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Design & Technology April 25, 2017

73% of Marketers say Personalisation is a Top Priority

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Recent analysis by MarketingProfs has discovered that 90% of Forbes Global 500 executives believe that improving the customer experience will be the key battleground this year. Nearly two thirds of marketers see personalisation as the key weapon to win this battle, with 73% stating that they ‘must’ deliver personalised experiences to be successful.

Those of you who haven’t made those first steps into personalisation might be thinking that you’re behind. However, fear not, for what is far more telling about the actual state of personalisation efforts, is that only 37% said that they are ‘effective’ at it (even then, I think the percentage is a tad optimistic).

Personalisation has been bandied around as the ‘must do’ buzzword for years now and whilst technology is ramping up to tackle it, there’s still a long way to go to connect all the dots.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Shelby Saville, president of innovation and investment platforms at Mediavest Spark, commented that words like ‘automated’ and ‘dynamic’ give the impression that it’s easy for marketers to get products to scale. And as anyone who has tried to lead a personalisation project knows, it’s really not.

Who is this 37%?

You would be hard pushed to find any examples of B2B organisations who are successfully delivering fully personalised experiences. It’s like searching for the Holy Grail.

Sure, some organisatons are dipping their toe in, but if we’re talking true personalisation, Saville is correct in her statement that time is being wasted trying to figure out how marketers can reach consumers with relevant information, only to “turn around and offer the same exact experience to someone else”.

Why is it so hard?

The reality is that personalisation is a difficult topic. Most organisations understand the positive business impact it can make but, in general, do not have the right combination of C-level backing, staff capabilities, content strategy and technology to make it a reality.

One of the key stumbling blocks, is the desire to deliver full personalisation from the outset and relying on technology to achieve it. As Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis.Sapient APAC and EMEA, indicated recently, technology is in danger of being outpaced by consumers’ expectations, “Customers are moving way faster than the technology today and it’s up to businesses to respond to their movements”.

Whilst technology to enable it is becoming more advanced, simply buying it and hoping it will achieve your personalisation KPI isn’t realistic. The core of successful personalisation really lies content and process.

So often, the sheer amount of content and workflow processes to deliver the utmost of relevancy is hugely overlooked (if you’re also trying to implement a marketing automation platform, you’ll be familiar with this challenge). It’s here that businesses need to be responding in order to maximise the opportunity the technology provides.

That’s all well & good, but we Still need to do it

Having the aspiration to deliver experiences that are a seamless, pre-emptive step in the users’ journey is a positive thing, and undeniably the latest competitive battleground, but chucking around ‘we must do personalisation’ at every board meeting without appreciating the sheer scale of the exercise is naïve.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t invest your time, money and effort in personalisation. You absolutely should. But it is wise to start with ‘baby-steps’ first – getting everything in order from the outset will ensure you get the most from your technology investment. After all, don’t we all want to be part of the 37%?

WE CAN HELP YOU

At Dept, we help clients plan for personalisation in line with their ambition, business goals, capacity of the internal team, and capability of platforms.

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