The Holes In The Tech Stack: Too Few Firms Have The Right Personalization Tools

Brands want technology that can deliver real-time personalization at scale. But many don’t have it, judging by the Personalized Advertising Confidence Gap, a study by Forrester, commissioned by RevJet. 

Of the 109 decision makers surveyed, 70% lack confidence in their ability to deliver personalized ad content. 

Granted, they are talking mostly about display advertising. But the holes in technology apply to email marketing too. 

Take their high-tech readiness. Almost a third say they lack the technology to automate key processes that drive personalization — specifically, such tasks as identity resolution (achieving a single view of the customer) and multivariate A/B testing of creative.

Yet those are the very capabilities they need. Of those surveyed, 38% want machine learning but don’t yet have it. In addition, 34% lack real-time versioning and 31% desire identity resolution.

Moreover, 31% say they need dynamic creative optimization, 29% say they can't live without cross-platform storytelling and 28% have yet to catch up with omnichannel advertising.

Firms that are in need of AI capabilities are more likely to lack the technology than the skills. But the reverse was true for firms that need dynamic creative optimization.

Whatever their state of readiness, 49% say that having a more holistic view of the customer can lead to more efficient marketing processes. And 48% expect to realize a greater customer lifetime value. Similar percentages anticipate greater revenue and customer loyalty.  

Yet 24% concede that some tasks are just not seen as priorities in their companies — i.e., real-time versioning and machine learning.

Many firms have trouble simply keeping up with their customers “ever-changing context,” the study adds.

Over half need at least a month to create a messaging strategy, while 55% require a month to execute that messaging strategy, and 54% say it takes  a month to change individual ad creative to meet the changes in their customers’ lives. Thirty-one percent need at least a quarter.  

Overall, 66% have difficulty delivering personalized advertising at scale, and 68% are challenged by getting it to the right audiences 

What to these brands seek in technology partners? They demand:

  • Availability of tools to align creative and media organizations — 47%
  • Ease of integration with existing technologies — 47% 
  • Omniplatform capabilities (desktop and mobile, video, social/native, OTT and display) — 46%
  • Built-in marketing intelligence — 45%
  • Ability to collaborate within my organization and with external agencies — 42% 
  • Machine learning/AI capabilities — 41%
  • Already existing integrations with data management platforms — 40% 

Forrester concludes that the main issue preventing firms from being more agile is “a lack of technology that can support the key capabilities that power more effective advertising campaigns and business outcomes.”

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