Digital Marketers: Personalization Critical to Long-Term Brand Objectives

ConversantForrester-Personalization-Importance-Brand-Success-Sept2014Personalization is already of considerable importance to current objectives, but its importance is even more pronounced when it comes to brands’ long-term success, finds a study [download page] conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Conversant Media. Some 47% of survey respondents – B2C marketing and customer insights decision-makers with responsibility for digital marketing strategy and/or execution – indicated that personalization is extremely important to their brands’ current objectives, while 63% rated it extremely important to their┬álong-term goals.

The perception that personalization will become only more important over time aligns with a recent Adobe survey, in which US marketers tabbed personalization as their most important future area, topping other buzz-worthy areas such as big data and social. Indeed, interest in personalization is already growing for 92% of the Conversant Media study respondents.

Interestingly, respondents’ perceptions of their sophistication differed by role, with customer insights professionals more likely than marketers to say their organization uses advanced personalization across a variety of communication channels. Indeed, at least half of the customer insights decision-makers surveyed say they’re using advanced personalization in areas such as social advertising (57%), online video (61%) and email (64%), while one-third or fewer marketers concur (25%, 23%, and 33%, respectively). Instead, a plurality of marketers described their use of personalization as “limited or moderate.”

Customer insights decision-makers were also more likely than marketers to say they’d be increasing their spending on various personalization areas, ranging from measurement to cross-device ID/delivery. Even so, roughly 6 in 10 or more marketers reported planned increases in personalization investments in each area.

Asked to rate the extent to which several barriers pose challenges to broader implementation of personalization, survey respondents were most likely to point to: concerns about data privacy; building a comprehensive single view of each customer across all sales and marketing channels; and securing internal resources to execute a personalized marketing program.

See here for another perspective on personalization’s biggest opportunities and challenges.

About the Data: Forrester conducted an online survey of 101 marketing and customer insights decision-makers in B2C industries with responsibility for digital marketing strategy and/or execution in the United States. Respondents were offered a small incentive in research panel currency (i.e., points redeemable for rewards) as a thank you for time spent on the survey. The study began in April 2014 and was completed in May 2014.

All respondents came from companies with estimated 2013 revenues of at least $100 million. Roughly one-quarter of respondents come from companies with at least $1 billion in 2013 revenues.