Is personalization the holy grail of digital marketing?

The role personalization and customization play across digital

Today’s digital world enables unprecedented levels of personalization and customization. People now expect their products and services to be tailored and relevant to them. So what does this mean for modern marketers?

We asked six of our digital experts what role customization plays in their specialty. Here’s what they had to say:

Digital engagement: the digital strategy and journey experts

Brian Kohlmann, Associate Director of Digital Engagement

Effective contact strategies require personalization, but that customization relies on the quality of the available data. Does the data allow for a level of confidence that supports personalization? Does the audience need customized messaging or experiences? Do you lump or split content? At the end of the day – the right message to the right person on its face is powered by personalization at some scale. But the data needs to deliver in a manner that ensures relevance.

“Clients who can collect, nurture and mine insight from first-party data will have a leg up on their competition. The more the landscape shifts to a cookie-less future, built on data privacy – the more important it becomes that companies foster authentic, personal relationships with their customers and prospects.”

Marketing Automation: generating, nurturing and converting leads

Britt Becker, Marketing Automation Manager

With Marketing Automation, personalization is king. The customer not only appreciates it, but they also expect it. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all email campaigns and touchpoints. Marketing Automation is most effectively executed when there is a strong focus and activation of customer data to personalize the timing, content and goals of each touchpoint.

“Maximizing your investments in marketing technology and data architecture elevates your customer experience to meet changing expectations. Start by adopting a robust test-and-learn cadence to capture incremental improvements in your marketing efforts.”

User experience: research, usability and ideation

Melissa Phizacklea, Associate Director of User Experience

People expect content tailored to them. Think about YouTube, Netflix, Amazon or Facebook. All of those experiences are highly personalized to the individual. The more we know our user, the better we can tailor an experience that best fits their wants and needs.

“Even in B2B, users are still human first. We must focus on truly understanding them to create more effective personalized experiences.”

Digital production: connect, plan and execute the digital vision

Chris Naffah, Director, Digital Production 

To properly execute a digital project, what you’re building must bring the right messages to the right person at the right time. We’re coming into a world where hyper-personalization and customization are an ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. Marketers must use digital to deliver more tailored, targeted, measurable and interactive messages to their audiences.

“The virtual and augmented reality space will again have the most opportunity in the coming decade (third time’s the charm). As the technology scales down to fit into daily life, there will be heavy demand for VR/AR content to keep people connected, in both advertising and real life.”

Development: builders, integrators and innovators

Dirk Watkins, Associate Director, Digital Implementation

Digital marketing works best when content is meaningful. Personalized content is inherently more meaningful than generically blasting irrelevant banner ads and emails. Using the right data allows us to align content with a person’s existing interests and behaviors. Knowing more about a person allows us to show the right banner ads, customize emails and present relevant content on websites.

“Though we crave face-to-face talk, the internet has kept us together in more ways than we could have imagined. Brands will have plenty of space to invent with new platforms like voice-activated updates through smart speakers and augmented reality applications.”

Analytics: optimizing campaigns and measuring success

Adam Sanders, Director, Analytics

At their core, personalization and customization align data atop a business problem for strategic purposes. Where analytics plays a real role is questioning that data and molding it in a way that aligns even more closely with those business objectives. The amount of information we have to solve problems digitally means we can create intelligence that is unique for each business problem.

“Over the past decade, every industry has been touched by the growing digital transformation of how we live and work. That led to gathering data on everything we do. Applying business thought and intelligence on top of that data allows our clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

Here are some recent stats that further corroborate our POV:

71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal.

– Segment

74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.

– Instapage

Personalization can increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30%.

– Adweek


91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.

– Accenture


80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

– Epsilon


90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing.

– Statista


66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalized would stop them from making a purchase.

– CMO by Adobe


83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience.

– Accenture


72% of consumers claim that they will only engage with personalized messaging.

– SmarterHQ

We would love to be your partner as you navigate the digital space. Let’s talk about applying our digital capabilities to your needs to create more personalized engagements with your customers.

About the Author

Tony Maurer has been helping brands disrupt in digital spaces for almost 20 years. He started his career as an illustrator and programmer and has held multiple leadership positions at advertising and design agencies ever since. Over the course of his career, he’s helped brands like Trek Bicycles, Evinrude, Corteva Agriscience, Zoetis, TIKI and Cricket Wireless find their digital voice.

As our digital leader, Tony applies technology, design thinking, engagement strategies and data to solve business challenges. Tony helped found the 4A’s User Experience Design committee and has had his work featured in Adweek, Ad Age, The Drum and Effie. Recently, he and his team have been awarded Site of the Year by Awwwards.