Where is Personalization at the End of 2014?

Few marketers, agencies use personalization extensively

Toronto, ON (Dec. 18, 2014) – It seems like everywhere we’ve turned this year people have talking about the need for personalization. But October 2014 polling by Econsultancy in association with Adobe found that personalization efforts were still far from advanced.

Approach to digital personalization

Just 5% of client-side marketers worldwide said they were personalizing extensively, and 10% of agency professionals said the same about their clients. Meanwhile, 29% of marketers and 26% of agencies’ clients weren’t doing anything.

Technology has gone hand in hand with conversations about personalization this year as marketers rush to make sense of consumer data they’ve gathered across channels and form one single customer viewpoint. However, Econsultancy found that most respondents were still more likely to take a manual approach to personalization than an automated one. Nearly one-third of both marketing and agency respondents said personalization processes were highly or quite manual, compared with 21% and 18% who said these were automated, respectively.

Manual vs automated approach to digital personalization

Technology can’t replace everything, though. Marketers and agencies need help from people, too. As such, about 45% of respondents from both groups used an even mix of tech and human involvement.

Results indicated that many marketers and agencies were having trouble keeping up with today’s multichannel consumers, at least in part because of technology issues. Fully 35% of respondents agreed that their personalization activities straddled online and offline, while 42% disagreed. Meanwhile, 39% of respondents said they personalized across desktop, smartphone and tablet devices, compared with 43% who didn’t.

Retailers should take note of shoppers’ desire for a smooth experience across channels, especially with the holiday season in full swing. In a September 2014 study by the e-tailing group, 47% of respondents said receiving a consistently personalized shopping experience from one channel to the next was an important omnichannel retail capability.

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SOURCE: eMarketer