Personalization Isn’t the Future of Marketing

If you gasped at the title, don’t worry. This idea won’t turn everything you’ve heard about marketing on its head – it’ll just slightly change the lens through which you view your marketing initiatives.

A recent Chief Marketer piece described the phenomena of moving from personalization to individualization. Plainly, personalization as we’re used to is simply making customers numb. Personalized marketing is not dead – it’s still a viable and valuable perspective to use as a starting point. And, granted, some personalization is better than none at all.

But moving your marketing strategy into the future means adapting your approach from one of personalization to individualization.

Here’s the difference: personalization refers to devising targeted lists and campaigns for groups of a similarly segmented audience. But it’s still a group of multiple people. In today’s age of digital disruption, the significance of one customer preferring to receive offers via SMS versus email is monumental.

Individualization, then, strives to reach customers on a one-to-one basis, allowing for even more granular, distinct communication to catch your customers at the right time, with the right message.

The average person receives 5,000 communication messages per day – more than twice that of 30 years ago. This, of course, can be attributed to the eruption of digital technology we use and avenues available for communicators. Some 63 percent of consumers feel numb to the personalization they’re exposed to.

Individualization can derive from personalization. Take a look at your marketing initiatives now to decide whether you’re truly marketing to the segment of one, of a few or of many. A strategy that uses individualized insights to drive more meaningful marketing will begin to separate pretenders from contenders as we move into the future.

The only way to make the jump, though, is to look at implementing a data-driven marketing solution. Employing a steadfast marketing automation tool will help to transform your internal marketing processes, your customer communications and your digital marketing strategy from one of personalization to true individualization.

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    1 Comment
    1. Karl Wirth, CEO Evergage says

      Michael, great article. You and I agree that the future (and current best practice) of personalization is 1:1 or unique to the person. But, I disagree with your definition of personalization. Some in the industry have been using the word to apply to targeted segments. But, personalization has the word person in it and can and should meant experiences that are maximally relevant and unique to each person.

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