Personalization - the New Expectation

Lindsay McFarlane, Product Innovation Manager, Valassis
Published Wednesday, Nov 7, 2018



Personalization - the New Expectation

Imagine a world where advertising was your personal concierge. Where your favorite brands would speak to you exclusively based on your interests, previous purchases, likes/dislikes, life stage, shopping habits and preferences. Sounds pretty cool, right? Yet according to some experts, by 2020, this finite level of personalization will be a requirement, not an option. Consumers will expect brands to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions even before they ever make contact. When it comes to personalization, the stakes could not be higher!

According to a 2017 Epsilon online survey The Power of Me of 1,000 consumers ages 18-64, the appeal for personalization is strong, with 80 percent of respondents indicating they are more likely to do business with a company if it offered personalized experiences and 90 percent indicating they find personalization appealing. Tailoring a buyer’s experience to their specific needs and interests helps make a real connection.  This paradigm shift has marketers, searching for the right partner to help plan and deliver omnichannel solutions.

Evergage and Researchscape International conducted a marketer survey Trends in Personalization from Feb. 22 - March 28, 2018; Ninety-six percent of marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Consumers prefer to shop with brands that truly get to know them and incent them with value, meaningful offers and suggested recommendations. Ninety-eight percent of marketers overwhelmingly agree that personalization is critical but are often unsatisfied with their current efforts and are less confident in their ability to achieve successful personalization for today’s high standards. Only 12 percent of marketers are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the level of personalization in their marketing efforts, while 38 percent are “moderately” satisfied. Marketers indicate their greatest challenges are the inability to bring customer data together; inefficient tracking of the customer journey; and linkage of insights across various media channels. To deliver the most effective personalized solutions, marketers must leverage exceptional data and intelligence.  It’s been proven the combination of intelligence, the right media and measurement to anticipate consumer behavior, drives consumer activation and lifts response!

So how do marketers and brands truly spark a personalized connection? Get to know your customer better than ever before. Insights into your target audience will drive them to visit your store, check out your website, and ultimately make a purchase. You can activate them with a consistent experience and optimize your results.  There are many ways to reach ultimate personalization but first you have to:

  1. Anticipate your shopper’s behavior with a more complete view of them – their likes, their visits, their preferences and changes to their behavior.

  2. Put the data to work for you across your selected media channels – from one-to-one to at scale – and deliver a consistent, relevant experience through the media they prefer.

  3.  Optimize and measure performance. Ensure learning is captured and applied to adjust future campaigns.

With the many challenges facing marketers today – trying to increase sales, improve retention and build awareness in an ever-changing marketplace -- personalization is achievable when you have the right focus and strategy.