Creating a Unified View of the Customer

Empowering our professionals to better serve our clients

Brad Jenkins

Brad Jenkins

Chief Technology Officer, KPMG LLP

+1 919-664-7100

At KPMG, we are undergoing a radical transformation to redefine how we go to market. Our goal is to gain greater insight into our clients’ needs and then react to those needs in real time. We want the agility to quickly bring new solutions to clients and help them navigate challenges. To accomplish this, we need a unified view of the customer as captured in customer profiles and data.

As the business technology leader for our front office transformation, I am focused on how our technology and data architecture can enable a unified view of the customer to empower our professionals to better serve our clients. Here are the three things I keep in mind:

  1. A 360-degree view of the customer is everyone’s responsibility.
    Customer data comes from everywhere. Marketing focuses on anonymous data while driving demand through the funnel. Customer experience teams obsess over transactional data to unlock new digital channels and interactions. The data organization cares about data privacy, security, and governance as well as breaking down silos to transform data into a strategic asset. Each group approaches the customer from a unique vantage point; each is focused on different cross sections of customer interactions; each generates data and insights that contribute to a unified view of the customer. At KPMG, we are uniting all vantage points so we can create rich, comprehensive customer profiles that are easily accessible. We are then integrating those profiles with downstream systems—used by sales and marketing—to drive relevant, unified customer experiences.
  2. Starting small—and fast—still yields significant value.
    It’s tempting to have a perfectionist’s desire to capture every piece of customer data available before launching our new platform. However, I assert that starting small enables KPMG to start today. At KPMG, we’ve established an agile approach to launching our most valuable programs incrementally. We test and ladder in new capabilities in a coordinated fashion as we work towards our target, end-state architecture. For example, we didn’t wait for our data lake to be complete before we started building our customer profiles, capturing insights, and improving our ability to react to key moments of truth. Cloud-based platforms such as Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud enabled us to spend more time testing hypotheses and gaining insights to incrementally build our customer profiles and improve our client interactions.
  3. Blaze new trails, but have a guide.
    The journey to a unified customer profile requires navigating all aspects of the KPMG business—from advisory to tax to audit. Factoring in compliance, privacy, governance, and regulatory requirements such as GDPR and CCPA is critical. Customer profiles must also be strategically aligned across the firm so we can capitalize on an open, flexible, and accessible data architecture. To do this work, we’ve had to find common ground, build allies across the organization, and garner both top-down and broad horizontal support. To guide us, we’ve established a dedicated transformation office, a change management team focusing on instituting new employee behaviors, cross-functional executive sponsors and champions from all corners of the firm, and a team of skilled professionals specially engaged from both internal and external partners. Together, these guides give us broad perspectives to help us leap beyond what’s ordinarily possible.

At KPMG, front office transformation is a top priority. We are seizing this moment to align our systems, data, and architectures to capture robust customer profiles. With this project, we will be able to offer our clients the rich, differentiated, valuable experiences they seek.