When Loyalty360 released its second annual CX Landscape: State of the Industry Report late last year, a surprising statistic related to personalization among loyalty marketers emerged: Nearly two-thirds of brands reported that personalized customer experiences are very important to their organizations, but just 22% said personalized experiences are fully adopted or heavily adopted by their organizations.

Fast forward to the present and a new survey, “2016 Trends in Personalization,” from Evergage centers on personalization that is revealed fully when you take a peek inside the numbers.

Consider the following:

85% of the marketers surveyed are using personalization, however, most companies’ initiatives barely make the grade, with the majority of marketers giving their own (55%) – and their competitors’ (63%) – campaigns a grade of “C” or lower

While the majority of marketers have deployed personalization programs, just 42% are “very” or “extremely” confident they have the tools they need to do personalization and think they can go further. Only 18% of marketers are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the level of personalization currently woven into their marketing efforts

When employing personalization, marketers today most frequently use it in email (67%), on websites (56%), mobile websites (27%), mobile apps (20%) and web applications (19%)

Of those not already using personalization in some capacity or using only email personalization, more than half (55%) plan to implement website or in-app personalization in the next year

Personalization is increasingly viewed as a strategic priority, the survey found as 74% of respondents said that personalization is either “very” or “extremely” important to their respective organizations. As a result, they are allocating more staff, budget and resources:

Dedicated Personnel – In 2015, 51% of respondents had employees dedicated to personalization. This year, this number increased to 57%. Of this group, 39% have personnel dedicated full-time to personalization.

Measuring ROI – Respondents using personalization in their marketing campaigns realized increased conversion rates (65%), increased visitor engagement (62%) and improved customer experiences (61%). Additionally, 89% report an overall lift from personalization efforts (a 3% increase over 2015), a majority of which (53%) have seen a lift greater than 10%.

Poor Personalization – Your Worst Nightmare? Marketers reported that incorrect personalization is worse/scarier than: sending an email campaign with a typo (71%), higher-than-average unsubscribe rates on an email campaign (46%), forgetting to attend a meeting scheduled by the CMO (43%) and a “page not found” error (40%).

When asked why their organizations have not yet adopted website or in-app personalization, 39% of marketers indicated that the top barriers are a lack of effective solution/technology, budget constraints , and a lack of knowledge/skills/people.

Other barriers noted by respondents included: Insufficient integration and consistency across all marketing channels, not enough time, bad quality/dirty data, and scalability across sites.

During the next 12 months, organizations revealed their plans and priorities on personalization:

Budgets – More than 1 in 3 (35%) plan to increase budgets for personalization, with 40% expecting their budgets to increase between 1%-10% and 38% expecting it to increase 21%-100%. Just 4% of respondents said their budget will decrease.

Greater Emphasis – 64% of marketers want to see personalization be a bigger priority in their organizations. 

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