Marketers are increasingly turning to personalization to strengthen engagement with customers. But as a recent CMO Council report illustrates, most markets continue to struggle with delivering personalized experiences, as just 3 percent of the 150-plus senior marketing executives who were polled believing their organizations have achieved a single customer view that's needed to connect effectively with target customers.According to the report, entitled Predicting Routes to Revenue, which was conducted in partnership with Pegasystems, just 5 percent of marketers say they have mastered the ability to predict the customer journey and the actions that should follow to maximize value.
One of the recommendations from the report is for marketers to shift away from using data to calculate past performance metrics and instead to increase the use of real-time data to uncover immediate insights into customer behavior. This includes ways in which customers respond to news, offers, recommendations, social commentary, personalized messages, and other inputs. Unfortunately, just 3 percent of marketers who were polled say that current data sources are integrated and aligned with the use of other data. This disconnect is part of the reason why just 20 percent of respondents say they're able to predict the next best action to take with customers.
We're starting to see new applications and uses for real-time data in shaping personalized messaging that goes out to customers. A great example of this is reflected in IBM's recent acquisition of The Weather Company. Some forward-thinking marketers are already incorporating weather data into customer messaging to provide more relevant and contextual communications.
For instance, an automaker or car dealership sends a customer an offer for an SUV based on vehicle pages the customer has visited on the company's website and other insights. If it's snowing when the customer opens the email offer, the message can be customized to include information and the benefits of a particular vehicle's four-wheel drive capabilities.
Marketers recognize the importance of aggregating, integrating, and aligning data from a variety of sources to deliver the kind of contextual and personalized messaging that are designed to address each customer's interests, preferences, and needs. Increasingly, the addition of in-the-moment data will enable marketers to more effectively tailor communications to individual customers and help fill out the missing pieces in the personalization puzzle.