Fact or MythWe live in an age of distraction, and it’s never been more difficult to capture the attention of consumers. You can do it, though – if you stop marketing and start connecting with your customers one-to-one using individualized insights.

As I’ve mentioned before, individualized insights are made possible by data-driven marketing, the strategy of collecting, connecting and analyzing large amounts of online and offline data, so that cross-channel insights can be used to create interactions tailored to each customer, at his or her point of need and in real-time.

Our research showed that nine out of the 10 marketers we surveyed consider individualized marketing a priority. But even so, I have to say, I still hear plenty about misperceptions blocking progress in this direction. Let’s look at a few of the most popular and pair them up with the myth-busting results from our study. You may have heard some of these around your company, or maybe even said them yourself:

Myth: “Data-driven marketing is too complicated and will slow us down.”

Reality: Six out of ten (59 percent) of marketers in our survey said data-driven marketing made them faster. In fact, 67 percent of marketers cited one of the benefits of using data was the ability to make more accurate decisions.

Myth: “I can do this myself, without input from anyone else.”

Reality: If you’re not collaborating, you’re not marketing. Marketers can no longer squirrel themselves away to work alone on projects – and if you do, it’s likely you’re slowing down your team. The vast majority (80 percent) of our survey respondents said silos within marketing prevent progress. When you break down those walls and start collaborating, you’ll start moving forward.

Myth: “My customer service department holds all the customer data.”

Reality: For data-driven marketing to be successful, customer data can’t exist in a silo. Our research found that 43 percent of marketers now control customer data. To develop a strong data driven marketing strategy, you’ll need to integrate disparate databases of customer information. That integration is critical because it lays the foundation for discovery of individualized insights through use of data and analytics.

Myth: “We’re already using an omni-channel approach.”

Reality: 88 percent of marketers said they take an omni-channel approach to reaching customers, but 44 percent also admitted that being consistent with it remains a problem. Data-driven marketing and individualization shouldn’t be driving one campaign, channel or platform at a time, it needs to be driving your entire strategy to create consistency and a true omni-channel experience.

Myth: “I can get started on this next year.”

Reality: As I mentioned above, 90 percent of marketers told us individualized marketing is a priority. That means your competitors are likely to be working on it already. The time to get started is now.

Individualized insights give customers want they want; there’s a growing expectation that you’ll know them at this very fundamental level. Your customers want you to understand their preferences and behaviors, and they want you to use those insights to deliver meaningful, timely interactions. Don’t let myths and misperceptions stand in your way!