Today sees the release of Econsultancy’s Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing on Personalisation, created in association with Adobe.

The report is dedicated to personalisation, a topic that has become a high priority for companies wishing to improve customer experience and financial performance simultaneously.

It’s based on an online survey of over 700 client-side and agency respondents, carried out in October 2014.

Here are three takeaways from the briefing. 

The importance of personalisation to businesses

It’s no surprise that marketers are taking personalisation very seriously. The ability to tailor the digital experience at scale is now a reality for businesses that have the right technology and processes in place. Personalisation can lead to a much deeper brand loyalty and higher CLV

As the chart below shows, digital marketers are 7% more likely than in 2012 to agree that the ability to personalise is “fundamental to their online strategy” and 13% more likely to agree that they are “committed to providing a personalised web experience”.

As the link between an improved customer experience and better commercial performance becomes clear, the ability to personalise is a vital way for businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition. 

Intelligent use of data

The age of big data has enabled personalisation of digital experiences in a way that wasn’t possible before. Marketers can now provide a similar online experience to face-to-face interactions in high street retail.

The exponential increase and improved ability to ‘read’ data, has meant we can now use it in more intelligent ways.

We asked our respondents what information they are using to personalise the web experience?

The majority of both company (65%) and agency (70%) respondents said  “personal data” (including name, gender and location) and just under half said “user preferences“.

Cross-channel personalisation

We are most likely to encounter personalisation when we are engaging with companies through email or on their desktop website. 

Four out of five companies (80%) say they are personalising their emails with a range of methods, from a basic mail-merge type approach using a customer’s name to sophisticated one-to-one marketing .

The tag cloud above also highlights the integral nature of email to many companies’ personalisation efforts. In fact, Figure 12 below shows almost half of companies (48%) agreeing that email “is the only channel they truly personalise”. 

Only 39% of marketers say they personalise across desktop, tablets and smartphones, a disappointingly low percentage, which highlights the technical and data privacy-related challenges of keeping track of people across different devices.