Brands Fail To Use Customer Data to Deliver Personalization: Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 18, 2017


Consumers want more personalization in marketing. While brands also rightly believe in utilizing social data and marketing technology to create a highly personalized experiences for their target audience, the entire strategy of brand personalization remains woefully underutilized.

A new research by Vanson Bourne  sponsored by Sitecore, found that while brands face pressure to be data-driven, and while 79% place a high priority on personalization, they struggle to manage and mine customer data to both inform customer experience strategies and deliver on the promise of personalization. As a result, customers acknowledge that many brands are in fact, providing “bad personalization,” which upon deeper analysis, isn’t really personalization at all. [Read the full text here]

An overwhelming 96% of consumer respondents believe that there is such a thing as bad personalization, and they cite as examples brands using out-of-date information about them (59%), brands that get personal customer details wrong (57%), and brands making assumptions about what consumers want based on single interactions (54%).

The study found that for brands, poorly personalized experiences are often the result of an overwhelming amount of data and the complexities that arise around managing it. On average, brands say they’re collecting eight different types of data about online customers, ranging from transactional details to behavioral insights and trends. Yet around a third (31%) of brand respondents point to a lack of skills needed to properly use or analyze the data collected, and 42% don’t have the capabilities to integrate data collection. Only 12% have the ability to collect online data on an individual (vs. consumer segment) level.

“Customers are openly providing insight for brands to understand their wants and needs, but brands are struggling to follow through on their end of the deal,” said Scott Anderson, CMO of Sitecore. “The level of expectation that today’s consumer has, coupled with the level of dissatisfaction brand marketers have with the tools and resources available to them, suggests brands must take urgent action to improve their ability to collect, connect, analyze, and act on customer data.”

With pressure from all sides to use data more effectively, many organizations don’t have the appropriate tools and knowledge they need to move forward and meet the expectations of their stakeholders, and more importantly their customers. Without addressing these internal obstacles, brands are missing out on the actionable insights that could enhance the customer’s experience and overall, increase loyalty and sales.

The study also found out that customers think brands know more about them then they do. Customer respondents (56%) thought brands knew their purchase history more than brand respondents said they were collecting (47%).

Another interesting finding was that many brands struggle with existing analytics solutions: Only 12% have the ability to collect online data at an individual level, and though 65% of brands report using digital analytics software, more than half (53%) say they’re not completely satisfied with their current solution.

Brands also crave more insight about their customers, as per the study findingsWhen asked what they most want in a customer intelligence solution, over three in five brands (61%) indicate the ability to view customers on an individual level, more than half (55%) want real-time insights into customer behavior, and more than a third (37%) want to be able to integrate customer data across the channels in which they receive it.