A Single Customer View Explained, and Why Sports Organizations are Falling Behind Without One


Feb 05, 2020


Sports organizations have ever-increasing fan bases which are continually changing. From how and where they consume content to their preferred types of interactions with their favorite team, fans are demanding more personalized engagement efforts and experiences. This can lead to scaling challenges without a targeted understanding of who fans are (de-anonymized profiles, which you can learn more about here), when and how they want to interact with a team or property, and what their behavior says about their engagement and interest in specific products or events. Organizations looking to personalize offerings to enhance the fan experience are taking a data-driven approach to fan engagement and seeing significant gains in revenue, an increased understanding of current fans and identifying more of a team’s fan universe. In simple terms, these organizations are gaining a single customer view (SCV) and putting that into action.

Why is the SCV, an invaluable and coveted view, aspirational for so many sports organizations? It allows departments across an organization to understand how their fans are being nurtured across time and systems, giving them a full understanding of their fans.

To create a single customer view for each of an organization’s fans, siloed data must be consolidated into what is known as the “golden record” so that an understanding of the interactions or behaviors of a fan across systems can be achieved (read more about this in our customer journeys blog). With fan data systems ranging from CRM, ticketing, digital interactions (social media, digital ads, website visits), merchandise, 50/50 tickets, surveys, food & beverage, contests, email marketing, text marketing, and venue wifi, it is a time consuming task if performed ad hoc and manually. An additional layer of difficulty in achieving this view is connecting the right customer to the right records in each system which means that you’d want to be able to connect a fan who uses multiple email addresses across systems with reasonable certainty. For example, if John Smith has signed up for your newsletter twice, using two different email addresses, and signs on to buy tickets with a third email address, an organization would like to be able to connect those emails to John Smith’s customer profile in order to better understand him as a fan. Insights gained from such lengthy analysis are often stale before making it into the hands of the teams who require them.

Organizations often suffer from the effects of siloed data. Different departments often have access to a narrow subset of data , which produces a fragmented view of the customer that can differ throughout the organization, resulting in disconnected and inconsistent fan experiences. Having a single customer view helps departments breakdown silos and empowers all departments to operate from a single source of truth, or golden record. For example, service teams armed with renewal lists, may be unaware of additional purchases from the team store or changes in attendance patterns resulting in a lost opportunity to nurture or upsell that fan. Marketing teams may not be aware of a fan’s purchase history and risk decreasing engagement with messaging and offers that are not aligned with the fan’s preferences. Sales teams looking to increase and improve their lead lists may not have access to the email newsletter database to cross reference with year-over-year multi-purchases buyers, which otherwise could yield some high propensity leads that are primed for a package.

The single customer view provides departments across an organization relevant information about a fan and allows each department to increase the effectiveness of their efforts.

Marketing Teams

The single customer view provides marketing teams with as much information as possible to make informed decisions. All the pieces of information related to a customer’s experience from website visits and social ad interactions to behavioral characteristics, create that complete picture of the fan, removing any confusion or guesswork for marketers. Marketing teams can then create more accurate segmentation for personalized communications and better customer experience which ultimately results in increased conversion rates for campaigns.

Service Teams

With a SCV, service teams are able to identify the last time a fan purchased a new jersey and their attendance rate, both indicative of engagement level. The addition of information such as what pages of the team’s website they frequent also gives the service rep an easy ice breaker when connecting with a fan who might be a great upsell opportunity.

Sales Teams

Sales teams operating from a SCV are empowered with insights that bring to light which products are best suited for specific prospects and customers based on behaviours and interested. This allows sales teams to get in front of opportunities immediately and further increase customer lifetime value. For example, a SCV can identify not only when a single game buyer becomes a multi-purchase buyer but when they are likely to be a great candidate for a mini-plan.

Analytics Teams

Analytics teams have the biggest impact when they’re able to operate with as much fan data as possible – and are most efficient when that data is brought together in a SCV. As leadership continues to ask more questions about their fanbase – from the total size and growth of their marketable universe to overall brand health and fan avidity, analytics teams benefit greatly by working off a single customer view to get those answers. Add to that automation and machine learning capabilities to predict and better personalize, organizations are seeing a significant acceleration in their abilities to get smarter with how they connect with and grow their fanbase.

Organizations taking a fan-first approach to nurturing and growing their fan universe rely on a single customer view. Customer data platforms are proving to be powerful in their ability to automate and democratize data across organizations, allowing teams to consistently personalize experiences that create lifelong fans. Contact us today to get your team started!

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