Data Rich Relationship Necessary For True Personalization

According to an online audit of senior marketing decision makers, and a report from the CMO Council, 38% of marketers said they would work to drive relevance and boost response rates by acting on a robust, data-driven personalization strategy to optimize the customer experience. 68% of marketers indicated they would optimize these strategies by improving the effectiveness of experiences through better customer data, insights and analytics.



Consumers have grown frustrated with irrelevance, as a Harris Interactive poll indicates that 74% of online customers get frustrated when content that is served to them has nothing to do with their interests. And, according to Gartner, by 2018 B2B organizations that incorporate personalization into digital commerce will increase revenue up to 15%. Demonstrating a deep understanding of an individual customer and delivering a digital experience that is highly relevant, timely and tailored for a single user is universally critical, says the report.

According to 49% of survey respondents, personalized campaigns are off to a good start, causing teams to be optimistic that an omni-channel, personalized experience will deliver the impact and yield that marketing has anticipated. While only 17% of marketers are still sitting on the sidelines, 26% have total confidence that personalization is the path forward.

Personalization Is The Path

Confidence Level

% of Respondents

Totally Confident


Hopefully Optimistic


Waiting to See


Not Expecting a Miracle


Source: CMO Council, February 2016

37% of marketers say that successful personalization must have the ability to draw from a single source of customer truth that is developed with data drawn from across the organization. For 29% of marketers, successful personalization requires an omni-channel approach that is ready to engage a customer with the right content in the channel of the customer’s choice. 

Marketers admit that, while they have been able to effectively personalize experiences in certain channels, they are struggling to personalize engagements across the entire customer journey, says the report. Only 14% of marketers are able to personalize across the entire journey. 36% can personalize in select channels but believe they are struggling to properly align data to personalize on a consistent and meaningful level. However, 21% have succeeded in delivering one-on one relationships with their customers, personalizing experiences both online and offline.

Just as marketers are advancing their abilities when it comes to personalizing experiences and engagements, they are also establishing new measures and metrics that are being used to best define success. Measures around digital engagement like clicks, views and open rates have slightly given way to measures around acquisition rate improvements (62%) and retention rate improvements (69%).  Also high on the list of critical measures are:

  • Revenue per transaction increases (49%)
  • Customer lifetime value (53%)
  • Upsell and cross-sell engagements (53%)
  • Customer satisfaction surveys (52%)

Marketers are evolving their views on the efficacy of their customer experience investments, tying impact back to the business rather than simply getting surface measures of campaign effectiveness.

  • 40% of marketers believe that with these new measures and metrics that better tie experience investments and campaigns to business results, they are evolving in their ability to truly prove the impact of their spend
  • 34% feel they are doing well
  • 10% saying they are doing extremely well.
  • Worth noting is that more than one in four marketers admit they are struggling or outright failing to evolve measurement of their customer experience investments.

Not surprisingly, confident marketers also believe they are doing a good job of tying investments in personalized customer experiences back to the business:

  • 10% say they are doing extremely well
  • 34% of the overall marketing audience indicated they were doing well
  • 50% of the totally confident group feel they are doing well, with
  • 17% indicating they are doing extremely well.

Marketers will look to get a better hold on customer data and intelligence, and how these points can power content and experiences to reach an awaiting customer.

This step toward binding relevance with experience is at the very core of making true personalization possible for today’s marketing organization, says the report.

Taking this critical step will mean going beyond using surface data, like name or even location, and instead developing a data-rich relationship that enables customers to traverse their self-defined customer journeys, eventually culminating in a rich, repeatable and loyal lifetime relationship between the customer and the brand.

For additional information please visit the CMO Council here.


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