Personalization Myths: Here’s What to Ignore

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Personalization Myths: Here’s What to Ignore

September 3, 2015 by

Marketing leaders rank personalization as the biggest opportunity in customer acquisition, engagement and retention. With competition for eyeballs becoming cutthroat, companies are looking for ways to outsmart industry noise and stand apart from their competitors. Direct 1:1 relationships will be crucial to meeting this need.

For many companies, personalization is uncharted territory. As you evaluate solutions and run experiments on your website, you’re going to get advice. Focus on the good by turning on your fluff-detector. Here are 5 personalization myths that you need to ignore:

myths

1. You're lagging behind 

No. You’re not. In fact, the majority of digital marketers are just starting to get their feet wet. Very few personalization strategies are comprehensive, and there is plenty of opportunity to try new techniques, experiment, and learn.

Only 29% of marketers today invest in website personalization and use of behavior-based data, according to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. And an eConsultancy study found that even among  online retailers only 62% are doing personalization, in some form. Another report found that only 29% of retailers send personalized product recommendations via email. Remember, when looking at these stats, that the concept of ‘personalization’ varies greatly from company to company.

You can’t be lagging behind if everyone else is still getting started.

2. You're annoying people

Not necessarily.  A major UK travel app was able to lift purchase rates by 210% when targeting PPC keywords to specific users. According to HubSpot, personalized calls-to-action (CTA) convert 42% better than their generic counterparts. In another survey from Jamrain, 74% of consumers said that they get frustrated with irrelevant content.

Done right, personalization creates an engaging, informative, and tailored experience. Focus on being helpful, and be empathetic to your customer base’s boundaries (i.e. don’t send them promotional push notifications at 2AM). Add value to your audience’s lives, and your personalization strategy won’t be annoying; in fact, it will be welcomed.

3. Personalized offers are too limiting

Not the case. Look beneath the surface, and you’ll see that personalization is often a social experience, too. In eMarketer’s personalization for retailers roundup, 3 in 10 respondents said that personalized offers would be a strong incentive for sharing.

Personalization technology can help you capture your audience’s attention. Make the most out of the opportunity: ask your audiences to ‘pay it forward.’

4. The tech needs to be treated separately

Actually, personalization should be central to your user experience and product strategy. In a digital survey from MyBuys, 53% of respondents said that they bought more from retailers that suggested products based on browsing and buying history.

Consumers are prioritizing personalized content as a core part of their user experiences. Personalization technology should run right alongside the CMS or e-commerce platform to seamlessly adjust and improve each user’s experience.

5. It's important to be inconspicuous

Not so. Often, you’ll want the personalization to be transparent. Instead of lurking behind the scenes, give your customers control over their own experiences. One study found that 60% of customers want to know why, what, and how websites select content personalized for them. In other words, your audiences want to be in control.

Give consumers options for adjusting and improving their experience, and take action on information that’s provided proactively. Be empathetic to the contexts in which users might engage with you.

Savvy digital audiences know that personalization technology is out there. Why hide? Embrace the opportunity instead.

Final Thoughts

The biggest myth of all is that personalization is simply another marketing tactic. It isn’t. It’s a two-way dialogue that brings marketers closer to their customers. If you focus on giving value to your audiences, you won’t go wrong.

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