By 2025, 80% of marketers who have invested in personalization will abandon their efforts due to lack of ROI, the perils of customer data management or both, according to Gartner, Inc. In fact, 27% of marketers believe data is the key obstacle to personalization — revealing their weaknesses in data collection, integration and protection.
“Personal data has long been the fuel that fires marketing at every stage of the customer journey, and the drive to find new forms of fuel and devise new ways to leverage them seems to be boundless,” said Charles Golvin, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Marketers practice. “However, this quest has failed to meet marketers’ ambitions and, in some cases, has backfired, as consumers both directly and indirectly reject brands’ overtures.”
Marketers face other impediments to personalization success including the continuing decline in consumer trust, increased scrutiny by regulators and tracking barriers erected by tech companies. While personalization comprises 14% of the marketing budget, more than one in four marketing leaders cite technology as a major hurdle to personalization.
“Consumers have developed an increasingly jaundiced eye toward marketers’ efforts to embrace them,” said Mr. Golvin. “Their increasingly cluttered email inboxes and mobile phone notification centers may lead them to ignore even the most carefully personalized and contextualized message. Marketers must really adopt the basics when it comes to test and learn before investing in personalization technology and new tactics.”
Gartner has a number of recommendations for marketing leaders evaluating their personalization efforts, including:
- Leverage a pilot or proof of concept (POC) with a vendor before investing in a personalization tool. Go back to the basics and test tailored recommendations at the segment level to avoid unnecessary or premature investment in a personalization engine.
- Grow personalization efforts from a set of tactics or tools to a capability by focusing on strategic planning, use case development and consent management as part of a personalization roadmap.
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams to align personalization efforts and increase momentum. Sharing control of personalization efforts can lead to shared insight and expand collective impact and ROI.
Other Gartner predictions to help marketers…