With individuals being bombarded by emails, pop up ads and marketing videos, brands are striving to increase engagement with customers and prospects by using technology that allows for customized communications. The goal is to differentiate communications from the more traditional approach of using key word search data to segment individuals who are then targeted based on broad categories.
Personalization can also increase the likelihood that brands will pitch products or services that are appropriate for potential customers. At least by some accounts, the process can be highly profitable. Gartner says in two years, smart personalization engines that can recognize customer intent will help digital businesses increase their profits by up to 15%, reports MarTechAdvisor.
Personalization can take many forms. One common example is retargeting, in which shoppers who abandon items in their online shopping carts receive emails or pop advertisements that offer the items at discounted prices.
Many large brands have begun to believe that large-scale campaigns that don’t target specific individuals’ needs aren’t cost effective. Just recently Procter & Gamble's top marketer Marc Pritchard said the company is seeking to trim wasteful media spending by 50%, reports The Drum.
Having already eliminated 20% of wasteful media spending, P&G expects to reach its new goal by no longer mass blasting its marketing messages and instead using its own data sets for messaging that is highly targeted. In one example, Pritchard said the brand has developed a real-time measurement system to assess what television shows people watch in their homes and then use more precise analytics to target individuals with customized messages.
Digital marketing agencies and other firms, meanwhile, are working to develop services for providing personalized marketing messages. To that end, marketing consulting firm Munvo has formed an alliance with Evergage, which provides a real-time personalization platform, reports MarTechAdvisor. For Munvo, the goal is to help clients produce optimized content for clients in a variety of industries, including retail, travel, and financial services.
Evergage says its technology combines deep behavioral analytics, a full customer data platform, and advanced machine learning to personalize marketing messages across websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, and other channels. It maintains that its technology allows marketers to automatically recognize and respond to individuals’ interests and intentions within milliseconds.
Despite the high levels of enthusiasm for personalization, brands will have to walk a fine line between providing meaningful content and alienating individuals by appearing to snoop. In a study by InMoment titled “2018 CX Trends Report,” 75% of individuals surveyed said they had found certain personalized marketing messages to be creepy.
On an encouraging note, half of consumers surveyed said they continued shopping with brands even after experiencing creepy messages. But, 22% said they took their business elsewhere.
Banks, healthcare companies, and technology companies were among the top industries to send out creepy personalized messages, according to the study. Some survey respondents said they experienced having brands ask for personal information that didn’t appear to be relevant to the messaging being provided and other individuals felt like they were being watched.
MarketingDive acknowledges that personalization is important and it cites an Accenture study that determined that the lack of targeted messaging costs businesses $756 billion in 2016. Yet, consumers are most appreciative of the basics, such having brands make them feel valued or having brands deliver on promises and provide memorable experiences.