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How Data Gets Democratised

Lisa Halim, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics APAC | Jan. 9, 2017
The gold mine of customer data has always been an asset closely guarded by marketing departments. This meant that every other employee who wanted to learn more about their customers needed to go through a long and complicated process to lay their hands on the data they required.

Real-time marketing brought to life with cloud technologies

One such example we have seen at Microsoft is New Zealand homewares and furniture company Citta Design. This innovative company, known for its trendy and contemporary designs, was able to expand globally into markets such as Japan, South Korea and North America by honing its employees' customer awareness levels through the use of cloud and data.

The company was focused on developing a strong customer experience as part of their expansion strategy. They wanted to gain better control of their brand. But as a wholesaler, Citta Design had little end-customer contact. So, when the company expanded into retail - opening stores across New Zealand and Australia - they chose a cloud-based platform that brings together Enterprise Resource Planning, business intelligence, infrastructure, analytics and database services in a single offering.

Citta was able to pull all relevant information together using this one singular platform. As a result, sales, customer and supply chain data is accessible via apps on employees' mobile devices, giving everyone complete and comprehensive visibility.

The result is amazing agility right across the organisation. Citta Design's employees are now in real-time contact with their customers. They can evaluate customer responses to new product lines in each of their markets. Today, the company doesn't just tailor promotions for specific markets, it tailors merchandise offerings to its customers too. If offers are not creating business impact, they are modified overnight.

It also works the other way around. Every interaction with a customer is tagged, so any customer-facing employee who is speaking to a customer has all their relevant information in front of them. This means that every employee is now well placed to capitalise on deep customer awareness made possible by cloud, data and analytics.

Marketing as a way of life

To me, the ability to bring real-time customer awareness into every part of the organisation is a real game changer for businesses - big or small. Strategic decisions impacting business become second nature to employees. That's a marketing revolution.

As a marketer and business lead for Microsoft Dynamics in APAC, I have seen and learned from organisations that have embraced intelligent technology. Many are ahead of the game. And they are now able to reap the benefits from this new world of real-time marketing.



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