Personalization is almost like a kind of magic word that is invoked when you want to explain how to do things well in marketing and how to connect with consumers in an effective and positive way. If you personalize, you make everything unique and much more valuable.

But, as with many marketing elements, when it comes to personalization there is also a clash between what brands believe is important and what they are doing and what they are actually serving consumers. The expectations of the latter are much higher than what marketers are offering them, as much as they are aware of the importance of personalization and as much as they ensure that they are doing that job.

As a study by Wunderkind has just shown , the gap between what some expect and what others do is growing ever larger. Thus, 66% of retailers consider personalization to be a critical element in their current operations and strategy.

The weight of customization is not only decisive for the immediate but also for the long and medium term. In fact, 71% believe it will become even more important in the next five years. But the fact that marketers are clear on this point does not necessarily mean that they are doing things well-well. You could almost say that they are doing it in a way contrary to what they think. Most consumers would not hesitate to reach that conclusion.

Consumers believe messages are irrelevant
The percentages make it quite clear. 70% of consumers say that the messages they receive from retailers are somewhat generic. Brands do not send them information that they feel is designed for them. 51% of those surveyed say that in the last twelve months they have started to receive marketing messages that are much more impersonal or directly irrelevant.

You could say that they receive more and more spam and less personalized messages. All this is a serious problem: 49% of consumers point out that the impersonal interactions of brands lead them to have less desire to buy products from them. Failing to personalize, companies fail to convert to sales as well.

Why companies fail
If companies and their marketers know the theory and are fully aware of the importance of personalization, why aren’t they doing their homework and applying everything they believe to in their marketing actions? What leads to this imbalance?

The study provides insight that could be crucial to understanding why marketers are not living up to what they actually believe. Perhaps, if their personalization fails it is because they are not being able to know their consumers not as a mass but as people. 40% of retailers say that, in reality, they are only able to identify between 26 and 50% of buyers.

23% even assume that of all the visitors to their website they only manage to identify a quarter. That is to say, no matter how you look at it, they don’t get to know who is who. Without specific data and without a concrete connection between consumption patterns and consumers, it is very difficult to do that personalization work. They can’t talk about you to you because they don’t know who is on the other side.

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