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Marketers Respond to Consumer Demand for Personalization

Tailored messages and media increase response rates, sales—as well as costs

Consumers have already voiced interest in receiving personalized emails, and recent polling suggested that personalization would be a key trend across all communications this year. In a November 2013 study by Conversant, around three-quarters of US senior-level marketers and agency decision-makers agreed that “individualized messages and offers will be more effective than mass messages/offers” this year, and about the same percentage said “personalized one-to-one marketing is the future.”

The reason for the rise in personalization’s importance? Heightened consumer demand for messages related to their interests, which explains many of the benefits cited by executives polled. Agency respondents reported better response rates, increased sales and stronger brand perception as the top results of personalized media programs. Marketers also cited such benefits, but the No. 1 response among this group was increased repeat purchases. So, not only are consumers more likely to interact with personalized messages, they’re also more likely to spend money with brands that implement targeted programs.

Personalization may be top of mind for executives thanks to its benefits, but challenges abound—typically those related to high costs. Both groups of respondents noted that higher media and creative costs were among the top three challenges, the other in the group being increased marketing/management complexity.

As marketers and agencies figure out how to measure the effectiveness of personalized media programs—another challenge—they will likely be able to determine whether the cost of running such campaigns pays off in the end.

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