Marketers Still Struggle With Data Consolidation and Personalization, Report Says

A new Forrester report commissioned by SendGrid illustrates how data consolidation and personalization remain challenging for many marketers.

Conducted in March 2017 by SendGrid, the Forrester study polled 200 organizations across industries in the United States and Canada to evaluate the adoption of integrated email marketing platforms. 

Access to customer data is not a problem for marketers, but marketers struggle to transform customer data into insights-driven marketing campaigns, according to the report. Two-thirds of respondents said their sales, marketing and service applications were fully integrated with their email marketing system, but only a little over a third of these respondents asserted that personalized content was integrated.

Half of the firms polled by Forrester cited data consolidation as their company’s biggest challenge in evolving their email campaigns toward true 1:1 personalization, while the other half of respondents said their biggest hurdle was personalizing experiences across channels and customer touchpoints. A third of respondents also listed content creation as a challenge to their company, with 34% of marketers struggling to add context to their email messages.

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The report does identify a small group of marketers who have incorporated insights to propel more personalized email campaigns.

Eighteen percent of respondents have integrated vendor and in-house capabilities to develop their own customized email marketing solution. Just under a quarter of respondents who use both in-house and vendor tools asserted that the hybrid approach allowed them greater flexibility in customizing their email campaigns. 

Email is the most commonly used marketing channel, according to the report, with 82% of respondents leveraging email to reach out to customers. Email remains a largely promotional channel, however, and marketers are struggling to integrate personalization and context into campaigns to cultivate better customer relationships.

“Email is the most commonly used marketing channel, according to 82 percent of respondents but it’s not yet being used to its full potential,” states Scott Heimes, chief marketing officer at SendGrid. “Marketers crave a solution that enables personalized and contextually relevant customer experiences that better serves their customers to drive engagement and business growth.”

Based in Denver, SendGrid is a cloud-based customer communications platform that delivers more than 30 billion emails each month for customers like Spotify, Uber, and Airbnb.

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