What could the future hold for personalisation in marketing?

Tuesday December 10, 2019 - Posted by:

Research has suggested greater challenges in personalisation could be a key theme in marketing going forwards, meaning brands need to ensure they are planning their investments carefully and not overlooking the basics.

Looking forward and making informed predictions about what the future holds is a common pastime for marketers.

After all, if you are prepared for the future trends, challenges and opportunities that could define the marketing sector in the coming year and beyond, your company will be more relevant and better able to meet the needs and expectations of customers.

According to one set of predictions looking as far forward as 2025, one of the most significant themes in the industry will be the escalating challenge of personalisation.

Gartner research suggests some of the common difficulties associated with personalisation are leading many marketers to consider abandoning their efforts in this area.

There’s no doubt that personalisation is a complex space that presents various obstacles for businesses to overcome. However, it’s also clear that, despite these challenges, brands need to find ways to deliver messages that connect and resonate with customers, particularly if you’re targeting a diverse, multinational audience.

Understanding the challenges of personalisation

The survey on which the Gartner study was based on provided a number of findings that could help to inform and improve your firm’s future marketing efforts.

It showed:

  • Lack of ROI and the difficulties of customer data management are two of the key concerns for marketers around personalisation.
  • More than a quarter (27 per cent) of survey respondents cited data as the key obstacle to personalisation.
  • Personalisation currently comprises 14 per cent of the typical marketing budget.
  • More than one in four marketing leaders cite technological factors – such as tracking barriers implemented by big tech firms – as a major hurdle to personalisation.

These findings emphasise the fact that effective personalisation isn’t easy, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it remains highly important to consumers.

Research has shown that 31 per cent of retail customers wish their shopping experience was more personalised, while 48 per cent of people would be willing to wait longer for a personalised product or service.

For individual brands, there is a lot to be gained from developing stronger bonds and closer relationships with customers, which can aid personalisation and other vital parts of your marketing strategy.

Ethnography and behaviour

The importance of developing a deep understanding of your customers and what really matters to them was another theme identified in the research.

Gartner predicted that, by 2022, a quarter of all marketing departments will have a dedicated behavioural scientist or ethnographer among their full-time staff.

Ethnography – a branch of anthropology that aims to understand how people live their lives in a real-world context – can help brands build up a more in-depth picture of their audience and the key factors that will guide their buying decisions.

Findings from focused ethnographic research and behavioural analysis can be combined with local market knowledge to give you the strongest possible foundation on which to base your marketing strategy.

Gartner offered some other predictions for how marketing could evolve in the coming years, such as:

  • By 2023, budget allocation on influencer marketing will decrease by a third as consumers lose trust in brands and entities they don’t personally know.
  • By 2024, artificial intelligence identification of emotions will influence more than half of all online advertisements.

Getting the basics right

Advanced tools and technologies could have an increasingly important part to play in brand marketing in the coming years, but that doesn’t mean the fundamentals of good marketing practice will become any less vital.

This is particularly relevant considering that one of the key trends highlighted in the Gartner study is the ongoing decline in consumer trust in brands.

To earn or rebuild trust, you must be able to communicate and engage with your audience in a meaningful way. One of the most powerful tools any marketer has when it comes to making a genuine connection with customers is the written word.

If you’re able to produce written content that has a positive emotional impact on the reader — whether it’s blog posts, product descriptions, email newsletters or anything else — you’re already moving towards building a relationship with them and earning their trust.

For international businesses, one of the most important steps on the journey towards earning trust and making connections through your content is localisation. This will help you ensure your messaging is always relevant and tailored specifically for local markets and audiences.

Find out how this and other practices can help you overcome the challenges of modern marketing and succeed on the global stage by contacting Locaria on +44 (0)20 3948 6800, or request a quote online.

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