The State of Personalization

The State of Personalization

Which industries are embracing personalization and what are they spending to do so? I recently authored four reports that dive into how B-to-B, ecommerce/Retail, Financial Services, and Travel/Hospitality marketers are embracing personalization.

Part of our Relevancy.AI Research Subscription, these reports provide insight into the state of personalization including the aspirations, budgets, and tactics of these marketers.

This collection of industry insights offer benchmark data for those marketers in these key industries and a valuable perspective for vendors that offer personalization technologies.

Across industries, one thing is clear; personalization works and more marketers across industries need to advance their targeting tactics to capture and convince prospects and clients alike.

If you are a subscriber to our research, you get these four reports.  Ask us about how to become a subscriber. All of the reports are available for one-off purchases.

What do Consumers Want from Retailers This Holiday Season?

What do Consumers Want from Retailers This Holiday Season?

To better understand purchasing motivations, attitudes and behaviors, The Relevancy Group and Zeta Global are conducting a survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S. We will be sharing these results and last-minute holiday recommendations on Wednesday 11/14 at 1 PM. Register for the webinar and get a link to a recording of the webinar that will be filled with data and recommendations.

Looking Back on 2017
In 2017 just 15 percent of consumers stated that they planned to spend more on holiday spending than they did in 2016 while 64 percent stated about the same as year over year. While the economy in 2018 is good, Chinese Import tariffs are raising prices at big-box retailers, i.e. Walmart, that rely on offshore goods. This likely won’t impact overall spending, but the consumer’s dollar may not go as far in 2018 as it did last year. In 2017 consumers under the age of 39 were more likely to spend more on holiday purchases a trend we expect that we will see again in 2018.

Consumers continue to shift their holiday spend online. Last year 56 percent of consumers stated they would do half or more of their holiday shopping online. Overall ten percent of consumers shop exclusively online, a trend we expect will grow to 12 to 14 percent in 2018. Last year consumers aged 27-53 are most likely to do the majority of their holiday shopping online.

Year-over-Year Consumers are consistent with their holiday shopping plan, with 29 percent already shopping for the holiday season. Eighteen percent start after Halloween and the majority start after Thanksgiving. Last year 20 percent stated they have no set plan. Half of women start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving a trend that we expect to continue to see this year.

Holiday self-gifting was up year over year from 2016 to 2017 increasing from $243 to $264. We will likely see an increase again in 2018, but we don’t expect it to be as large in years past. This is likely because of the higher cost of products and the general impact of the dollar.

Next time we will look back on what motivates consumers to purchase and what opportunities exist for marketers this 2018 holiday season.

Join us on November 14, at 1 PM ET for the 2018 consumer holiday results.

Until next time,
David

Specialized Services: Email Marketing Agencies are Crushing It

MQ15_coverOver the past several weeks, we at TRG have been deep in the weeds researching our soon to be published 2018 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide, and this year’s participants include some of the absolute best and brightest in the space. Agencies in the guide this year include BrightWave, DEG, Inbox Marketer, Trendline Interactive, and Yes Marketing.

Our process includes detailed questionaries completed by each agency, ninety-minute demos during which agencies present their best work, and reference calls with a handful of clients which yield valuable customer satisfaction data. We are still working to synthesize and analyze the data, but what we’ve seen to date has been extremely impressive.

This year we invited agencies to show us their best stuff while maintaining a focus on three primary themes: strategy, data, and analysis/measurement. Like the competitors currently battling it out on the field for the pennant, these agencies have been going deep. The research will highlight how these agencies are driving home runs for their clients in the form of serious business value and positive customer experiences.

The research will be available for our Research Subscribers and direct purchase. Vendor profiles will be in the next issue of The Marketer Quarterly.

What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo

What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo

My first thought is the value. This is a lot of cash to jump into another cloud that is crowded by B2B marketing solutions. But then I think that many of them have yet to integrate such a solution across the marketer and advertiser experience (I am talking to you Oracle).

Below I enumerate why this deal makes sense from my market analyst point of view. To be clear, I am not, nor does The Relevancy Group (TRG) provide a financial analyst perspective. That is, we are not offering investment advice.

1) Adobe is a winner, they have a process to satisfy clients. In our most recent ESP Buyer’s Guide – Enterprise edition they received client satisfaction awards in deliverability support, technical services, and omnichannel marketing. Customers we spoke with had high praise for the Adobe technical teams and remarked that “implementation has been a ten out of ten,” and that they “anticipate [our] needs ahead of time.” Marketo clients you are going to be fine. The company that has a cloud called “experience” respects, embraces this client-oriented culture. The experience will likely be an upgrade for you.

2) Adobe does acquisition and integration better than most. Earlier this year they jumped into the commerce cloud with the $1.7 billion purchase of Magneto in May. This commerce platform is ripe for the Adobe Sensei framework and every element of the Adobe Experience Cloud. Integration is coming. I can’t say what I saw, but I can say it was impressive.

3) It is not about B2B and B2C but is about what B2B is Missing. If you have read my book, seen me speak or just overall – I see everyone as a client and we all have journeys, events, experiences and things that could trigger us. Some like Eloqua and Responsys did an awful job of competing internally as to who had the best automation. I realize there is a true B2B element, I am talking about Account Based Marketing, but this is just a way to say that we are all as an industry moving to individualization. As people, we don’t have different buying or online expectations as a consumer or a business operator. We have the same respect for relevant experiences. Adobe’s win here will be if they can utilize the best aspect of that platform – but the real value upside is to sell all those 5K plus Marketo B2B clients all the other elements in Document, Creative and Experience Clouds. I believe Adobe can do this better, certainly in comparison to Oracle.

4) For the Buyer, This Completes the Adobe Cloud Picture. Adobe can now tick the front office, traditional CRM off the capabilities that they used to rely on partners. They have always done well in Financial Services and industries where capabilities that define Marketo are necessary, but they did so through a tapestry of partners. This will combat vendors such as Oracle when they pitch and throw in their email capabilities (formerly Responsys) for free to sway a deal. Adobe’s more robust offering will have new implications for their partners, some of which that go to market with a blended bag of partners. It will be most interesting on how this is received in their partner and agency channels.

Congratulations to Adobe and Marketo, as stated we believe that this is an upgrade that will benefit Marketo and Adobe clients alike.

Until next time,
David

The ABCs of CDPs Part III – “How?”

In the third installment of our introduction to CDPs, we’re going to take a high-level look at how enterprise marketers use CDPs by examining the specific data sources that they are integrating with them.

[We’ll dig deeper into the topic in a webinar scheduled for September 5th @ 1PM ET; please join us then if you’re interested in learning more.]

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  • CRM Data – As the cornerstone of many marketer’s data-driven marketing efforts, CRM data and CRM systems top the list as the most integrated into CDPs for both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers. Customer Profiles and Demographics – Integrating customer profile and demographic data is critical for marketers across verticals and sectors. A primary benefit of the CDP technology is the ability to efficiently manage these assets.
  • Customer Online Spending – Online spend data, especially when updated in real-time, is highly valuable for most marketers. The ability to normalize and syndicate this data to other systems is important to both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers.
    Customer Service/Support Information – Service and support data is often dynamic and can live in a wide range of systems. Those marketers that integrate into a CDP make the data readily available to key customer stakeholders.
    Website Behavior – Another cornerstone for many marketers, real-time website data can be some of the most valuable when targeting users with personalized messaging.
  • Email Marketing Response Data – Email response data is underutilized in many marketing organizations. But over one-third of B-to-C and B-to-B marketers who have implemented a CDP, feed it with email response data.
  • Digital Advertising Response Data – By efficiently integrating digital response data into their CDP, marketers across sectors are better able to monitor the efficacy of paid media efforts and attribute sales to the channels and campaigns that drove them.
  • Customer Offline Spending – To gain a complete picture of the customer journey and to more accurately measure marketing effectiveness, nearly one-quarter of B-to-C and more than 25 percent of B-to-B marketers integrate offline spending.
  • Mobile Behaviors, Including App Utilization – As more marketers conduct more commerce through mobile apps, this data has become more critical to marketers of all stripes.
  • Previous Marketing Offers – The artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that drive some of the data orchestration and personalization from CDPs are informed by data from previous marketing offers. The timelier the information, the more useful/effective.

Join us on September 5th to learn more and download a copy of the research here.

The ABCs of CDPs Part II – “Why?”

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Yesterday we answered the question “What is a CDP?” Today, we dig into “Why?”

What factors have fueled the growth of the CDP space and why are data-driven marketers increasingly turning to CDPs to help them drive core business goals and positive user experiences?

The graph above highlights the top reported tactics enabled by a CDP and does a good job of answering our question.

  • Individualized email personalization: Sixty-two percent of marketers across business verticals who have implemented a CDP use it to help drive individualized personalization in email. The email channel, which is responsible for driving upwards of 20 percent of total revenue for many brands, was once primarily a broadcast channel with marketers “blasting” messaging out to large segments of lists. Today, due to the availability of rich customer data, marketers can hone each message to be individually relevant to each recipient. This hyper-relevance drives significant lifts in response rates and business results from the channel.
  • Addressable advertising: Opportunities for addressable advertising have never been more plentiful and are now extending beyond the web to television and offline opportunities. But the efficacy of addressable advertising is highly contingent on quality and the availability of the customer data that informs it. Fifty-five percent of those who have already implemented a CDP use it to help drive audience selection and measure addressable ads. CDPs can also give marketers better visibility into the value of different types of customers and therefore help them hone and optimize customer acquisition cost benchmarks/limits.
  • Real-time targeting: Messaging and advertising that reaches the intended target at precisely the appropriate time has a much greater chance of driving intended behaviors than messaging that is delayed, batched, and/or deployed at a scheduled cadence. To execute highly relevant campaigns at these precise moments, 53 percent of marketers who have a CDP use it for real-time targeting. “Speed of data” is critical to these marketers and the data agility that a CDP affords is a key towards reaching the right target, at the right time, with the right message.
  • Optimized customer experience: Forty-nine percent of marketers with a CDP use it to drive personalized website experiences. One of the primary benefits for many marketers that leverage a CDP is the ability to progressively profile website visitors based on various identity management mechanisms and to serve them content that is most relevant based on known and inferred attributes. This functionality is critical to marketers across business verticals but especially so for those in media and publishing who may offer mixtures of free and paid content [i.e.: five free articles a month]. CDPs can help identify users in real-time and serve them the appropriate content. Overall, this greatly improves the customer experience.
  • Targeting optimization: Retargeting site visitors, cart abandoners, and other prospects with messaging in other channels is a highly utilized tactic by almost all online marketers. It is generally easy to employ, is relatively low cost, and often generates higher response rates than other campaigns. Most marketers who retarget at scale, however, do so inefficiently. This often creates negative customer experiences, because these marketers continue to retarget customers, with the same offer, even after they have made the purchase. Forty-two percent of marketers use their CDP to help them suppress online advertising based on purchase data, and 27 percent change the ad or offer based on purchase or behavior data. By employing these tactics, marketers with a CDP can drive much more effective and efficient media spend.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at “how” marketers are using their CDP – what data sources they connect and what benefits they gain by doing so.

For more detail, download a full copy of the research, or check out excerpts in the new issue of The Marketer Quarterly.

 

The ABCs of CDPs Part I – “What?”

I’ve spent the past three months digging into Customer Data Platforms – speaking with marketers who use them and examining the vendors who supply the technology and services to enable them. Over the next three days, I’ll share some of the key findings of our research and answer some key questions about the role of the CDP in the enterprise marketing stack.

In Part I, “What is a CDP?”

In a relatively short period of time, Customer Data Platforms have carved out a dynamic, new, and expanding space for themselves, within the enterprise marketing stack. Although the term was coined as early as 2013, it is primarily over the past 18 months that vendors have embraced the moniker and marketers have realized the distinct value proposition that a CDP brings to the table.

CDPs enable marketers to:

  • Join and Combine Data – Marketers who are facing increasing volumes of useful customer data are increasingly turning to CDPs to help them join and integrate these often disparate and unnormalized customer data sources to make them more easily available for marketing applications – targeting, personalization, measurement, to name a few.
  • Create and Manage Profiles – CDPs can help marketers navigate the waters between known and unknown users through various probabilistic and deterministic identity methods. This enables CDPs to stitch together user profiles to more accurately identify and address people as individuals across channels and devices.
  • Enrich and Augment Data – While primarily focused on first-party data, CDPs can help marketers enrich data on a continuous basis by incorporating a variety of sources and efficiently augmenting these to ensure accuracy and usefulness to other systems across the enterprise.
  • Syndicate and Activate Audiences – CDPs help marketers identify the appropriate customers and prospects to address through both paid and organic methods across online and offline channels. By using a CDP to inform audience selection and content recommendations, many marketers can individualize more campaigns at a more precise level, driving increased response rates and more efficient paid media spend.

The Relevancy Group defines Customer Data Platforms as data management solutions specifically designed for marketers that enable a view of the customer that is:

  • Holistic: Able to interface with and encompass the wide array of data sources available to marketers today.
  • Integrated: Able to map and tie those diverse data sources together seamlessly, accurately and cleanly mapping to individual people and their journeys.
  • Persistent: Providing an ongoing, evolving, always-available, always-updated data stream over time.

Put more succinctly, CDPs are HIP. The final definitional element of a CDP relates to control. A CDP gives the marketing team full mastery of data usage, control, and security. That includes determining who within the organization has access to the data integrated within the CDP, and whether and how that data gets leveraged externally.

CDPs are driving efficiency and efficacy for marketers across business verticals; in Part II of this series, we’ll dig deeper into the specifics of how and why.

If you can’t wait until then, click here to download a copy of the research right now, and feel free to follow up with me directly for an analyst inquiry if you do.