Online customer engagementMarketers routinely talk about personalization as a way to ramp up their customer engagement efforts.

According to a new survey from Evergage, 91% of marketers either use or intend to use personalization for online customer interactions within the next year. What’s more, nearly 50% surveyed (49%) intends to increase their budgets for personalization over the year ahead, with 80% planning to increase them significantly (by more than 10%).

The study, conducted in conjunction with Researchscape International, examined the attitudes and expectations of global business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers surrounding real-time personalization. A total of 242 marketers from around the world, in a variety of roles and from companies of all sizes, was surveyed.

State of Personalization

Real-time personalization (specified as data-driven personalization completed in under one second) in today’s hyper-connected marketplace can be a challenge, but with the help of related technologies, it’s coming at companies and consumers with force, the survey says. Today, marketers believe web personalization is very important to their initiatives, and 51% of organizations have personnel dedicated to working on personalization programs.

“Personalization is an age-old concept, but extending the customized experience to online visitors in real time – based on deep customer analytics – is a new way to ensure each and every interaction with a prospective customer is relevant and engaging,” said Karl Wirth, co-founder and CEO of Evergage. “When nearly 90% of marketers realize lift from personalization initiatives, it’s clear that those who embrace this strategy will outperform those who do not.”

When asked what primary benefits they expect to realize, marketers who plan to deploy personalization indicated they anticipate:

·       Increased visitor engagement – 78%

·       Improved customer experiences – 78%

·       Increased lead generation – 60%

Overall, 54% of marketers expect to see a lift greater than 10%.

Marketers are primarily planning to use inline content (57%) and call-outs (43%). The greatest obstacles to the successful implementation of personalization initiatives were reported to be a lack of knowledge or skills, lack of budget, and IT customer engagement

“The primary challenges to successfully using personalization underscore the importance of developing business intelligence, customer analytics, testing, and personalization tools that marketers can use without the help of IT or data scientists,” Wirth continued. “Marketers need to be able to easily access a well-rounded view of customer information, and act on it to calibrate and deliver highly relevant and engaging experiences in real time, every time.”

The study notes that 33% of those using real-time personalization report increased ecommerce revenue, and 73% see increased visitor engagement. What’s more, marketers are doing a good job measuring the ROI of their personalization campaigns, with only 11% not measuring. They primarily look at conversion lift (58%), time on site (40%), and revenue lift (39%).

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