Initial customer relationship management (CRM) promises to analyse data across all customer channels never materialised.
Feeding data from disparate customer systems into a central data warehouse is the right way to solve this problem. However, some organisations are reluctant to fund the massive data integration required. Instead, they are taking baby steps to integrate pieces of online and offline data by adding a unique identifier that links customer activity across two different channels.
Cookies work for anonymous prospects and known customers. However, cookies do not provide personally identifiable information. Therefore, organisations must provide an opt-in opportunity where an anonymous cookie can be tied to a personally identifiable tag (e.g., e-mail address, account number).
Bottom line: Incremental steps toward offline and online data integration should be targeted around a limited number of trenchant metrics that demonstrate success and serve as justification for more aggressive customer analytic solutions.