Personalization Is Important, but Marketers Face Many Obstacles

Marketers Are Challenged by Technical Issues and Legacy Infrastructure

Personalization may be important for companies to achieve increased revenue and enhanced CX, but marketers for global retail brands are frustrated by multiple challenges in their efforts to implement the desired trait.

The finding is contained in the new Retail Roadblocks report from customer engagement platform Emarsys, which said it spoke to more than 500 brand marketers in anticipation of the obstacles that would face retail personalization in 2022.

Overall, marketers are under increasing pressure to do more in less time, with fewer people and more limited budgets, the report reveals. With nearly a third of marketers worldwide already stretched thin from holding too many responsibilities, marketers are hobbled further in their personalization efforts by time-consuming technical issues. Approximately 30% say they lack the ability to segment by behavior and purchases—a must-have for effective personalization; and 22% state that data silos are limiting their ability to personalize.

Marketers are also feeling the negative effects of legacy tech infrastructure. More than a quarter (29%) cite poor technology integration as a barrier to personalization, while 42% are devoting more time to preparing and segmenting data than doing anything else, wrestling instead with infrastructure and data.

To free up more of their time, almost half of marketers will be investing in more web personalization technologies in the next 12 months. Two-thirds (67%) wish to spend more time improving personalized product recommendations and 91% say they need more time to know customers as people.

Joanna Milliken, the new CEO of Emarsys, said that with personalization now seen as crucial to business success, marketers need more support to carry out the sophisticated marketing tactics and technologies being called for today. “Far too many marketers are caught up in processes, buried in unactionable data, and stretched beyond their limits due to legacy technologies—through no fault of their own,” Milliken said. “Marketers can’t rise to the occasion without the technologies needed to empower them. In turn, this can help them to focus on real outcomes, for their end customers, their business and even their own careers.”

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.


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