Social networks have emerged as a vast repository of conversation and information that can be used with internal master data to great improve business analytics, customer service and operational efficiencies.
Embracing Social: The Next Step for Master Data Management
• Cognizant 20-20 InsightsEmbracing Social: The Next Step forMaster Data ManagementSocial networks have emerged as a vast repository of conversationand information that can be used in conjunction with an organization’sinternal master data to greatly improve business analytics, customerservice and operational efficiencies. Executive Summary scattered across multiple social media sites, as well as the common pitfalls and possible The world has gone social — from election strategies for success. campaigns to political protests, and from vaca- tioning tips to shopping recommendations. As a The Value of MDM result, social media and social media marketing have become key trending topics in any discussion Traditionally, businesses have collected customer about IT and marketing. The importance of social data by using some or all of the following networks from a marketing perspective can be approaches: gauged from the fact that people are increas- ingly seeking feedback from their social networks • Sales force automation tools, where a sales representative enters prospect data that then about various products and services that they moves through the sales funnel. plan to purchase. • Data feeds from third-party data providers. Indeed, the advent of social media and its adoption across the globe is a phenomenon that is not just • Data provided by prospects and customers via company Web sites. evolutionary but also transformative — one that opens up a host of opportunities for businesses • Inquiriesby prospects and customers via that are willing to listen, act and adapt. With the other channels such as the call center, etc. proliferation of social networking platforms and • Consolidating existing customer data in tools, marketers must look at a new source of multiple business units of the same organiza- customer data: social media Web sites such as tion. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (see Figure 1). When this data is acquired by the enterprise, These three are not the only possible sources of it is often of poor quality, lacking standards, social data, but they are by far the biggest, and fragmented and redundant. The accepted wisdom marketers ignore them at their own peril. has been to build an MDM solution around this This white paper addresses the use of master data. With MDM, the enterprise is able to make data management (MDM) to leverage the data sense of its vast reams of data and get access to cognizant 20-20 insights | january 2013
Social Media’s Ever-Growing Reach 901 million monthly active users, 526 million daily active users (as of March 31, 2012). Source: zdnet.com 90 million total users. Source: thenextweb.com Others Facebook 100 million monthly active users. Source: The Wall Street Journal Facebook accounted for 52.1% of all online sharing in 2011, although Twitter and Tumblr are catching up fast. Sharing via mobile devices grew 6 times in 2011. Source: thenextweb.com Source: thenextweb.comFigure 1 4accurate and consistent customer data across 150 million profiles on LinkedIn (think businessthe different channels. This helps the business contacts for B2B opportunities).increase customer lifetime value and decreaseacquisition costs by more effectively targeting Tapping into Social Networkspotential customers; it also opens up opportu- Once an organization decides to add social medianities for up-sell and cross-sell to the existing as a source of customer data, the key questioncustomer base. that arises is how to obtain this data. Unlike other sources of customer data where a sales repre-MDM Strategy for Social Media sentative can contact prospects or data can beThe information on sites such as Facebook, purchased from third-party sources, tappingTwitter, Google+, LinkedIn or MySpace can be of data from social media is altogether a differentutmost importance in terms of understanding ballgame. There are four ways to gather thisthe needs of customers. While companies have information:created brand or product pages on Facebook 1. Scan social media platforms and match theand Google+ to advance product promotion or collected information with that of the existingcustomer service, there have been few initiatives customer base.directed toward integrating social media as a newchannel for identifying, acquiring and servicing 2. Ask users of social media to like or follow thecustomers. To pursue this, organizations need organization/brand on different social mediato integrate social media platforms with their platforms.existing MDM strategies so that data from the 3. Add social media information about a customersocial platforms enriches the customer data or prospect when he or she uses social mediaacquired from other internal or external sources. to contact your company for information orDoing so can open up more ways to direct relevant a service, or to provide feedback about theirmarketing campaigns at the right customers and experiences.to enable seamless interaction with customers on 4. Proactively ask customers for their socialtheir medium of choice. media touchpoints.The business case for such an initiative can be Option 1 is a sure way to find trouble. There arebuilt easily when one considers the fact that there never-ending concerns about data privacy onare more than 900 million profiles on Facebook social sites, and hence any attempt at trawling(direct value for B2C opportunities) and over this data stealthily is sure to result in damaged cognizant 20-20 insights 2
reputation and public backlash. In addition, this name acquired via Options 3 and 4 to capture allapproach may yield poor-quality data full of the available customer information once. Doingduplicate, fake and inactive profiles. so is fraught with the same type of risks avoided by discarding Option 1. The target should be toOption 2 is something that many companies establish an active connection so that up-to-datealready follow by creating profiles on Twitter information about a customer’s social network isand Facebook and providing a link on their Web readily available to the enterprise; importantly,sites so that visitors can connect with them on the user should be asked explicitly for permissionsocial media. However, this is more of a hit-or- before doing so.miss method; while it may work in some casesin a limited manner, companies need to be more Many companies have built Facebook apps tostrategic in their approach to maximize the enable interactions with social media users (seebenefits that social media can deliver. Figure 2). Many Web sites have started to give users an option to log in with their Facebook,Therefore, we are left with Option 3 and Option Google or Twitter credentials. When a user4 — two approaches that add social media data, accesses these apps or sites using social mediacaptured as part of a customer acquisition and credentials, the apps ask for permission to accessmaintenance process. MDM can help match data basic information: name, profile picture, gender,acquired from social media and identify it with networks, user ID, a list of friends and other publica customer profile that already exists within the information. Some apps even ask permission toenterprise. This way, the company can truly know send e-mails, access location information andwhat a particular customer really thinks about obtain other information such as interests, likesthe company’s products, verify if the product and news feeds. Once access is granted, the linkpositioning is correct and increase cross-sell between these apps or sites and the social mediaopportunities by suggesting what his connections user is created and remains active unless the per-or friends are purchasing. missions are revoked by the user.Another important point to remember is that with Mastering Social DataMDM, organizations are not interested in static When a company captures a customer’s socialinformation about the customer. MDM uses the data, not all components are important. If theconcept of cross-referencing to ensure the organi- company has a robust MDM hub in place, it iszation is aware of the updates made to a customer possible that the company is already aware ofrecord in any of the source systems. With social most of the information captured from the socialMDM, the aim is not to use the social media userFacebook Apps Can Deliver Tremendous Data AccessFigure 2 cognizant 20-20 insights 3
Typical Data Elements Captured in Various Social Sites Facebook Google Twitter LinkedIn Friends Friends & circles Short bio Educational background Family relationships Subscriptions Followers Employment history Subscriptions Educational background People you follow Connections Educational background Employment history Current location Groups and associations Employment history Photos Current location Photos Current location Contact information Current location Contact information Interests Contact information Check-ins Check-ins Places resided Pages you like Interests Interests Articles you liked Music you listen to* Games* News articles you read* *Via social apps Games* *Via social appsFigure 3sites. Figure 3 lists some of the data elements an enterprise understand how recommendationsthat are captured by Facebook, Google+, Twitter and word-of-mouth can help drive better salesand LinkedIn about their users, in addition to and enable it to identify customers who wieldconversations and status messages. influence on social media sites.While most of these data elements are valuable Knowing the size of a customer’s engagedto one company or another, we think the real audience of followers and friends who activelyvalue of social sites comes from understanding subscribe to his or her online messages andthe relationships between customers; this is the assessing the likelihood that these messages willsecret sauce of social MDM (see Figure 4). Under- generate actions (comments, likes, etc.) is boundstanding how customers are related would help to be invaluable to the marketing team.Integration of Social Media with the Existing MDM Enterprise Architecture MDM can match the customer proﬁle it has against the proﬁle coming from the CRM Jane social networking sites, therefore Friends, enriching the existing proﬁle by adding Based on the new information from the social relationships, or updating relevant attributes. networking sites, MDM in conjunction with likes, interests, CRM systems can post relevant ads on the locations, music, social networking proﬁle, inﬂuence friends books etc. with similar mindsets, etc. Some brands have even started stores on Facebook. Social Media Proﬁle Gold Copy Record Jane The MDM hub stores the individual proﬁle, and combined with the transactional data, the organization has complete information about the Other Source customer, the products the customer buys, the Systems locations where the customer shops, etc.Figure 4 cognizant 20-20 insights 4
Another trend that has gained traction on social spending habits. Therefore, the benefit is notmedia platforms is that of check-ins. Sites such as just limited to targeting the right offers to theFoursquare, Google+, Facebook and many others right customers, but also the ability to measurewant users to share the physical place they are the effectiveness of such campaigns by usinglocated. This functionality is often seen as a the statistics around check-ins and sales. Theseway by which a social media user can inform his benefits will likely lead companies to location-friends and followers about where he is traveling based services, as well as define specific places orand perhaps plan a meeting or get-together with locations on these sites for advertisers to target.nearby friends. From an MDM perspective, knowledge of placesHowever, there is a real business value in user frequented by a customer can represent a locationcheck-ins. Once the organization has integrated association within the MDM hub. If the company’ssocial media with its existing MDM system, knowl- MDM strategy includes plans for collating theseedge of user location offers a tremendous oppor- social locations with the actual physical locationstunity to marketing teams to reach out to the on- maintained within the company, using standardthe-go user, who is ready to buy and consume, and MDM concepts of matching and trust-based con-direct him to the nearest point of sale. solidation, the resultant location master can help to more precisely leverage social check-ins forGroupon, a popular deal-of-the-day Web site, real-world marketing campaigns (see Figure 5).has launched a new service that gives usersthe ability to find local deals in real-time. This is For example, if a fast-food company builds aaccomplished by mapping a list of time-specific location master where store locations are taggeddaily deals in the user’s vicinity. to nearby social hotspots, it can offer deals and coupons to customers who check in at theseIn addition, a customer’s check-ins on social sites social hotspots and direct them to its nearestcan drive better sales through word-of-mouth stores.advertising and also help a company understandHow MDM and Social Media Enhance the Customer Experience Stores may be physical (location update) or virtual Social Media Analytics (preference update) Updates, Location/ B Likes/Interests, etc. Trigger Names of Stores ted upda Customer Preference MARY ields ted f Stores Purchases Selec Deal 2 De De al De al A B C 1- al 2 3 -S St –S Interests, likes, to or to re preferences, etc. e re Customer Da Store A ta C B ta Master Master Da + From Social From Source De al C Networks Systems ode Hey friends! Customer s Exciting deals on Name your way.. Mary’s friends with similar interests & CRM — Deal Builder preferences Deal Codes Great! Let’s check out.. C B A Customer Product om ls fr Transaction Master Dea History ses A/B/C cha Pur StoresFigure 5 cognizant 20-20 insights 5
Social Media for B2B grows at a very rapid rate (for example, there are over 60 million updates on Facebook everyday), While it is true that the B2C side of social media and not all the activities and conversations may has seen greater traction so far, the impact of be relevant. Making sense of the vast amounts social media in the business-to-business (B2B) of unstructured data on these platforms can space is just now being felt. A recent study by be a daunting task. Understanding moods and Business.com reveals that sentiments from comments, survey responses Integrating MDM 55% of B2B survey respon- and other social activities will be critical to under- dents search for informa-with social initiatives tion using social media. standing the relationships between customers can lead to even Approximately 53% of B2B and gaining an insight into customer behavior. better results when companies actively use Social MDM should be treated as an extension of Twitter in their marketingorganizations provide efforts, while 90% use the MDM hub that an organization has in place, and it cannot work in a silo. However, adding all channels with Facebook, according to social sites as a data source to the MDM hub isclean, consistent and a report on Mediabistro. not sufficient. A shift in mindset is needed to However, it is LinkedIn trustworthy data. that rules the roost in this ensure that social sites are not seen within the organization as a broadcasting or advertising tool segment, generating more but as a medium of interaction through which the leads than Facebook, Twitter and even blogs. A company and the customer learn a little more Wisconsin Hospital has reported a 15% conversion about each other. of leads to sales using live tweeting during orthopedic surgery, the same Mediabistro report CRM processes need to change to ensure that noted. These findings demonstrate that social social media credentials are requested and media can create opportunities in both the B2C captured proactively during the customer acqui- and the B2B spaces. sition phase and at each customer touchpoint. Privacy considerations need to be top-of- Integrating MDM with social initiatives can lead to mind; for instance, information should not be even better results when organizations provide all trawled recklessly but always requested from channels with clean, consistent and trustworthy the customer. Relationships among customers, data. The benefits may be more obvious for B2C location information and customer sentiment are companies right now, but B2B companies should critical data elements. The strategy should focus focus on aligning their social and MDM strategies on making sense of these data points rather than to avoid being late to the party. These companies getting lost in the vast sea of unstructured data should get started by enacting Options 3 and 4 — that social platforms contain. adding social media information about a customer or prospect when he or she uses social media to In a business environment where innovation is interact with the company or to proactively ask a must, not for competitive advantage but for customers for their social media touchpoints. survival, companies must venture into uncharted territories. That may make social MDM a bit of Conclusion a challenge for some organizations; however, Making MDM systems social networking-aware the opportunities are immense and the rewards is not going to be easy. Social networks evolve highly enticing for those willing to stretch outside very quickly; only an agile organization can keep their traditional comfort zones. pace with them. The data on any social network cognizant 20-20 insights 6