Online Rendezvous: How First-Party Data Drives Personalized Engagement

There are a few dismaying facts in a new report from Coresight Research: Motivating Customer Action and Driving Business Growth with AI-Generated, Personalized Digital Marketing, sponsored by Persado.  

For one, the US personal savings rate dropped to 2.3% in October 2022, its lowest level since 2005. 

For another, 78.5% of U.S. consumers have seen recent prices in retail—so much so that 49.4% plan to buy fewer items while 32.8% are delaying non-grocery purchases. 

Coresight posits that this requires greater use of first-party data by retailers in the interest of personalization, and it cites a variety of statistics to support this claim, some old, some more recent. For instance, a survey of marketers showed that first-party data helps brands:

  • Drive online sales — 56%
  • Provide relevant information at the right time through the right channel (personalization) — 51% 
  • Build brand recognition — 47% 
  • Generate impactful, creative content for consumers (personalization) — 43% 
  • Drive, measure and qualify leads — 32%
  • Predict customers’ needs — 29% 
  • No benefits — 3% 



Moreover, a separate survey found that personalization drives increased clicks per email for 41% of retailers. 

Case in point: arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels sought to increase its used of personalized marketing across email, social and SMS. 

Michaels worked with Persado, the sponsor of this report, to use its content to build a custom language model that was true to its voice. Using its Motivation AI, Persado generated language experiments that fed predictive models to understand how to best build brand engagement through personalization. 

The result is that Michaels now personalizes over 95% of its email campaigns. In addition, the effort led to a 41% increase in the click-through rate for the retailer’s SMS campaigns, and 25% boost in the email click-through rate.  

What does Coresight conclude from this use case and from the various statistics it presents? It advises retailers to:

  • Adopt AI solutions that leverage first-party data and enhance it to ensure consistency of communication to consumers across all channels. 
  • Emphasize language personalization within their websites, email campaigns and loyalty apps. 
  • Focus on the moment of engagement with the customer and use AI and first-party data to dynamically identify the best tailored message to the customer in real time. 
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