing how to connect it is another.

And the upside to this slow race? Anyone already confronting these issues is ahead in the game. Knowing that such a miniscule amount of marketers have the capabilities of cross-channel identity means that those who can figure it out now will stay in the lead and continue to offer consumers what they want.

About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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