Nine out of ten marketers either use or intend to use personalization for online customer interactions within the next year. Furthermore, nearly half of marketers surveyed intend to increase their budgets for personalization over the year ahead—with 80% planning to increase them “significantly” (by more than 10%).
Real-time personalization is defined as data-driven personalization completed in under one second. Making it work in today's hyper-connected marketplace can be a challenge. However, with the help of related technologies, it's coming at companies and consumers with force. Today, marketers feel web personalization is very important to their initiatives, and 51% of organizations surveyed have staff dedicated to working on personalization programs.
These figures comes from a study commissioned by Evergage, a provider of real-time personalization, conducted in conjunction with Researchscape International. The study examined the attitudes and expectations of global business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers surrounding real-time personalization. A total of 242 marketers from around the world, in a variety of roles and from companies of all sizes, were surveyed.
In terms of deployment, 42% of respondents indicated they are not currently using real-time personalization, but 78% percent of this group intends to within the next year. Furthermore, 86% of respondents report receiving a lift from their personalization initiatives; approximately half of these saw a lift greater than 10%.
"Personalization is an age-old concept, but extending the customized experience to online visitors in real time—based on deep customer analytics—is a new way to ensure each and every interaction with a prospective customer is relevant and engaging," says Karl Wirth, co-founder and CEO of Evergage.
When asked what primary benefits they expect to realize, marketers planning to deploy personalization indicated they anticipate:
• Increased visitor engagement—78%
• Improved customer experiences—78%
• Increased lead generation—60%
Regarding the methods for delivering personalized web content, marketers are primarily planning to use two kinds. First is inline content—generally, providing similar content through multiple channels of delivery, 57%. Second is, call-outs, 43%. The greatest obstacles to the successful implementation of personalization initiatives were reported to be lack of knowledge or skills, lack of budget, and IT constraints.
"The primary challenges to successfully using personalization underscore the importance of developing business intelligence, customer analytics, testing and personalization tools that marketers can use without the help of IT or data scientists," Wirth says. "Marketers need to be able to easily access a well-rounded view of customer information, and act on it to calibrate and deliver highly relevant and engaging experiences in real time, every time."
How users are personalizing
Additional findings include:
• Marketers using personalization have deployed it across their websites (76%), mobile sites (29%), web applications (22%), and mobile apps (16%).
• Among the most common methods for personalized content delivery are inline content (53%) and call-outs (41%).
• When segmenting visitors, marketers use several different methods, the most popular being the type of content viewed (48%), location (45%), and time on site (36%). Overall, location is the most important element for B2B and B2C organizations when personalizing—92% rank it very or extremely important.
• One-third of those using real-time personalization report increased e-commerce revenues, and 73% see increased visitor engagement.
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