2016 Trends in Personalization

To help organizations better understand how personalization is being used today, barriers to adoption, and plans for the next 12 months, Evergage and Researchscape International surveyed 250 organizations of all sizes from around the world about their marketing operations and implementation of personalization.
This annual study on the state of personalization found that 85% of companies are now implementing some form of personalization. However, most companies’ personalization initiatives barely make the grade, with the majority of marketers (55%) giving their own – and their competitors’ (63%) – efforts a grade of “C” or lower.
When it comes to the importance of the marketing initiatives that organizations are implementing, search engine optimization (SEO) is “very” or “extremely” important to 79% of respondents, closely followed by email marketing and content marketing (78% and 75% respectively) and personalization (74%). This level of importance indicates that personalization is approaching the mainstream, almost on par with more established marketing disciplines.
Organizations that are not implementing any personalization yet, or that are just implementing email personalization, were asked about their plans for the next year. Over half of respondents from these organizations (55%) plan to use website or in-app personalization (web or mobile) within the next year. 
Of those already using personalization, 89% report an improvement or “lift”, and of those, 53% have seen a lift of 10% or more. They are relying most heavily on personalized messages or experiences in inline content (53%) and information bars (48%). As a result, 35% of the respondents said their spending or budget for personalization will go up in the coming year, while only 4% `said it would go down. 
However, it is worth noting that those using personalization are largely utilizing rule-based targeting to segments (63%) versus a more advanced, algorithmic, 1:1 targeting strategy (22%). The findings from this year’s study reveal that personalization has seen rapid and widespread deployment over the last 12 months, but now, companies must dig deeper into their initiatives, fine-tune what is working and pursue more sophisticated forms of personalization to generate even better results. 

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