Gartner: Four in five marketers will abandon personalisation projects by 2025

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Are your personalised marketing efforts going to waste? Campaigns not hitting the spot? If so, you’re not alone – and according to the latest missive from analyst firm Gartner, four in five marketers will ‘abandon’ personalisation efforts by the middle of the next decade.

The primary obstacle respondents faced, according to the survey, was data and its various methods of analysis, from collection, to integration, and protection. More than a quarter of those polled (27%) said data was the biggest roadblock, with a similar number saying technology was a major hurdle to personalisation.

Charles Golvin, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Marketers Practice, argued consumers had developed an ‘increasingly jaundiced eye’ towards personalisation. Users don’t want their brands’ marketing departments to be their friend, or indeed even pretend to be one. “Marketers must really adopt the basics when it comes to test and learn before investing in personalisation technology and new tactics,” said Golvin.

So what does this mean? Gartner recommends organisations need to leverage a pilot, or proof of concept, with a vendor before investing, as well as focus on strategic planning, use case development and consent management as part of an overall roadmap.

“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,” added Golvin. “However, this quest has failed to meet marketers’ ambitions and, in some cases, has backfired, as consumers both directly and indirectly reject brands’ overtures.”

When it comes to marketing prognostications, Gartner has been especially gloomy of late. Last month the company argued that, despite optimism from marketers, UK budgets were on the slide, while another report noted risk-aversion, talent limitation and an inability to measure impact comprised the three biggest bulwarks marketing professionals faced.

With regards to personalisation, many in the industry remain optimistic about its impact. Writing for this publication last month Jonathan Thirkill, founder and CEO of Boostify, noted the importance of realising there were limits to the ‘personalisation fantasy.’ “Personalisation will prove as powerful an investment as anything else in 2020,” wrote Thirkill. “However, it will have to be accepted as a long-term strategy – almost as a way of increasing brand loyalty and sustainably growing an enterprise.”

Ewan McIntyre, VP analyst at the Gartner for Marketers Practice, affirmed that while CMOs are putting a lot of faith in data-driven practices, the basics still need doing. “The commitment to data-driven marketing goes beyond strategic intent and budgetary commitment,” McIntyre wrote in a piece for MarketingTech last month. “It requires a shift in the marketing organisation.

“The most mature data-driven marketing teams have embedded real-time decisioning, have defined budget for experimentation and innovation with data and analytics and use analytics as a brand differentiator,” McIntyre added. “Tools, technology and data play a vital role, but talent, culture and organisation are also essential components.”

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