Marketers at loggerheads with consumers over personalisation effectiveness

Marketers at loggerheads with consumers over personalisation effectiveness Marketing Tech’s editor has more than a decade of editorial experience spanning computing, performance marketing and, currently, enterprise digital strategy. Simon’s career began in print, where he edited the news section of business computing title PC Plus and contributed to a variety of other special interest titles, including MacFormat and Computer Arts. He then made the transition to digital journalism, joining PerformanceIN where he covered a sector of the marketing industry where advertisers only pay on a performance basis. Most recently, Simon became editor at TechForge Media where he manages the editorial strategy of Marketing Tech and the company portfolio’s newest launch Connected Car.


Most marketers may believe that they are delivering effective personalised experiences to their online customers, but this is at odds with the views of the very consumers they are targeting.

Predictive data service Lytics has released a report detailing how 53% of marketers are convinced by the competency of their personalisation strategy, however 80% of consumers insist brands show little evidence that they are familiar with their online purchasing needs.

Indeed, the same disparity exists elsewhere too as 61% of consumers reported how offers received through different digital channels and mobile devices are never or rarely relevant to their own interests.

Irreparable damage

If this detachment between consumer and marketer continues over a period of time, then Kathleen Schaub, vice president of the IDC CMO Advisory Service, says there is a risk that irreparable damage could be done to the relationship.

“Disconnects between marketers and consumers can cause brands to lose customers to competitors, miss opportunities and waste countless hours and resources developing and providing offers that are ignored completely,” she said.

“In 2015, marketers that want to close the gap between what they are delivering and what customers respond to must find ways to identify how, when and where online purchases are made and then deliver more personalized experiences that address buyers’ desires.”

Marketers are convinced by the success that a successful personalised experience can provide, however, with 100% of the study’s respondents ranking initiatives that predict a customer’s actions as extremely important.

Confused consumers?

Historical data means very little in modern marketing, according to Lytics’ State of Digital Marketing report. Only 10% of consumer respondents always look for products and services that they had previously decided they need and 23% never look for items they previously planned to buy.

Life is made even trickier for marketers because just 11% of consumers know what they are looking for, 33% know what they are searching for rarely or sometimes and 23% never know what they are hunting for.

So how should marketers target these meandering online consumers? Lytics found that 40% respond best to website promotions, 25% favour social media and 22% prefer display ads. The two big no-nos are push notifications and physical ads that are liked by 8% and 5% respectively.

Clearly marketers need to align their KPIs more with the demands of the consumer when it comes to personalisation, but this is made doubly difficult when consumers are not sure of the end game themselves.

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