Key takeaways

The insight gained from integrating digital behavioural and CRM data has never been more critical in these rapidly changing times for business survival and growth. 

Establishing an automated and robust process to extract and transform digital behavioural data from Adobe or Google Analytics, and combining with CRM data within your existing data environments can be achieved within a matter of weeks, driving a step-change in business insight and better marketing performance.

“COVID-19 is the burning platform for digital acceleration. It’s going to happen faster and better and cheaper than you’ve ever seen before”

Sir Martin Sorrell, June 2020

Introduction: Massive flux in consumer behaviour through accelerated shift to digital

Consumer needs and behaviours are in a deep state of flux. The consumer landscape was already party to a variety of challenges and shifts, COVID-19 has driven and accelerated further change. Understanding and acting upon shifting consumer needs and behaviours, particularly in digital, has never been more critical for business survival and growth.

“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Satya Nadella, May 2020

Delivering on this challenge requires businesses to combine their customer account and digital behavioural data. Businesses with this combined data asset have a competitive advantage enabling them to define and execute winning strategies faster and more effectively than others.

CRM data has long been established as the system of record for customer status and history however it has struggled to meet business, and particularly marketing, requirements to understand why consumers behave as they do. Exposing the intents and interests which drive product and service research and consideration is an essential resource for the modern marketer.

The ‘what & why’ of customer intelligence – Digital behavioural and CRM data

“Recent shifts in customer behaviour haven’t been out of choice or natural progression but out of necessity. This presents businesses with an even more crucial need to understand and track this shift in behaviour, and an opportunity to nurture continued engagement from this segment of digitally immature customers. A combined CRM and digital behavioural data set creates an unparalleled capability to rapidly understand and define strategies that address this challenge and transform it into an opportunity.”

Rachel Fox, Head of Marketing Strategy & Adoption, Loop Horizon

Readiness: Challenges are addressable for most businesses We have seen businesses in various sectors and states of maturity work through challenges which have stood in the way of taking value from behavioural and CRM data. Common issues that businesses face include:

  1. Platforms: CRM data in owned environment, behavioural data is typically held in 3rd party platforms
  2. Design: CRM is small dense data cube; behavioural data is wide and unstructured
  3. Data Engineering: CRM well understood; behavioural data is less familiar
  4. Link to identity: Strong for CRM data; (perceived) weaker for behavioural data e.g. when not logged in, or across multiple devices

With a commercial imperative to address them, these issues are readily resolved. Loop Horizon exists to help companies harness the power of first party data: the integration of digital behavioural and CRM data is one of the key milestones we support businesses with, on their journey to data driven performance.

“Through a use-case based approach to aligning marketing and operational requirements, we have consistently found that bringing together CRM & behavioural data is very much in reach of businesses”

James Alexander, Co-founder, Loop Horizon

Solution: Establishing an automated process to extract, make useful and combine data sets

Two of the most popular solutions for collecting digital behavioural data, Adobe and Google Analytics, make it possible to take behavioural data out and combine with CRM data in a location of choice: on-prem or often in newly established cloud data environments on Azure, Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services.

The raw behavioural data from these analytics tools is highly standardised, enabling a common set of processes and transformations – combined with bespoke business rules – to produce high quality, analytics-ready data:

“This approach helps data engineering teams gain familiarity with their digital behavioural data, gaining comfort to own the process on an ongoing basis”

Nick Edwards, Head of Marketing Technology, Loop Horizon

Outcome: Drive value from both Insight and Activation

The understanding and insight gained from combining digital behavioural data with CRM data is a key ingredient to defining forward looking strategies. Excitingly this approach can then also work in reverse, enabling marketeers to activate these strategies through the same digital platforms:

“The unification of CRM & behavioural data repeatedly proves to be a key enabler for businesses, empowering them to, in a single step, understand and take action based on powerful customer profiles, driving incremental revenue and operational efficiencies”

Rob McLaughlin, Co-founder, Loop Horizon

Example case studies

We’ve enabled multiple clients with this robust, automated process to onboard their granular Google & Adobe Analytics data into their own data environment and transform it into useable data for analytics, data science and marketing teams to drive business value.

Consumer Insurer

An insurer with a large customer base and wide portfolio of products wished to maximise cross-sell and retention by being increasingly sensitive to customer behaviours. The integration of Adobe Analytics data into Microsoft Azure created a direct link to customer behaviours alongside broader CRM data sets. This enabled the stronger pursuit of customer value management and channel shift objectives.

Major Retail Bank

Established over 200 years ago, this retail bank wanted to transition to marketing operations which were driven by customer needs and intents, not solely static or slow-moving customer segmentations based on account level data. Integration of Adobe Analytics data into AWS enabled a step change in marketing activities across all in and outbound channels.


Acting on a desire to move to a marketing strategy centred on customer needs, a global publisher chose to leverage the rich behavioural data within Google Analytics to drive reactive campaigns amongst certain customer segments. These campaigns were triggered by customer and prospect intents and interests whilst being anchored in the CRM data held against the customer records. This drove increased efficiency and effectiveness across campaign performance.

Major Telco

A drive to become more customer centric and realise channel efficiencies led a major telecommunications company to integrate Adobe Analytics into Google Cloud Platform, creating a unified view of the customer. Key to driving value was the ability to leverage this unified profile with In and Outbound marketing through connectivity out to relevant marketing and advertising technologies. Commercial impact was made across sales, service and retention.