Teradata BrandShare
Teradata BrandShare

Why Most Marketers Feel They Are Lagging in the Personalization Department

Data, silos and the status quo
  • February 11, 2015, 12:00 AM EST
  • Sponsored

Illustration: Kyle Fewell

While data-driven marketing made significant inroads in 2014, there remains a gap between good intentions and tangible action when it comes to big data and personalized marketing, a new survey suggests.

According to Teradata's 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 90 percent of marketing and communications executives are focused on obtaining customer data at an individual rather than a segment level. Personalization is widely seen as the next leap forward from customer segmentation, but too often it boils down to guesswork. That's to say, not every thirty-something, BMW-driving homeowner with an engineering job necessarily has the same needs and interests.

One-to-one messaging is a longtime Holy Grail for marketers, and the year's ONE: Teradata Marketing Festival will explore how trailblazing, tech-savvy marketers are building 1-on-1 relationships that boost business value and improve customer experiences. This year's agenda eschews typical conference trappings—passive lectures and a constant pushing of a product—in favor of interactivity, networking and a strong focus on marketing technology.

Register for ONE: Teradata Marketing Festival, May 12–13 in Las Vegas

A-Grade Investments co-creator Ashton Kutcher will deliver the festival keynote, drawing on his diverse experiences in Hollywood and Silicon Valley to emphasize the importance of connecting with individuals rather than segments or personas. Kutcher serves as a good example of the limitations of segmentation: He's both a celebrity with an established track record of lowbrow comedies and TMZ appearances, as well as an influential tech investor. To market to him as solely one or the other would be a missed opportunity.

One of the big questions for this year's festival—the tagline is "Marketing to the Segment of One"—is why so many companies still feel they are lagging in the personalization department. Teradata CMO Lisa Arthur says that businesses need to rid themselves of the "data hair ball." Without a clearly articulated vision for data analysis, marketers are at risk of experiencing big data as, well, a big mess.

The truth is that many marketers are struggling to keep up with their customers. Consumers increasingly expect some of level of personalization across channels—whether online or in-store, whether mobile or desktop—but only 35 percent of businesses feel that they can provide consistency in that area.

What's more, only half of businesses personalize marketing messages and special offers at all. Yet the evidence is stacking up that customers prefer the personal touch and are even willing to trade behavioral data and personal information if it means greater relevance in their inboxes. Such emails can take several forms, including recommendations based on past purchases and reminders of items abandoned in shopping carts.

To make improvements, departmental silos must tumble. In the Teradata survey, a near-consensus agreed that customer service would improve if data were shared across teams. But 80 percent of marketers believe silos are blocking the ability to move forward with an omni-channel, cross-departmental strategy.

The Teradata Marketing Festival is all about fighting against data hair balls, silos and the status quo. It will take place May 12–13 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Registration is open, with early bird pricing available through April 15.