My first column of 2020 is live in The Drum:
Personalisation was the US Association of National Advertisers’ 2019 marketing word of the year, but the idea’s popularity has been largely the result of martech companies successfully promoting their own personalisation technologies.
Here are just a few examples from last year alone.
Accenture created an Interactive personalised Marketing Index (PDF) claiming that “almost 70% of consumers want companies to personalise their communications”. And what does Accenture sell? Marcom personalisation. Seismic commissioned a report stating that personalised customer experiences are the biggest opportunities for effective sales enablement. What does Seismic offer? Website personalisation.
WebEngage claimed in a webinar that “hyper-personalisation is the future of marketing”. Not surprisingly, the company sells messaging personalisation. Evergage’s 2019 personalisation study found that the practice “is clearly a top priority”. Of course, it is a personalisation platform. Pros creates personalised selling solutions and – no big shock here – commissioned a report stating that B2B buyers want personalisation.
Manhattan Associations sponsored a study stating that young retail shoppers are driven more by personalisation. The company’s technology creates personalised shopping experiences. Kevin Sieck of LatentView Analytics wrote in The Drum that “the need to mimic the human, in-person process and give customers a personalised experience has never been more pressing”. Guess what his company sells.
I could list many more.
The discourse within the marketing industry is too often poisoned by companies that are selling something to marketers. The result? Many marketers believe broad statements that they feel must be true even though the objective information states otherwise. “TV is dead” is a classic example. That we are on an unstoppable march towards “mass, one-to-one personalisation at scale” is another.