10 Talking Points for Pitching Personalization to Your Boss
Amid the proliferation of big data and analytics-driven insights, the changing tide of digital has brought personalization to the world of retail marketing, with outmoded mass marketing approaches giving way to tailored and relevant interactions at every touchpoint of the customer journey. However, these waves have yet to reach the shores of many companies, which continue to skirt the line of relevance in a demanding consumer landscape. According to an analysis by Boston Consulting Group, only 15 percent of companies are leaders in personalization, while another 20 percent are experimenting with personalized marketing. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of companies still rely on segmented marketing or mass marketing, placing themselves at serious risk of lagging far behind their more adaptive competitors in performance and profitability.
How can marketers at such companies convince their C-suites to take personalization technologies more seriously? Below, find 10 talking points that should kick-start meaningful conversations with even the most fervent skeptics:
1. CX is the new battleground.
Retailers can compete on price and promotions all they want, but they’ll quickly find that contest is nothing but a race to the bottom.
The key to winning hearts, minds and ultimately the hard-earned cash of customers lies instead in providing a best-in-class customer experience (CX). And that requires ensuring every interaction, at every touchpoint, reflects each customer’s unique preferences and behavior. A Marketo study found 78 percent of consumers won’t engage with an offer unless it’s been tailored to reflect their previous engagements with a brand.
The bottom line: discounts and deals can’t compensate for a failure to nurture meaningful, personalized relationships with customers.
2. Companies investing in personalization will outsell companies that don’t.
Money talks, and it’s making a compelling case for personalization.
According to Gartner, companies that have embraced personalization were on track to outsell companies that hadn’t by 30 percent by year-end 2018. This is a number which can only be expected to rise. Brands that opt to sit on the sidelines will surely miss out on revenue opportunities to those companies that prioritize personalization in their digital marketing strategies.
3. Personalization improves key business metrics.
What happens when a business invests in relevant, targeted engagements with its customers? It wins new business for a fraction of the cost. Research by McKinsey finds personalization can reduce acquisition costs by up to 50 percent, generate a 5 percent to 10 percent increase in revenue, and boost the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 percent to 30 percent.
At a time when customer acquisition costs are at an all-time high, making the most of existing website traffic through personalization means being able to invest more money back into acquiring new customers, improving results at all stages of the purchase funnel.
4. The costs of not personalizing are significant.
The corollary to a growing abundance of evidence that personalization makes a company’s marketing dollar go further is that failing to invest in personalization will impose steep costs on businesses. In fact, an Accenture study found 44 percent of U.S. consumers said they're frustrated when companies failed to provide relevant personalized experiences — a sentiment that translated into a massive loss in sales ($2.5 trillion globally).
Targeted, tailored customer communications are no longer a nice-to-have; they have become table stakes.
5. It’s only going to become more commonplace.
Personalization isn’t a fad for nonadopters to ride out; it’s part of marketing’s new world order. From 2017 to 2022, 15 percent of companies are expected to see $800 billion in revenue shift from personalization as the performance gap grows between leaders in the space and late adopters.
As companies look to build their competitive advantage in a landscape populated with personalization innovators, the number of personalized interactions is only going to increase, with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning enabling new insights into what resonates with customers.
Playing the waiting game could mean the difference between long-term sustainability for some businesses and dissolution for others.
6. Consumers expect personalized experiences.
Popular demand continues to be the driving force behind personalized marketing’s proliferation.
Salesforce research reveals 59 percent of customers expect tailored engagements based on their past interactions with a brand, and customers are more than twice as likely to view personalized offers as important than as unimportant. Furthermore, 84 percent of customers surveyed said being treated like a real person — not just another statistic — is a key factor in winning their business, underscoring the need for companies to jettison one-size-fits-all marketing and plan engagements according to the interests and past engagements of customers.
7. Your competitors are investing in personalization.
Given the clear market incentives to adopt personalization, chances are your competitors are making strategic investments in personalization technology. Personalization will remain a key priority for marketing leaders as they continue to increase their investments. According to Gartner, 56 percent of marketing leaders increased their personalization spend in 2018.
8. Employing point solutions simply isn’t enough.
Ascend2 reported integrating data across more technologies is the most challenging barrier to success for 44 percent of marketing influencers. Makes sense, seeing as point solutions can easily create data silos and trap essential data on user behavior from ever becoming actionable.
Data is the lifeblood of any form of marketing, and therefore the only path to attracting new business and retaining high-value customers is by connecting the dots and properly orchestrating truly relevant experiences.
9. Results from personalization come fast.
For businesses concerned with ensuring those marketing dollars are well spent and in the shortest amount of time, the right personalization partner can quickly produce a significant impact on their bottom line, as well as key business metrics.
With services and solutions designed to help marketers scale the creation and delivery of personalized experiences, retrieving the investment on personalization can happen, sometimes within a matter of months.
10. The longer brands wait, the steeper the learning curve.
Subscribing to the idea that personalization can wait will only position brands further behind on the personalization maturity ladder. Currently, 36 percent of marketers and executives confess to being unable to effectively personalize the customer experience. As time goes on and consumers grow more demanding, the harder it will be for these businesses to modernize their strategies and catch up.
In the case of personalization, taking a "fail fast, fail forward" approach will actually end up reducing loss in the long run.
Mukund Ramachandran is chief marketing officer at Dynamic Yield, an AI-powered omnichannel personalization platform.