What IT Leaders Should Know About Personalization

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Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization
What IT Leaders Should Know About Personalization

January 20, 2016 by

The role of IT has changed more in the last 5 years than it has in the last 20. The reason? Thanks to mobile and web-based technologies, customers have raised their expectations and heightened their demands for faster, better services. To respond to this shift, CMOs having been given more authority and discretion to make ‘martech’ investments to improve operations, often operating independently of IT.  

Inside progressive organizations, IT has transformed from a cost center to a strategic enabler. In addition to building systems that support overall company operations and ensuring network and system security, they’re seeking new ways to help business leaders like the CMO to innovate and succeed.

One area of opportunity for IT leaders to improve collaboration within marketing is web personalization. Here’s why:

1. Personalization squashes data silos

As businesses grow bigger, they generate more data. And many companies are collecting valuable customer details without a centralized information management strategy. This is why data silos have begun to present themselves as both the norm and one of the biggest pain points for progressive organizations.

Personalization tackles silos by anchoring essential company data and behavioral analytics information to one important focal point: the customer. With this approach, businesses gain a better understanding of key customer actions, how disparate details weave together to form a cohesive story or pattern, and how that information can become actionable.

Marketers who collaborate with IT can build a more comprehensive approach to targeting and personalization. Improved information-gathering makes it possible to form deeper relationships with audiences and target them with relevant messaging as a result.

Real-time personalization provides a key, strategic opportunity for IT leaders to get involved at the ground-level, build customer-centric programs, and directly influence their organizations’ bottom lines.

2. Effective collaboration translates into improved revenue opportunities

According to Gartner, “B2B sellers that incorporate personalization into digital commerce will realize revenue increases up to 15%.” Gartner elaborates:

“Companies that incorporate personalization into B2B digital commerce strategies will make their business customers more efficient, provide a better customer experience and increase the likelihood of greater purchase value as well as upselling and cross-selling — all leading to greater revenue.”

But these improved business outcomes won’t happen in a vacuum. Marketers need to work with IT to define ‘what’s possible’ so that organizations can figure out what (and how) to implement personalization programs. Within the company, the IT team has the most central view of all technology and data management processes. This perspective is essential to a long-term, high performing marketing strategy.

IT will ensure that a martech strategy is well-integrated into the entire organization. The end result will be more effective campaigns, better targeting, and a high-performing personalization program.

4. Continued optimization translates into long-term success

A recent eConsultancy study found that 62% of online retailers are using personalization tech in some way. But respondents in another survey cited having enough data (39%) and inaccurate data (38%) as the biggest barriers to success. Why?

The answer comes down to technology.

Every technology program needs more than a strong strategic vision to take off–it needs continuous, on-the-ground optimization. Technical teams refer to this practice as ‘continuous deployment’. Etsy exemplifies this approach, launching hundreds of code updates every day to drive strategic goals.

In pursuit of a long-term vision, marketing teams need to make continuous, on-the-ground improvements to programs. IT will be the ideal organizational counterpart to identify and push potential changes.

Marketers may  have the technology they need to build and launch successful personalization programs, but IT can make performance better by ensuring that all divisions of the organization, from personalization in marketing to customer support and product development are all on the same page.

Bottom line

Personalization isn’t just the future of marketing: it’s the future of business. By getting involved with a personalization initiative, IT can help ensure a comprehensive program that performs immediately while growing with the business over the long-term. They can lead through iterative improvements, and empower teams with the infrastructure that they need to carry their strategic visions into the future.

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