Personalization For Marketing Success?

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By Gloria Rosenberg

The topic of personalization seems to be a ubiquitous one recently. Some companies have set out to develop platforms specifically dedicated to deliver a personalized experience, while others are incorporating it within their marketing journeys. McKinsey recently published an article stating that “personalization will be the prime driver of marketing success within five years.” While we don’t disagree that personalization can improve the end-to-end customer experience and as such generate better loyalty and empathy to the brand, there are factors that must be considered when thinking about personalization.

AI or not, it has been clear for many years that a personalized in-store experience and customization is what separates growing retail stores from declining ones. However, it is not one size fits all across industries. For some, personalization is of much greater importance than for others. It is more valuable when it comes to high involvement purchases like cars or personal items like apparel. As it relates to low involvement categories that have a very competitive and high density marketplace, the cost of change and personalization may not warrant the gains that brands will get from it.

As technology develops, some of these things become the cost of entry and elevate everyone in a similar way. As we all know, a point of difference drives competitive advantage. We may at some point shift our attention from people to brands and products. The focus has to go back to development of real innovation in consumer products and services, not marginal improvements. Those who figure out how to increase the success rate of innovation will win the battle at the marketplace.