Agility, Best Route To Individualized Marketing

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 18, 2016

social media

Individualized Marketing is the ability to build experiences with an individual on his or her channels of choice in a consistent, dynamic and engaging way. When combined with the ‘agile’ methods, it can be highly profitable. Teradata Marketing Applications, a division of Teradata Corp, along with Forbes Insights today announced findings from their recent global survey into trends and opportunities in Individualized Marketing.

Titled “Personalized Marketing Out, Individualized Marketing In,” the report explores the role of Individualized Marketing in building customer and brand engagement. The findings point to how improving marketing agility and creating connected interactions foster stronger customer relationships that directly impact the bottom line.  More than 300 marketing leaders representing enterprise and mid-market companies operating in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia participated in the survey.

What Is Individualized Marketing?

Teradata Marketing Applications’ approach combines agile marketing processes, integrated insights and connected interactions — precisely the capabilities needed to establish and maintain trust-based relationships with individual consumers whose expectations are soaring.  Seventy-nine percent of respondents cited Individualized Marketing as a “high” or “very high” priority for their companies, with 43 percent claiming they are already delivering individualized experiences for all customers.

“Mass personalization has failed.  As consumers increasingly expect brands to deliver real-time, relevant messages, Individualized Marketingis becoming more important,” said David Panek, vice president, Global Marketing, Teradata Marketing Applications.  ”This survey with Forbes Insights shows not only why Individualized Marketing matters but what is needed to achieve it.  And the key drivers are marketing agility and connected interactions.”

Why Agility and Connectedness Are the New ‘Must Haves’

By becoming more agile, marketers can better align resources and adapt to rapid changes in their markets, targeting initiatives that focus on the needs of the individual customer. Agile Marketing — continuously aligning and adjusting your marketing budget and processes in ways that meet customer expectations — is growing in popularity. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they have adopted agile marketing in some form, while 41 percent said they have introduced it specifically to strengthen interactions with customers. Forty-four percent view connected interactions — deciding how, when and where to engage with consumers based on insights from web, social, mobile and other top data sources — as a critical issue.

Nonetheless, the Forbes-Teradata Marketing Applications survey indicates that many marketers, particularly those in companies over $2 billion in revenue, face challenges when it comes to achieving the agility and connectedness needed to respond quickly to customers’ changing needs. Specifically:

-50 percent of respondents cited agility as a critical issue and/or challenge.

-44 percent said too much bureaucracy is a challenge to introducing agility.

-35 percent cited the difficulty of demonstrating ROI as an impediment to greater agility.

Additionally, companies struggle to achieve the right balance of agility and customer connectedness to improve their Individualized Marketinginitiatives:

-63% of respondents say they are achieving only “moderate” success in using Individualized Marketing for marketing agility; and,

-59% say Individualized Marketing strategies come into play “least often” when engaging customers via connected interactions.

Notwithstanding the struggles, agile marketing is on the upswing as more marketers recognize the need to align agility with customer connectedness:

-44% of respondents say they are most agile in the pre-transaction stage, when a customer is still searching for information about a product or service. Yet only 20% say that they are most connected with their customers at this preliminary stage in a buyer’s journey.

-76% of respondents cited the purchase and buying stage of the customer sales cycle as important or very important for using Individualized Marketing techniques.

Organizations need to make sure they are connecting with customers at the point of greatest impact: the point of purchase.

What It All Means

A new era of marketing is dawning.  Long gone are the days of “personalization” by way of email messages with standard greetings and blocks of generic copy. Instead, savvy brands are launching Individualized Marketing initiatives that cater to each customer’s unique needs. But as these demands fluctuate, and customers become increasingly empowered, organizations must be able to quickly identify and respond to customer behaviors and market realities. So, is there a secret to becoming more agile and connected via Individualized Marketing? 45% of respondents believe technology is most critical to becoming more agile. 33% believe process and organization are the best route.

Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer and head of the CMO Practice at Forbes Media, said, “This study shows that marketing agility, which allows you to quickly adapt, and connected interactions, which supports creation of better customer experiences, are key to success in the newmarketing environment.  Executives are aware of this, yet achieving individualized marketing remains a challenge, especially for larger companies.”