Build a data foundation for personalization

July 21, 2014 by Erin Haselkorn

Marketers are challenged with providing customers a consistent experience across channels, whenever and wherever they prefer. This situation has created a new strain on marketers who are fighting to keep up with the changing pace of technology.

One area that is increasingly important as part of an omni-channel strategy is personalization. Personalization is defined as changing a user interaction based on data, such as purchases, demographics or preferences.

Personalization allows marketers to better connect with consumers for better engagement, ultimately leading to greater conversion and revenue generation. Through improved offers, marketers can maximize efforts with loyalty messaging or cross-sell offers, allowing them to work more efficiently and effectively.

While about half of businesses are currently leveraging this approach, many more are looking to implement personalization processes. Of those optimizing the consumer interaction through personalization, the bulk do so through the customer facing website and through email communications. These messages are designed to improve customer engagement and generate revenue.

However, 94 percent of companies have challenges related to personalization according to the new Experian Data Quality study. The biggest challenges are gaining insight quickly enough, followed by having enough data and having inaccurate data. In addition, only 24 percent of companies have a single customer view today.

Disparate, inaccurate information makes it difficult for organizations to review data. The lack of accessibility and accuracy in first party data prevents marketers from fully understanding their customer base.

To improve the information backbone, companies need to consolidate information to ensure it is accessible in a single source. Then, they should look to leverage first party information as much as possible, but also look to third parties to gain insight for strategic personalization areas. Finally, marketers should be sure to maintain accurate information by regularly cleansing data and ensuring it is captured accurately.

While the majority of companies are making investments in personalization, data quality and access need to be core components of any strategy. Companies need to not only invest in analytics, but they also need to invest in data quality solutions and third party insight to maximize customer understanding.

To learn more on data quality and personalization, be sure to download the new white paper ‘Maximizing personalization.’