If You Know Me, Show It: What Consumers Demand Of Personalization

Consumers have little patience with brands that either do not personalize their marketing or do it badly, judging by "The value of getting personalization right — or wrong — is multiplying," a report by McKinsey. 

Of the consumers polled, 71% expect personalization, and 76% get frustrated when it’s not there. 

Moreover, loyalty is up for grabs, with 75% of consumers having exhibited new shopping behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This wrap-up of McKinsey research shows that consumers want brands to show they know them on a personal level. That is done through actions like these, most of which can be accomplished in email: 

  • Make it easy for me to navigate in-store and online — 75% 
  • Give me relevant product/service recommendations — 67%
  • Tailor messaging to my needs — 66%
  • Offer me targeted promotions — 65%
  • Celebrate my milestones — 60%
  • Send me timely communications tied to key moments — 59%
  • Follow up with my post purchase — 58%
  • Personally address communications to me — 54%
  • Send triggers based on my behavior — 53%
  • Engage and onboard me when I buy for the first time — 51%
  • Show up in my frequently visited websites/apps — 40%



These types of personalization can influence buying behavior throughout the entire customer life cycle, the report continues. 

For instance, 78% of consumers are more likely to refer brands that personalize to friends and family. And 76% are more likely to consider purchasing and 78% to repurchase. 

Who’s good at it? Digitally native brands. These firms own customer transactions and product development and use first-party data in their decision-making. 

In contrast, brick-and-mortar retailers (of groceries and apparel, say) tend to own customer transactions but not product development. And first-party data is captured but mixed. 

Finally, brands without direct relationships with consumers (e.g., CPGs) typically do not own customer transactions, and have limited access to first-party data. 

As if it needs to be argued, McKinsey notes that personalization drives performance and better customer outcomes. Fast-growing firms derive “40% more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterpoints,” the authors write.

The authors are:

  • Nidhi Arora, a consultant in McKinsey’s San Francisco office,
  • Wei Wei Liu, an associate partner.
  • Kelsey Robinson and Eli Stein, partners. 
  • Daniel Ensslen, a consultant in the Boston office.
  • Lars Fiedler, a partner in the Hamburg office.
  • Gustavo Schüler, a partner in the Southern California office.


1 comment about "If You Know Me, Show It: What Consumers Demand Of Personalization".
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  1. Larry Wiken from WIKEN INT"L, November 30, 2021 at 2:36 p.m.

    Hi Authors- Thanks Ray Schultz for this Post.
    "Voice is the new click". The fastest, smartest, most cost-effective way to true Personalization, using zero party data, is to give your customers a branded voice. A branded voice will enable customers to respond to retailor and vendor messaging while in the moment. No searching, no typing, no wasted time. Our branded voice platform knows customer preferences and much more.
    Join the conversation.

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