What Data Do Marketers Use for Personalization – And How Much Access to It Do They Have?

January 27, 2023

Some 22% of marketing decision-makers indicate that their personalization strategy is very successful at helping them achieve strategic goals. While that may seem low, an additional 73% feel that their strategy is at least somewhat successful, according to a survey [pdf] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners.

Some of the benefits that accrue from personalization include improved customer experience, increased customer retention, and increased revenues, per the survey’s respondents, who were more heavily weighted to B2C than B2B. By comparison, fewer reported increases in conversions or brand awareness as a result of personalization. Compared to a similar year-earlier report, this latest survey found more touting improved CX and revenues as a result of personalization and fewer seeing the benefits of increased engagement and brand awareness.

Across both years, budget/resources for execution of personalization and managing customer/consumer expectations emerged as the clear-cut most significant challenges to executing a successful personalization strategy.

When asked which data they use to create a personalized experience for their prospects and/or clients, the marketing decision-makers surveyed for this latest report cited email activity (46%) and customer service history (46%) first, followed closely by known interests of an individual (43%).

To a lesser degree, some are relying on transactional history (37%) and location (36%) data, the latter of which is sometimes met with a frosty reception from consumers. The fewest (32%) respondents are leveraging website activity to create personalized experiences, with past research suggesting this is a particular problem for retailers.

All told, respondents do the Ascend2 survey feel they could improve somewhat in their access to data, as only 1 in 4 strongly agree that they have access to all of the data required to improve marketing personalization. Still, another half (49%) somewhat agree with this, leaving only one-quarter somewhat (21%) or strongly (5%) disagreeing that they have access to all the data they need.

As for marketing technology stacks, just 1 in 5 (19% share) strongly agree that their stack allows their organization to executive effective personalized experiences. But again, an additional 6 in 10 somewhat agree, leaving only about 1 in 5 disagreeing.

For more, check out the report here [pdf].

About the Data: The results are based on a December 2022 survey of 355 marketing decision-makers targeting B2C (47% share), B2B (28%) and B2B and B2C equally (25%). Some 64% work at companies with fewer than 50 employees.


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