By 2025, 80% of marketers who have invested in personalisation will abandon their efforts due to lack of ROI, the perils of customer data management or both, according to Gartner.

This is one of several striking predictions by the research company in its new Gartner for Marketers report: Predicts 2020: Marketers, They’re Just Not That Into You.

This notes that 27% of marketers believe data is the key obstacle to personalisation – revealing their weaknesses in data collection, integration and protection.

“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,” said Charles Golvin, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Marketers practice.

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

The dream of mass personalisation is receding thanks to the decline in consumer trust, increased scrutiny by regulators and tracking barriers erected by tech companies. While personalisation comprises 14% of the marketing budget, more than one in four marketing leaders cite technology as a major hurdle to personalisation.

“Marketers must really adopt the basics when it comes to test and learn before investing in personalisation technology and new tactics,” Golvin said.

Gartner advises developing proof of concept with a vendor before investing in a personalisation tool, focusing on strategic planning, use case development and consent management as part of a personalisation roadmap, and collaborating with cross-functional teams to align personalisation efforts and increase momentum.

With data central to personalisation efforts, WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2020 report suggests that in a post-cookie world, marketers should plan media based on more contextual triggers – including site content and quality (research by Kantar, for example, has found that site context and ad congruence can boost campaign impact significantly).

Gartner’s other predictions include:

• In 2023, one-third of all brand public relations disasters will result from data ethics failures.

• By 2023, CMO budget allocation on influencer marketing will decrease by a third as consumers continue to lose trust in brands and entities they don’t personally know.

• By 2024, artificial intelligence identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see.

Sourced from Gartner; additional content by WARC staff