The personalization of content and messaging has been widely discussed in marketing circles for more than two decades. Numerous research studies have shown that both consumers and business buyers want companies to understand their individual needs and interests, and then tailor experiences accordingly. Virtually all marketing thought leaders agree that personalization is vital for delivering outstanding customer experiences.

So, just how far have we come in our personalization efforts? New research by Dynamic Yield provides important insights regarding the current state of personalization. The Personalization Maturity Assessment report is based on a survey of 700 marketers and executives in various business roles drawn from several industry verticals. Forty-two percent of the survey respondents were located in Asia-Pacific, 34.1% in EMEA, and 23.9% in the Americas.

This research revealed a strong belief in the value of personalization. Globally, about 26% of respondents said that personalization is at the core of their marketing/customer experience efforts, and another 46% said they understand the benefits of personalization.

Dynamic Yield’s survey found that many companies have made significant progress on the personalization front. For example, 23.57% of respondents said they have a single view of the customer that enables them to personalize experiences across marketing channels, and another 23.14% said they personalize most experiences.

The survey also revealed, however, that many companies have more work to do to maximize the potential of personalization. Only about half of the respondents (49%) said their organization has prioritized personalization as a company-wide strategic initiative. And only about 52% reported having sufficient resources (money, time, personnel, etc.) to deliver personalized experiences across all marketing channels. In addition, only about 22% of the respondents said they have a centralized, cross-functional team that executes personalized campaigns across all channels.

Dynamic Yield also found that many companies need a more integrated technology stack to reap the full benefits of personalization. Only about 24% of respondents reported having an integrated tech stack that allowed them to personalize customer experiences across all touch points. Another 33% said their personalization technology is integrated with some, but not all, of their other marketing/customer experience technology systems. These findings are generally consistent with Econsultancy’s 2018 Digital Trends study, in which 40% of survey respondents reported having a highly or somewhat integrated technology stack.

So overall, the Dynamic Yield study paints a fairly positive picture of the state of personalization in 2018, although it also clearly shows that there’s room for improvement.

It’s possible that the Dynamic Yield research slightly understates the level of personalization maturity in larger organizations. About 42% of the respondents in this study were with companies having $50 million or less in annual revenue, and 23% were with companies having under $10 million in annual revenue. It seems fair to say that larger enterprises are likely to have more experience with personalization and more resources to devote to their personalization efforts.

Image courtesy of Brian Solis via Flickr CC.

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