A majority of marketers have a budget for executing personalized messaging – report

Alyssa Clementi

Global performance marketing agency Merkle has just released its Q4 2019 Customer Engagement Report, which revealed 86 per cent of marketers have a set budget to perform personalized messaging. For the study, Merkle interviewed 200 participants from major North American brands, across industries such as retail, high-tech, financial, travel, media and entertainment, health, and nonprofit.

According to Merkle, 82 per cent of marketers have a dedicated toolset that prioritizes and coordinates personalized experiences across channels, and 89 per cent of brands have an organizational structure to execute a personalized multi-channel marketing plan.

“Our research aims to identify clear steps for brands to evolve from being good at personalization to being great. In this report, we dig into the types of data that can enable personalization and the emerging tools and techniques that will drive ongoing improvements for customer engagement,” said Yara Lutz, senior vice president of CRM, Merkle.

When it comes to using third-party customer demographics, 70 per cent of participants use them in email channels, 40 per cent use them in digital media, and less than 30 per cent use them on site. According to Merkle’s research, between 35 per cent to 45 per cent of marketers said they use first-party customer profile and order history data across channels.

28 per cent said their brand messaging is based on one-to-one behavior triggers, and 81 per cent of participants said they are already executing defined loyalty programs. To bring in higher customer loyalty, 70 per cent of participants are using points-based tactics, and 35 per cent use surprise-and-delight tactics (rewarding customers with coupons after certain behaviors). 14 per cent of respondents said they don’t use any of these tactics.

“Our report strives to help marketers meet customer expectations through the use of data and personalization. Brands need to operate with the most current set of information about their customers and make the path to purchase fast and frictionless,” said Matt Seeley, EVP, technology services, Merkle. “Our survey results this quarter show that, while most marketers have embraced personalization, they are only using a fraction of available data to drive customer experiences. This research can help marketers to hone in on what data and tactics will help grow their brand and ultimately result in positive business outcomes.”