The “Top Five” Elevator Pitches to Give CxOs

Published in January 2007


Bottom Line: CxOs have to be given the message that past master customer data management investments, specifically enterprise CRM investments, do not provide the near-real time “360º customer
view” that 21st century business models increasingly mandate. Many of the technologies, software, and skills investments from those CRM and data warehouse investments, however, will be
leverage-able with the commercial CDI-MDM solutions that are indeed providing such “universal customer views”.

The “top five” justifications for increasing the corporate commitment to master customer data as a vital corporate asset, include: catalyzing market leadership and dominance; providing increased
ROI by leveraging existing infrastructure; increasing shareholder value; providing a disruptive technology for new business models; and, enabling compliance and regulatory reporting.

Why Enterprise CRM Did *NOT* Deliver
a “360º Customer View”

CDI-MDM provides a proven customer data management alternative to status quo of GIGO – a.k.a. “treading water” – that many businesses find themselves facing regarding the poor state of their
master customer information.

In short, traditional methods of “mastering” customer data were ineffective and costly:

  • Lack of integration between identity management, data cleansing, and business rules management
  • Inflexible data models
  • Lack of standards for integration between key components – e.g., business rules/workflows, hierarchy management, data enrichment services, etc.

In the past several years, however, newer methods have become available for key stages of “master data management”, including:

  • “Data profiling” for better forensic understanding of master data sources
  • “Probabilistic matching” for more accurate match/merge
  • “Dynamic CDI” aggregation – e.g., federated query, enterprise information integration (EII), and distributed query to provide federated flexibility and performance/persistence trade-off

Moreover, the prior generations of CDI solutions lacked matching capabilities in that they suffered from:

  • API-level, batch, non-linear scalability
  • Poor support for complex hierarchies
  • Best suited for homogeneous landscape

Now, the current generation of CDI solutions provide sophisticated identity management via:

  • Superior matching capabilities across disparate / heterogeneous systems
  • Hierarchy mappings across complex business entities – e.g., B2B and B2B2C
  • Continuous data and process improvement

The “Top Five” Elevator Pitches to Give CxOs

#1 – CDI-MDM catalyzes market leadership and dominance

  • Maximizes walletshare across product lines and business units
    • Upsell via sticky bundles
    • New markets via cross sell to existing customer base
  • Increases understanding of large customers by grouping all buying organizations into corporate (B2B) or household (B2C) hierarchy
  • Enables integrated customer analytics – i.e., profitability analysis, lifetime value
  • Enables “co-opetition” and electronic storefront models – e.g., B2B, B2C, and B2B2C by integrating partner or channel data with data from internal systems
  • Protects brand integrity by increasing customer satisfaction due to more focused marketing & service campaigns – e.g., “blended agent” capability to provide customer service across
    multiple touchpoints/contact channels
  • Actualizes “consistent customer treatment” by blending channels to deliver common customer interactions / experiences across all touchpoints

#2 – CDI-MDM provides increased ROI by “leveraging / rationalizing existing infrastructure”

  • Enables integration of new & old channels – e.g., collections, fraud, contact centers with kiosk, ATM, IVR & online self-service
  • Minimizes architectural complexity to simplify application solution design, deployment, and maintenance
  • Reduces number of interfaces between applications and increasing reuse factor to save substantial integration costs
  • Improves infrastructure flexibility and control to enhance overall system performance
  • Accelerates ROI of enterprise CRM solutions
  • Reduces overall project risk through increased flexibility and centrally managed architecture

#3 – CDI-MDM significantly increases shareholder value

  • Drives costs of “dirty data” out of the info supply chain
  • Accelerates revenue growth via more intelligent cross-sell and up-sell enabled by complete understanding of customer (profile, accounts and interactions) to leverage bundling opportunities
  • Facilitates quick scales of economy in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – e.g., shortening customer, desktop, and billing integration timeframes while providing scalability to support rapid
    assimilation of new block of customers
  • Measures, manages and grows “customer information” as a key corporate asset
  • Drives fundamental operational savings and efficiencies – e.g., “once & done” enterprise-wide services for key customer processes such as account changes (name, address)

#4 – CDI-MDM provides a disruptive technology for new business models

  • Enables self-directed customer experience for sales and service
  • Provisions hyper-integrated 21st century supply chain – e.g., outsourced manufacturing, outsourced service (“he who owns the master reference data, dominates the supply chain”)
  • Automates customer transactions that flow across systems
  • Enables contingency planning for future technologies – e.g., biometrics, smartcards, etc.
  • Provides much more than “just another customer interface”
    • 21st century business application development platform
    • Service-oriented architecture – a.k.a, “first foray into SOA”
    • Web services
    • Integrated analytics
    • Near real-time materialization

#5 – CDI-MDM enables compliance and regulatory reporting

  • Centrally manages privacy preferences for consistent rules of visibility and entitlements
  • Enhances “evergreening” of customer data accuracy – e.g., continuous customer data improvement by providing self-directed customer care portals … which in turn integrate customer info
    across business units
  • Enables regulatory reporting compliance- i.e., large customers’ material events (SOX, BASEL II)
  • Facilitates compliance with AML, OFAC, USA PATRIOT, et al


Enterprise CRM did *NOT* deliver a “360º customer view” as promised by the vendors. However, the current generation of CDI-MDM solutions provides sophisticated identity management and other
advances which are finding traction and success as commercial off-the-shelf solutions. IT management must deliver the “good news” with the “bad news” – rather than waiting for either the
competition or market forces to deliver “even worse news”.

The “top five” justifications for increasing the corporate commitment to master customer data as a vital corporate asset, include: catalyzing market leadership and dominance; providing increased
ROI by leveraging existing infrastructure; increasing shareholder value; providing a disruptive technology for new business models; and, enabling compliance and regulatory reporting.

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Aaron Zornes

Aaron Zornes

Aaron Zornes is the founder and chief research officer for the MDM Institute. He is also conference chairman for the ÒMDM & Data Governance SummitÓ conference series, which is the most widely attended professional conference focused exclusively on MDM and Data Governance (London, New York City, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto).ÊÊÊ

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