The State of Personalization in Marketing


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Marketers have quickly caught on to the effectiveness of using personalization in their marketing efforts. It’s even gotten to the point where customers expect to receive personalized pitches no matter what business they interact with. Customers want the individual experience, to be treated like they’re a real person instead of just a number. As a result, their buying habits and shopping patterns can depend immensely on the amount of personalization used in marketing campaigns. This isn’t a small segment of the population either. An overwhelming majority of consumers look for personalization in the shopping experience, and marketers understand the importance of this approach. In one survey conducted by Ascend2, 70 percent of marketing experts said personalization is one of the most important tools for data-driven marketing. Having said that, personalization efforts have had difficulty getting off the ground in recent years.

It only stands to reason that personalized marketing is more effective than more traditional strategies. The individual consumer will respond more positively if they think a piece of advertising or content is tailored specifically to them. This is the case in basically every type of marketing, from landing pages to emails. Think of it as a massive improvement on the user experience. It only becomes more important when moved to the mobile sphere. Not only are consumers using mobile devices more and more, they are more affected by personalized marketing on that type of channel.

While it’s clear that personalization is the way to go if marketers want to achieve more success, many marketers continue to struggle at implementing this approach. Part of the issue is the expertise needed to properly analyze customer data. Big data can be a complex field, and the process of gathering and analyzing vast amounts of data can prove difficult for those without a background in the technology. This has led to less than ideal implementation of data-driven marketing for the purposes of personalization. The same Ascend2 survey shows that only 37 percent of marketing experts think they’re being very successful with data-driven marketing. As a consequence, many marketing teams are turning to third-party companies or hosted Hadoop solutions in order to perform analytics. In this way, they can get the data they need to actually create and manage personalized marketing campaigns.

One can likely understand how the situation can be frustrating for marketers. They know personalization should be a priority for meeting their objectives, but too many hurdles have cropped up that hinder their progress. In another survey conducted last year, 32 percent of marketers said that they don’t have the relevant technology that would help them achieve personalization goals, while 46 percent said that their organization’s legacy technology presented barriers to implementing personalization strategies. In other words, many marketers don’t have the right tools at the moment, whether that be analytics solutions, converged infrastructure, or the latest social listening tools.

This all amounts to marketers saying they don’t have the right capabilities at the moment, and many companies aren’t exactly helping in this regard. One study from PWC found that the biggest personalization challenge on the marketing side was lack of budget. Without the right support from businesses, marketers quickly find themselves dead in the water no matter how much they want to employ personalization techniques. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, however. Many executives are starting to realize they need to play a more active role getting their marketing teams prepared for today’s marketing challenges. The same study revealed that nearly 90 percent of executives plan to spend more on content in 2016.

Customers expect the personalized experience, and it’s up to marketers to deliver it to them. This requires having the right technology, plan, and resources at their disposal. As can be seen, implementing personalization in a marketing strategy has proven to be a significant challenge, but as the business case is made for it, more marketing teams will have the funds and tools to tackle these problems. The personalization in marketing trend is only at the beginning of a major upswing, one that will continue to grow over the years and organizations learn the best ways to execute these strategies.

Rick Delgado
Freelance Writer
I've been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I've started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also occasionally write for tech companies like Dell.


  1. Good article Rick!
    Personalization in marketing is a strong trend nowadays. But I’m not sure that we have to invest a lot of resources in it. I think that much more important is real contact with our customer and audience, I mean direct contact.
    Of course targeting narrower ads in social media or google search is a good idea, but we also have to remember about interactions.

    None of the online mentions about our ad, offer, about our brand or product, about our content should be left unattended. The real interaction with people who talk about us on the Internet is a great investment in loyal, true, organic brand’s ambassadors.
    Being up to date with online mentions is so easy nowadays thanks to such great tools for real time internet monitoring and analyzes like, my favorite, which gives instant access to all public mentions, allows to join and engage online conversations and also gives analyzes of reach, sentiment and influence. It makes the whole process faster and easier and helps with managing online presence, with social selling, social media customer support, etc.

    Our customers expect that we will be there where they are. It’s worth to follow them 🙂


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