3 in 4 Companies Report ROI From Personalization. What Data Sources Are Being Used?

March 27, 2019

Personalization is leading to positive ROI in some three-quarters (75.5%) of businesses in North America and Europe. Retail is seeing the greatest impact with nearly 8 in 10 (79%) retailers reporting positive ROI due to their personalization efforts, according to a Monetate study [download page] of more than senior 600 marketers across Retail, Travel & Hospitality and Insurance sectors.

For the most part, these three industries use similar sources of data to form their personalization insights. Email activity and website behavioral data both show a similar percentage of usage across industries. In fact, these two sources are the top two personalization sources for the Travel and Insurance industries and rank second and third respectively for Retail. Marketers in the Retail industry, for their part, rely most on purchase history to power their personalization efforts.

It’s worth noting that, while still a primary source of personalization data, website behavioral data does not seem to be used as much as last year. That Monetate study had found a huge surge in the percentage of marketers using website behavioral data to facilitate personalization, making it more popular than both email activity and purchase history.

Meanwhile, this latest survey indicates that some two-thirds (66.5%) of Retail marketers also use mobile actions to support their personalization efforts. This is at a time when almost half of US shoppers say that mobile devices are becoming their most important shopping tools.

Where Are Businesses Personalizing?

More than 9 in 10 (94.2%) of businesses are using personalization in their email. However, prior research has shown that businesses have not reached the point where they are individualizing campaigns beyond the use of first names or company names in the subject line. Instead, they are most often tailoring messaging based on audience segmentation.

Moving beyond segmentation has been challenging for companies. In fact, the biggest obstacle to moving beyond segmentation for respondents to this latest survey is building a sustainable data architecture, with third-party data integration also a key challenge.

Email isn’t the only area where marketers are using personalization. Some 8 in 10 (82.9%) are using personalization in social while 7 in 10 (73.3%) are personalizing website visits.

Only one-fifth (21%) of marketers surveyed said they are using personalization with their chatbots. As consumers’ comfort level with chatbots increases, this should be an area in which personalization efforts increase in the years to come.

Other Highlights

Here are a few more highlights from the report:

  • Companies with high personalization ROI (3x investment) are more focused on increasing customer loyalty than those with low ROI (1x investment);
  • Companies with low ROI are more focused, by contrast, on increasing average order value (AOV) than companies with high ROI;
  • Almost half (48.5%) of the companies surveyed say they will invest in machine learning/artificial intelligence technology in the next 12 months for personalization purposes; and
  • Some 27.9% of North American respondents report having already invested in machine learning technology to assist with personalization efforts.

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: Monetate surveyed 607 senior marketers representing a range of customer-facing industries that represent a diverse set of online revenue contributions. Participants also had equal representation in North America and Europe.

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