Just 6 in 10 organizations feel that they have extensive personalization capabilities when it comes to digital experiences, despite the fact that 83% believe personalization differentiates them from their competitors. Findings from a report [slideshare] from Adobe show that marketers are well aware of the many benefits of personalization, but some organizations are less developed in this area.
Personalization Results in Diverse Improvements
In the survey of more than 400 digital marketers, respondents reported a range of outcome improvements from personalization. Loyalty was the most commonly cited improvement, with the largest percentage of marketers (53%) reporting this as an outcome of extensive personalization. About half (49%) have experienced improvements in revenue from personalization, with further improvements seen in retention (43%) and efficiency of marketing spend (38%).
Fewer have enjoyed improvements in cost-of-acquisition (27%), conversion rates (25%) and margin (24%). However only 1 in 10 have lacked any benefits from personalization at all.
What’s more, respondents indicate tangible ROI from personalization: 9 in 10 report returns of at least $1-2 per dollar spent, including 43% who have received at least $6 in return per dollar spent. Almost 1 in 10 (9%) indicate impressive ROI of 20x or more.
Not All Organizations Have Extensive Personalization
Generally, marketers are making good ground when it comes to personalization. Two-thirds (66%) consider their digital maturity (i.e integrated data processes, automation and technical skills) to be focused or advanced, and compared to other organizations, more than 6 in 10 (62%) think that they are ‘holding steady’. About one-third (34%) consider their organization to be outperforming others in their industry.
Notably, some key channels are highly likely to be personalized even among organizations that do not consider their efforts here to be extensive. Websites are the most likely to be personalized both among those with (86%) and without (61%) extensive personalization, and email is commonly personalized among both groups (66% and 57% respectively). Still, email and websites have long been the first channels to be personalized.
There is good reason for this high level of personalization on websites. Prior research from Monetate shows that conversion rates increase dramatically with the number of personalized page views on e-commerce sites.
Moving beyond the basics of email and websites, personalization of channels such as digital media (i.e social and search ads), mobile apps, and mobile websites is markedly more common among organizations with extensive personalization. For example, where some 6 in 10 (62%) organizations with these more developed efforts personalize via mobile app, just 15% of those without extensive personalization efforts do the same.
Despite previous research having identified budget as a common obstacle for marketers wanting to improve personalization, a full 95% of respondents are maintaining or increasing their personalization budget over the next 5 years, with almost 1 in 5 (17%) expecting it to increase substantially. Currently, one-third (33%) of organizations are spending more than half of their digital marketing budget on personalization.
What Does Personalization Currently Look Like?
Based on marketers’ responses, personalization is helping organizations across all strategic goals. When asked to allocate 100 points of personalization focus across three goals, respondents reported largely equal focus given to acquisition (32%), engagement (33%) and retention (35%).
Added to that, respondents highlight a wide range of use-cases being aided by personalization, with some of the most cited being product recommendations (46%), predictive customer service (46%), email body personalization (36%) and next-best action marketing (30%).
Encouragingly, it would appear that advanced data maturity need not be a barrier for organizations looking to increase their personalization — just 26% of respondents report currently using or piloting a single profile of a customer’s data.
Read the full report, including a survey of consumers, here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 404 professionals from the US and UK involved in advertising, marketing, UX/UI, brand, demand generation, communications and product marketing.