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Marketers failing at personalisation

News, 15 December 2015

CHICAGO/MUNICH: Around four in ten consumers say they receive too many promotions and that most of them don't deliver anything of interest, while a similar proportion delete them without reading.

A study from SAP company hybris, based on a survey across the US, EMEA and APAC regions of 1,200 consumers and 200 advertising and marketing professionals at large organisations, found a distinct gap between what consumers expected of personalised marketing and what marketers were actually delivering.

So while two thirds of marketers rated their efforts at personalisation as "very good" or "excellent," just 31% of consumers felt that was the case.

In fact, 44% of consumers said they received too many offers and promotions, while 40% complained there was nothing of interest in most of them and 37% deleted the majority of such material without reading it.

Further, 40% said they had unsubscribed or opted-out because they felt overwhelmed by the volume of material they were being sent.

The problem, according to hybris, is that many marketers still rely on segmentation methods that target certain demographics, such as a specific age group, which is not nearly enough to engage customers.

The study found that 66% of marketers used demographics to create targeted content offers while 44% claimed to use demographic categories to create at least some level of personalisation for unidentified prospective customers.

Half were using more sophisticated methods, such as leveraging data extracted from loyalty programs (52%) or behaviour-based data (48%) .

And nine in ten marketers surveyed intended to make improving customer experience through personalisation a priority in the coming year.

"Consumers today are bombarded with more marketing messages across more channels than ever before, and the vast majority of these communications are irrelevant," said Charles Nicholls, SVP/Product Strategy, Marketing Solutions at Hybris.

If marketers are to break through the noise, he added, they "must go beyond traditional personalization and towards contextualization by leveraging real-time signals of customer intent at the moment when the customer chooses to interact with the brand".

Data sourced from hybris; additional content by Warc staff