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Understanding who and where your customers are across all screens and channels is no easy task. Identity resolution creates an incredibly valuable asset for your organization.

Personalization is ready for its close-up moment,” says McKinsey in a recent report. “Technology and customer expectations are converging to propel personalization – the process of using data to customize the timing, content and design of every customer experience in real time – from promise to reality.”

This isn’t yesteryear’s simplistic personalization of merging a name at the top of an email communication. Today’s top marketers are achieving exquisite forms of highly individualized marketing that achieve the highest levels of relevance, audience targeting, offer selection, creative, and messaging. Personalization has become a code word for 1:1 marketing at scale.

Accurately establishing customer identity in order to pursue individual-based marketing remains one of the most vexing challenges facing brands today.

For brands that get 1:1 right (Hint: this requires robust customer identity capabilities), the results have been stunning. According to McKinsey, 1:1 marketing at scale can drive 5-15% revenue growth for companies in retail, travel, entertainment, telecom and financial services. For instance, a global retailer saw sales from its brand-owned stores triple in one year following implementation of personalization into its marketing strategy.

The ability to recognize customers across screens and channels dramatically improves marketing measurement accuracy as well. Most brands have good analytics on “how many” but do a poor job of understanding the “who” that goes with those numbers.

Nearly all marketers say that individualization is a top priority, but a scant 15% believe they’re actually doing it well. One challenge is that many CMOs still consider it a nice-to-have add-on to their broader data and measurement efforts. In order to realize the benefits of individualized marketing, a shift in each organizations mindset is required, focusing on what is relevant for each individual.

Changing Your Organizational Culture

Newly released research studies by both Forrester and McKinsey show that companies with mature data, measurement and analytics cultures ingrained in their organizations achieve significantly better outcomes than their counterparts without such cultures. And both studies discovered that the performance gap between organizations with mature data and analytics cultures and those just starting down that path is wide and expanding.

Forrester found that companies with mature analytics cultures achieved an average:

  • 9.1% increase in marketing ROI over the last 1 to 2 years.
  • 10.5% improvement in marketing efficiency.
  • 10.4% greater agility and faster consumer response times.

An individualized marketing culture is part of having a mature measurement and analytics profile. It requires an installed internal process for:

  • Creating accurate customer profiles from a variety of cross-platform data sources.
  • Using those customer insights to inform decisions around targeting individuals — who, when and with what messages and creative.

In a separate report, Forrester points out that accurately establishing customer identity in order to pursue individual-based marketing remains one of the most vexing challenges facing brands today.

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