Creating a single customer view in Adobe Analytics

31 Mar 2023

Tracking cross-channel customer journeys to deliver 1:1 experiences

Most marketers understand the reality of nuanced, non-linear customer journeys. But they still struggle to connect cross-channel journeys. 

The problem isn’t necessarily data collection. Instead, it’s the way marketing teams fall short of collating and integrating all that data into a unified view of a customer’s cross-channel journey.

Insufficient or non-existent cross-channel customer analytics leads to a whole host of customer experience management (CXM) challenges:

  • Difficulty understanding which channels and activities contribute to conversions
  • Misalignment between marketing strategies and customer expectations
  • Lack of clarity on customer needs and preferences
  • Inability to personalise content and experiences

Ultimately, without cohesive customer analytics, marketers have almost no hope of delivering relevant, timely, value-adding experiences.

More data doesn’t solve the problem

There’s plenty of information pouring into organisations, especially those with multiple brands, web properties or products. Marketers aren’t lacking data. 

Where the CXM chasm originates, at least in our experience working with global brands, is the ability to transform incoming data into a single customer view. 

This is where Adobe Analytics blows other web analytics solutions out of the water. More on that in a minute.

Trying to keep up with your customer's multichannel journey? We'll make it easy for you!

What is a single customer view?

A single customer view (SCV) combines all the information an organisation has about a customer, prospect or visitor into a single source. Also called a ‘unified’ or ‘360°’ customer view, SCV provides a comprehensive and integrated profile of an individual customer.

Centralising customer data provides a solid foundation for:

  • Personalised customer experiences
  • Seamless cross-channel customer journeys
  • Data-driven decision making
  • Richer, more accurate user data
  • Better audience segmentation
  • Optimised marketing campaigns

Creating a single customer view might seem like an over-investment for organisations with millions of visitors. But when it’s done automatically using intelligent martech tools like Adobe Analytics, and the outcomes are data-driven marketing decisions, SCV is a valuable strategic move.

What’s the point of a single customer view?

Examples of data available What it’s used for
Journey pathway
  • Attribution
  • Understanding customer preferences
  • Optimising budget
  • Content creation
  • CRO tactics
  • Re-engagement 
Device and browser information
  • Tailoring content
  • Segmenting audiences
  • Building better experiences
  • Designing campaigns
Demographic data
  • Building audience segments
  • Creating products and offers
  • Honing messaging
  • Content creation
Interaction events
  • Understanding customer needs and preferences
  • Optimising online content
  • Delivering tailored experiences
  • CRO tactics
Purchase and service history
  • Matching customer needs to online behaviour
  • Optimising interactions
  • Delivering personalised experiences
  • Anticipating customer requirements
Subscriptions (such as email newsletters and event registrations)
  • Identifying customer preferences
  • Tailoring experiences
  • Building audience segments
  • Creating relevant content
  • Honing messaging

Creating a single customer view is one of the most important and fundamental CXM strategies. Rich, detailed customer profiles lead to tailored content, targeted campaigns and more conversions.

How to create a single customer view in Adobe Analytics

Cross-device analytics

Adobe Analytics is arguably the industry-leading enterprise web analytics platform. Unlike other popular platforms, Adobe Analytics is built around a person-centric view.

(Google Analytics 4 is trying to pivot GA to a similar setup, although the focus seems to be revenue-oriented use cases such as eCommerce businesses).

Using advanced workflows to stitch interactions, Adobe’s cross-device analytics tool can track an individual’s journey across digital touchpoints, even phone calls and app interactions. Cross-device analytics uses field-based stitching. Adobe Analytics looks for matching unique variables that identify the same user interacting on different devices or through different platforms. 

Let’s say someone clicks a LinkedIn ad that brings them to your website. They register their email to take advantage of an introductory offer. A week later, that same user downloads your mobile app and makes a purchase using the code they received in a welcome email.

Adobe Analytics’ cross-device analytics tracks and measures every interaction in this journey.

Analysing complex customer journeys

The outcomes of cross-device analytics live in Analysis Workspace. More specifically, the results appear in a virtual report suite.

With the proper report suite setup and enough cross-device data, you can answer questions like:

  • How often do customers begin their journey on a smartphone and convert on a PC?
  • Do users with multiple devices behave differently to single-device users? 
  • Where do users convert? Where do they drop off?
  • Which campaigns brought in more business from a certain audience segment?
  • What devices are customers using, and how does this vary between segments?

So, is this a single customer view?


Cross-device analytics can indeed generate valuable user behaviour insights. The collated and aggregated interaction data in a report suite gives marketers a good overview of web and app-based journeys. 

But without the tools to act on cross-device analytics, you only have interesting information.

Quick tip: Cross-device analytics doesn’t pull data from other report suites. Marketers need to be strategic and deliberate when designing a report suite.

The real benefits arrive when Adobe Analytics is integrated with other tools. In particular, Adobe Experience Cloud solutions like Adobe Campaign, Adobe Target and Adobe Audience Manager. Linking these solutions helps marketers transform interesting data into personalised customer experiences.

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Understanding your customer's journey doesn't have to be a challenge. We're here to help!

Three reasons integrations are important for a single customer view

  1. Enriching emails

Integrating Adobe Analytics with Adobe Campaign means email interaction data is now available in Analysis Workspace.

Not only does this enrich the customer’s profile with email interaction data, but it also enables real-time engagement based on user behaviour. 

Triggers, an Adobe Analytics tool that looks for (you guessed it) triggers, communicates with Campaign to send personalised emails within 15 minutes of a visitor completing a defined action.

The Analytics ↔ Campaign integration also enables marketers to automate email workflows and populate personalisation blocks, ensuring customers receive relevant, targeted content. 

  1. Putting cross-device analytics to work

The goal for many organisations is to use SCV to personalise visitor experiences. Marketers want to show that they understand and appreciate a customer’s individuality, and they want to do it automatically. 

Connecting Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target enables omnichannel optimisation by using an SCV to tailor what a visitor sees. Marketers can also:

  • Run A/B and multivariate tests
  • Experiment with conversion optimisation tactics
  • Inject custom code based on visitor IDs

Depending on the strategy in play, customising web experiences could be one of the most effective CXM outcomes of a single customer view. With Adobe Campaign, Target and Analytics working together, marketers can provide seamless end-to-end experiences that convert more business and build customer loyalty.

  1. Sharing the bounty

Adobe Analytics’ cross-channel and cross-device analytics is incredibly useful for segmenting audiences. When pushed to Adobe Audience Manager via an integration, those audience segments become available to other connected platforms.

We also see marketing teams manually export data from Adobe Analytics to use in data warehouses and non-Adobe campaign management tools.

Linking multiple Adobe platforms automates this process, but investing in an Adobe-heavy martech stack is not always feasible.

An Adobe Analytics audit can help you unlock its full potential by uncovering any hidden issues

Single customer view challenges and limitations

There’s often a gap between a brand’s intention to connect with customers and its ability to deliver personalised customer experiences. Dive deep enough into that gap and you’ll find the origin: poor data management.

We’re not hanging any blame on marketers here. Creating a single customer view isn’t as simple as linking platforms to Adobe Analytics.

We brushed over creating an identity matching system because the solution is highly technical and always bespoke. In our experience, no two organisations have identical marketing ecosystems.

Most limitations are more than manageable with a well-planned data management strategy. 

That’s where we come in.

Get to know your customers better with TAP CXM

As CXM consultants and database marketing specialists, TAP CXM helps brands optimise their customer experience strategies.

We provide business consulting, implementation and development support, hands-on Adobe Analytics training and Adobe platform audits to address your CXM issues from every angle. So if you’re struggling to see eye-to-eye with your customers, contact our Adobe Analytics specialists for tailored advice.

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