How Advanced Are Marketers in Their CX Personalization?

March 2, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Customer Experience | Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Personalization

Only 7% of marketing practitioners believe their organization’s digital customer experience is exceptional and able to surprise and delight customers, according to the latest annual Digital Trends report [access page] from Adobe and Econsultancy. Six times as many (42% share) instead believe that their CX sometimes falls short of customer needs.

Getting it right is crucial, as recent research has found more than 8 in 10 (84% of) executives agreeing that excellence in digital customer experience (CX) is critical to business survival. As the Adobe report argues, “a disappointing CX is a business risk in 2023.”

One challenge to achieving a desired CX is the inability to personalize customer experiences. To this end, Adobe delved into the highest level of customer experience personalization that marketing practitioners are able to attain. (Marketing practitioners in the report refer to junior executives, managers, and director-level respondents, and are separate from the survey’s respondents who are director-level and above.)

The results show that practitioners are “still making their way up the personalization maturity curve.” To wit, only 9% of these respondents said that they are able to target customers based on intent/prediction. This was fewer than said that they have little or no customer experience personalization at all (13% share).

The most common response was that the highest level of customer experience personalization is based on segments and interests (24% share). Still, some are able to personalize across channels based on customers’ stated preferences (20%), and some are even further along, being able to personalize based on the customer’s history of interactions (18%).

The report suggests that marketers will show progress soon, and that they will be able to anticipate customers’ needs by “harnessing customer data and AI-fueled predictive modeling.” It is true that CMOs are using AI for predictive analytics for customer insights, though this is one of the key areas that marketers say remain out of reach.

Separately, the Adobe study asked practitioners about internal barriers that their organizations are experiencing that are holding back their marketing/customer experience organizations. The results show that customer experience “Laggards” are much more likely than “Leaders” to be challenged by lack of customer insights and lack of digital skills/capabilities. By contrast, both groups are experiencing difficulties with integration between tech systems, and Leaders are almost as likely as Laggards to complain of data quality issues.

For more, access the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a September-November 2022 global survey fielded among 9,247 qualified marketers and CX professionals, 58% of whom are client-side marketers. The remainder were executives at agencies, consultancies, and marketing technology/services vendors. “Leaders” were those who agreed they significantly outperformed their sector in 2022 (20% of all respondents) while “Laggards” were those who agreed they had slightly or significantly underperformed in their sector in 2022 (12% of all respondents).


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