Personal Disappointment: Brands Are Only Somewhat Good At Personalization

Personal Disappointment: Brands Are Only Somewhat Good At Personalization

by , Columnist, December 30, 2021

Personalization works better in email than it does in any other channel. But brands seems far from satisfied with their overall results, judging by Personalization In Digital Marketing, a new study by Ascend2. 

Only 21% see themselves as best-in-class at making personalization work strategically, and 72% as somewhat successful. And 7% are unsuccessful.  

On the positive side, 47% strongly say campaign performance is significantly impacted when personalization is used. And 48% moderately agree. 

In addition, 53% say they have sufficient technology to deliver relevant and consistent messaging across all of their marketing channels. Another 26% don’t, and 21% are unsure.

Email produces the biggest impact for companies engaged in personalization: 

  • Email—62% 
  • Website—54% 
  • Landing pages—29% 
  • Live chat—25% 
  • Mobile apps—17% 
  • SMS—16% 
  • Paid social—19%
  • Paid search—13%
  • Organic social—9% 
  • Organic search—9%

Why is email tops? In part, because “email personalization has become “increasingly accessible to most businesses regardless of size, budget or marketing channel,” the study states.

But there are challenges to achieving strategic success with personalization. They include: 

  • Managing customer/consumer expectations—39%
  • Budget/resources to execute—38%
  • Creating/delivering relevant content—31% 
  • Tracking customer through the entire journey—28% 
  • Required technology to execute—21%
  • Creating a single view of the customer—19% 
  • Data integrity—18%
  • Data unification—13%
  • Adhering to compliance/data regulations—12%
  • Buy-in from leadership—10% 

The critical elements needed to execute a personalization strategy are slightly different in order of importance:

  • Creating/delivering relevant content—45%
  • Managing customer/consumer expectations—43%
  • Budget resources to execute—35%
  • Data integrity—28%
  • Taking customer through the entire journey—26% 
  • Required technology to execute—26% 
  • Adhering to compliance/data privacy regulations—17% 
  • Data unification—14% 
  • Creating a single view of the customer—13% 
  • Buy-in from leadership—10%

All that said, the respondents see clear benefits in personalization:

  • Increased customer retention—49% 
  • Improved customer experience—43%
  • Increased engagement—43%
  • Increased revenue–41% 
  • Increased brand awareness—36% 
  • Increased conversions—26% 
  • Sales and marketing alignment—22% 

Ascend2 and its Research Partners surveyed 364 marketers. Of these, 25% were B2B, 50% B2C and 25% B2B and B2C equally. In addition, 21% were in companies with more than 500 employees, 19% in firms with 50 to 500 and 60% in those with fewer than 50. 


A mere 21% of brands rate themselves as best-in-class, but most see clear benefits from personalization, Ascend2 reports.



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