Personalization’s Impact Remains Mostly Limited to Emails and Websites

January 26, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Digital | Email | Paid Search | Personalization | Social Media

As marketers continue to embrace personalization they are seeing a wide range of outcome improvements. Indeed, on the whole, a report [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners reveals that there is a near consensus among marketers that campaign performance is significantly improved when personalization is used.

The survey of more than 350 marketers from B2B and B2C companies finds that a successful personalization strategy can lead to a myriad of benefits. Respondents cite increased customer retention, improved customer experience, improved engagement, increased revenue and increased brand awareness as some of the greatest benefits of such a strategy. 

Email Marketing and Websites Benefit the Most

When it comes to the digital channels that are seeing the most impact from the use of personalization, email comes out on top, with about 6 in 10 (62% of) marketers saying as such. This isn’t too surprising considering that email marketing is one of the key places where marketers have been taking advantage of personalization for some time. Older research from Ascend2 shows that message personalization was the most effective email marketing tactic used back in 2017. And, in 2018, research from Everage and Researchscape International found that more than three-quarters of marketers were personalizing their email marketing. Much more recent research from Litmus shows that email personalization has increased over the past couple of years.

More than half (54%) of respondents say they are also seeing impact from the use of personalization on their websites. Again, this is historically one of the main channels where marketers are using personalization. In fact, e-commerce sites are using various forms of data to achieve personalization, including real-time behavior data and individual user data.

On the other end of the spectrum, very few respondents are seeing the impact of using personalization in areas such as paid and organic social and paid and organic search. This is likely due to the lower level of the use of personalization on these channels.

Executing an Effective Personalization Strategy

So, what does creating an effective personalization strategy entail? Most respondents believe that the most critical elements needed are creating and delivering relevant content and managing customer/consumer expectations. Added to that, marketers need the budget and resources to execute personalization. 

Data integrity is also a critical element of an effective personalization strategy for about 3 in 10 (28% of) respondents. It is somewhat surprising that this is not higher on the list of elements, considering that improving data quality and implementing or improving data governance is a priority for businesses, in general.

As with many things in marketing, the factors that marketers find to be the most effective in executing a successful personalization strategy, also pose the biggest challenges. Most are finding it a challenge to manage customer expectations as well as to find the budget and resources to execute and create and deliver relevant content. That said, more than half (53%) feel they have sufficient technology to deliver relevant and consistent messaging across all their marketing channels. 

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a December 2021 survey of 364 marketers from B2B and B2C companies, 60% of whom are at companies with fewer than 50 employees.

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