Though the talk in digital advertising circles is all about the data that allows marketers to target customers, it’s slow going.
Recent studies show that such benign “beginner metrics” — email addresses, names, and simple demographics are the prevalent data employed for personalization.
A June, 2015 study by VB Insight provides some proof. Its survey shows marketers dabbling in personalization used email address (57 percent), name (45 percent), location (41 percent) and demographics (40 percent). More advanced info was gathered less: location-related data (18 percent), lifestyle details (15 percent) and psychographics (8 percent).
“Research by Econsultancy and IBM found similar results,” notes eMarketer. “When it came to understanding customer behavior –necessary for effective personalization — marketers in North American marketers were most likely to use customer service history (71 percent) and demographic profiles (66 percent). Past online purchases as well as offline interactions and geolocation were used by fewer than half of respondents.”
There’s much room for improvement: VB Insight found that 80 percent of marketers worldwide revealed their understanding of customers was limited to basic data such as demographics and purchase history.
But there are rewards for marketers who overcome data issues.
“When June, 2015 polling by Econsultancy in association with Signal asked senior-level marketers in North America about the effect of their data-related marketing investments,” according to eMarketer, “36 percent said these had a strong positive effect, while 47 percent said they had at least a somewhat positive effect — one that may be improved if marketers can gather, integrate, and act on more advanced data.”