personalization stats

Last year, in conjunction with Researchscape International, we released our annual report examining marketers’ perceptions, usage levels and future plans around personalization in 2017. We’re now administering the 2018 version of the annual survey to understand how personalization practices and attitudes have evolved over the last year and years prior. We’d like to invite you to participate in the survey and benefit from the findings!

The survey will take about 5-7 minutes to complete, and when you include your valid business email address, you will receive early access to our final report. All respondents will also be entered into a sweepstakes to win an Amazon Echo Show smart speaker/screen, and the first 100 respondents will get a free Amazon gift certificate! You don’t need to be currently doing personalization, by the way — the only qualification is that you are a marketer or involved in your company’s digital marketing or e-commerce efforts.

Here’s a quick recap of what we learned last year:

Personalization is a must-have, but there’s room for improvement

Marketers are in agreement that personalization is a must-have tactic for building better relationships with their customers. Yet at the same time, they aren’t completely satisfied with their current efforts and generally believe that marketers can do a better job delivering personalized experiences to customers and prospects.

  • 96% of marketers agree that personalization helps to advance customer relationships
  • 88% think their prospects and customers expect a personalized experience
  • The majority (55%) of marketers feel that the industry is not currently getting personalization right
  • Only 30% are very or extremely satisfied with their current personalization efforts

Marketers are experimenting with different personalization tactics

Marketers are trying and testing different personalization tactics to uncover the most effective methods across channels, but there is still work to be done. For example, demographics, location, and pages viewed are the most-used criteria for targeting personalized experiences today. This is a great start, but the criteria that can lead to richer, more relevant personalized experiences (such as individual preferences and intent, current session behavior, time on site/page) are used less often — they don’t even make the list of the top 10 most-used criteria.

  • Over 70% of companies are using personalization in some form
  • Top channels for personalization:
    • 72% email
    • 57% website
    • 28% mobile website
    • 20% web app
    • 18% mobile app
  • 67% of marketers who are leveraging personalization are using rule-based targeting only, while 33% are using either machine-learning/algorithmic targeting only or a combination of both approaches
  • Top criteria used to target personalized experiences:
    • 60% location
    • 56% demographics
    • 54% pages viewed

Personalization continues to drive measurable results, leading to increased investment

One important takeaway to note is that while marketers might not be completely satisfied with the sophistication of their personalization programs, they continue to see impressive results from their current efforts. As they become more sophisticated and are able to deliver more results for their businesses, we hope that this year marketers will start to break down some of the internal barriers that are making it more difficult to prioritize their personalization efforts.

  • 66% of marketers are seeing a 1-20% improvement in their KPIs from personalization
  • 10% are seeing improvements of 30% or more
  • 96% of marketers planned to maintain or increase investment in personalization last year
  • 73% believe that personalization should be a higher priority in their companies than it currently is