Delivering personalized content, recommendations and experiences is key to business success in today’s competitive environment. In order to be successful, brands must utilize data-driven strategies to know their customers and prospects and deliver relevant messaging.
Research conducted by Ascend examined how companies are going about delivering data-driven personalization. For almost two-thirds of marketers (64%), improving customer experiences was a primary objective of their strategy. Other top goals included increasing visitor engagement (44%), increasing conversion rates (43%) and improving product offer and pricing (26%).
However, many found these goals to be particularly challenging to receive. According to respondents, the top three critical challenges included improving customer experiences (44%), increasing visitor engagement (42%) and improving quality of data used (41%).
Marketers are using more types of data than ever before to personalize their marketing outreach. Traditional personalization techniques may include tactics such as name and information such as birthday. However, with more digital channels than ever before, more types of data can be utilized to create richer experiences for consumers.
According to Ascend, over half (55%) of marketing influencers say that website activity is the most important type of marketing data utilized for personalization efforts. Transaction activity is also at the top of the list of important types of data to 47% of those marketers surveyed.
In another recent study by Monetate conducted across the retail, travel and hospitality, and insurance industries, the types of data used by marketers for their personalization strategies were similar, with digital sources being the top formats used to support personalization efforts. All three industries surveyed report similar usage of email activity and website behavioral data. Purchase history was also very important, with retailers leading at 94%.
As to where marketers are using personalization strategies, email tops the list for 51% of marketers. Additional uses include marketing content (46%), website home page (40%) and search engine marketing (32%).
Consumers today expect their interactions with brands to be personalized and are often frustrated when they don’t receive the personalized experience they are expecting. According to RedPoint, more than half, 63 percent, of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service and believe they are recognized as an individual when sent special offers. Other research studies show very similar findings.
Research by Epsilon broke these statistics down even further by looking at specific industry segments. Take a look at these study findings across several industries:
Grocery/Drug Store Websites/Mobile Apps
- 90% of respondents say they are much/somewhat more likely to do business with grocery/drug store websites/apps offering personalized experiences but only 71% say grocery/drug store websites/apps are currently delivering personalized experiences very/somewhat well.
- Respondents ranked the following personalized experiences as the first- and second-most motivating to do business with a grocery/drug store: providing offers or coupons based on consumer’s physical location (29%); providing offers or coupons based on past purchases or preferences consumer set (29%); sending consumers customized communications (25%).
Travel & Leisure Websites/Mobile Apps
- 87% of respondents say they are much/somewhat more likely to do business with travel websites/apps offering personalized experiences but only 64% say travel websites/apps are currently delivering personalized experiences very/somewhat well.
- Respondents ranked the following personalized experiences as the first- and second-most motivating to do business with a travel and leisure brand: providing offers or coupons based on consumer’s physical location (35%); home page automatically shows best fares / hotel deals in frequently-travelled cities (32%); providing offers or coupons based on past trips or preferences consumer set (28%).
Automotive Industry Websites/Mobile Apps
- 86% of respondents say they are much/somewhat more likely to do business with automotive websites/apps offering personalized experiences but only 55% say automotive websites/apps are delivering personalized experiences very/somewhat well.
- Consumers ranked the following personalized experiences as the first- and second-most motivating to do business with an auto brand: storing purchase or maintenance history (49%); reminders of upcoming scheduled service needs (44%); allowing consumer to set up recurring maintenance for a vehicle (38%).
Consumers want Personalization and Brands Benefit
With consumers stating they want personalized experiences, brands stand to reap huge benefits. According to BI Intelligence:
- Personalization can lead to increased customer loyalty— 44% of respondents said they would likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience.
- It can also bolster sales, as 49% of consumers surveyed said they’ve purchased a product they weren’t planning on buying after receiving a personalized recommendation. Additionally, it can increase average order size, with 40% of shoppers reporting that they’ve spent more money on a purchase than planned because of a personalized shopping experience.
- Personalization can decrease returns on impulse buys. Eighty-five percent of shoppers who made a last-minute purchase from a personalized marketing message said they were happy with their order, and only 5% said they wanted to return the item.
Today’s savvy consumers want to be heard, remembered and recognized across channels, whether they are in-store or on-line. Using data-driven approaches to collect and integrate data to develop real-time, 360-degree views of your customers and prospects will enable brands to deliver the personalized experiences consumers are demanding.
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