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5 Reasons Your Personalization Strategy Isn’t Working

  • Written by  Kurt Heinemann, Reflektion

0aaKurt Heinemann ReflektionModern customers expect timely and relevant experiences. Unfortunately, most organizations are still unable to deliver them. Despite investments in personalization technology and the availability of more data sources, companies are still falling short. Retailers must recognize their current personalization efforts are creating an ever-widening gap between them and their customers.

To create experiences that truly delight customers and boost conversions and revenue, brands must use all the data available to them, create consistency across touch points, live “in the moment” with customers, ditch overly broad segmentation models, and most importantly start listening to their customers. Let’s take a closer look at each of these five reasons why your personalization strategy is falling short of both your and your customers’ expectations.

Your Data Isn’t Connected

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Brands need a centralized database, with data that is real-time, responsive and always available. They also require a smart combination of predictive analytics and strategic controls to effectively unify engagement across every relevant customer touch point. The challenge for marketers is that despite the potential of new technologies and the data that fuels them to create true “omnichannel” experiences, old-school methodologies are forcing everything through the same outdated, siloed processes.

It’s Inconsistent Across Touch Points

Most marketers lack a holistic omnichannel view of their campaigns and customers despite their efforts and investments. Meanwhile, their organizations may be unable to provide the data access and integration necessary to deliver personalized customer experiences across touch points. Organizations have to put the customer at the center of their strategy, and with that, everything they know about them. This will ensure messaging and experiences are consistent regardless of how and where customers choose to engage.

It’s Not Relevant In-the-Moment

Today’s methodologies are really about one-size-fits-many; not one-to-one.  Organizations overlook very important differences in customers when they view them as static personas. Marketers must be able to anticipate and react to each individual's real-time intent and behaviors if they want to create customer experiences that are truly relevant in each discrete moment. When you engage your customers with the most relevant content and products you create a more enjoyable and successful experience for them that drives greater results for your brand.

It Treats Customers As Averages

E-Commerce leaders must help their organizations prepare for the next evolution of personalization, which will rely more on data-driven individualization than models of segmentation. Creating an averaged customer journey targeting overly broad segments actually creates no one’s journey. To truly personalize the experience you need to speak to your customers at an individual level. This individualization is only accomplished by engaging each of your customers as a segment of one, in real time.

You’re Not Actually Listening To Your Customers

You may be hearing your customers, but are you actually listening to what they’re telling you? Are you able to be one step ahead of them; understanding and responding to each micro-expression in real time? Understanding each customer's intent and preferences allows you to guide and influence their journey while boosting overall ROI.


Kurt Heinemann is the CMO of Reflektion. Prior to joining Reflektion, he was CMO for Marketwired/Sysomos where he relaunched their brands, as well as led the successful turnaround of the lead generation and content strategy efforts for both brands. Previously Heinemann was the CMO for Monetate, where he helped double revenues for the cloud-based browser technology company. Heinemann has also held senior executive positions at leading consumer marketing firms that include Priceline, Time Warner/Synapse Connect, and Walker Digital Companies, where he leveraged his expertise in corporate strategy, product development, customer acquisition and retention, and creative development to increase lead generation, revenue and market share.

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