Over the years I have been accused of being hyperbolic in the titles of my posts. Not often but more than once. I can honestly state here today without one ounce of reservation that the word "hyperbole" will not be used to describe the title of this post.
Wow, such strong language.
Well truth be told, they're not my words. They come from a recent white paper from The CMO Council and Microsoft entitled Making Personalization Possible. The Introduction to the report references a previous CMO Council report from 2008 - a year in which, as they put it "personalization was more of a novelty than an expectation."
It is irrefutably an expectation today from consumers and a mandate for marketers worldwide.
Yet half of marketers are hopefully optimistic?
I don't want to get caught up in semantics per se but I have to say I am not hopefully optimistic to read that half of marketers are hopefully optimistic about their ability to personalize their marketing. Sorry but that doesn't make me feel warm or fuzzy.
And before I go on, make no mistake about it: Personalization is vital for success for both B2C AND B2B marketers. As the report states: "Once thought to be the domain of B2C marketers looking to replicate a highly individualized commerce experience or even in-person concierge services, personalization has quickly become a requirement for B2B engagement."
Moreover, Gartner predicts that by 2018 B2B companies will see an increase in revenue by up to 15% by incorporating personalization into their digital marketing campaigns.
The Technology Holds the Keys
Another not-so-comforting finding from the report is that less than 2 in 10 marketers today are able to personalize across the entire journey, leveraging customer data that is blended with predictive analytics to enable a brand to deliver an ideal path for the customer.
Near the end of the report is the following, which comes courtesy of Microsoft. It encapsulates perfectly the need for the right technology.
"In the past, predictive analytics and machine learning technologies were often prohibitively expensive and complex to manage. Today, these innovations are much simpler and more affordable for businesses and end-users, with an endless supply of potential data sources to collect and analyze. The time is now to begin to benefit from what these tools can offer."
It's the perfect segue for you to download The CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms.