E-commerce platforms utilize consumer data to produce targeted marketing campaigns. This is not a new strategy and allows companies to personalize their campaigns, ensuring that they can tailor products and services to consumers based on their likes and dislikes and purchasing behavior. Consumer data continues to enable the creation of personalized online experiences.

Utilizing consumer data

It is getting increasingly hard to hide personal data online, meaning that firms are now able to access more consumer information online than ever before. An infographic created by Ad Week indicates how important this data-driven approach has become. The majority (77%) of marketers polled were confident about the effectiveness of data in marketing.

Shedding light on this trend, analytic data platform Teradata noted: “Customers today expect—and demand—a seamless and relevant experience… They have grown accustomed to marketers’ knowledge of their preferences and anticipation of their needs.” This indicates that consumers now expect a personalized online experience.

Consumers and personalization

This theory is supported by statistics quoted by E-Consultancy in 2013. The marketing firm noted that nearly half (49%) of UK consumers believe that personalization is important, although there was some discrepancy over the meaning of ‘personalization.’ 40% said that they believed personalization referred to receiving offers or discounts based on their preferences via their smartphone while not in-store. 36% said personalization referred to the same types of offers and discounts via digital devices while in-store.

 Adjust Your Set surveyed millennials (those aged 16 to 24) and found they were least likely to set up a profile on a brand site as it would generate spam. Nearly all respondents (91%) said that they should receive something in return for providing personal data online. 46% of those surveyed felt that they should receive a personalized marketing experience.

Personalized browsing experiences

Campaign Live explains how various online platforms are catering to increased consumer desire for personalization. The piece notes that Facebook is a valuable portal for personal consumer data, writing that it provides “data that allows agencies and markets to tailor campaigns to the individual, so they only see and hear the things that they will be interested in.”

Campaign Live also looked at Google and Amazon. Google, the article noted, utilizes a user’s personal link click history on the search engine to produce search data which is individualized for every consumer. The piece also shed a light on Amazon’s recommendation engine. It argues that as this feature learns more about Amazon consumers, it becomes increasingly effective at introducing them to products and services that they may be interested in purchasing.

Role of smartphones

Campaign Lives argues that smartphones are integral to personalized data-driven marketing. A report from Deloitte UK shows just how prevalent smartphone technology has become throughout British society. Over three quarters (76%) of British adults now own one of these devices, with the number of 4G users in the UK increasing from 8% to 25% between 2014 and 2015. Increasing access to online smartphone services has seen these devices become more important for e-commerce.

The number of UK adults who made a mobile payment in-store, for instance, rose from 3% to 15% from 2014 to 2015. According to Retail Touch Points, the number of consumers who use smartphones to research products rose by 110% between the second quarters of 2013 and 2014. As consumers are using smartphones to inform and execute purchasing decisions, they are providing companies with an expanding pool of data through which to provide a more personalized online shopping experience.

Cultural phenomenon

Campaign Live explained further how smartphones are aiding the rise of personalization as a cultural phenomenon. The article noted that through smartphones we are creating our own personally curated set of apps and using this to develop a personal interface through-which we engage with the world. Explaining further, the piece argued that “we are constantly having individual experiences when together, with life plus screen creating a personalized experience of everything.”

The article pointed to the rise of video-on-demand as further evidence of the rise of personalization as a cultural phenomenon. By utilizing services such as Amazon and Netflix, consumers can now curate a personalized television and film viewing experience at their leisure. But, Campaign Live argued, the future of marketing lies in shared meaning, due to the very same technologies which are powering the rise of personalization as a global cultural phenomenon.

Platforms such as Google and Facebook give people the ability to view the same words, images and content. If a musician or a TV show becomes popular, for example, they can now be discussed online and this makes this content bigger than ever, as people strive to share their experiences with each other. Campaign Live noted that even TV advertising campaigns can serve as major cultural events, provoking discussion online which draws more attention to the products and services in question.

Striking a balance

Consumers have always valued personalized marketing, and more effective capture and tracking of online behavior is allowing marketers to promote products and services more effectively. The best marketing campaigns bring people together and it is key that marketers strike a balance between consumer desire for personalization and shared experiences.

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