Print in the Mix

The Power of Personalization: Impact of Individualized Content Delivery

In March 2008, the CMO Council surveyed top marketing executives for their insights into customized content, collateral and personalized Web interaction on marketing effectiveness, customer acquisition, retention and business outcomes. The survey population consisted of more than 700 senior executives—ranging from CEO, CMO, SVP and VP of marketing—from across technology, Internet, telecommunications, media, professional services, banking/finance, retail, consumer goods and manufacturing.

The promotional material/activity tested included personalized communications such as e-mail, personalized URLs (PURLs), digital advertising, direct mail, dimensional mailers, newsletters, transpromotional documents and more.

Top Line Results

Senior executives indicate that increasing customer retention and loyalty (39.4 percent), building ROI (37.4 percent), and improving response and close rates (36.9 percent) are the three top reasons driving personalization strategies.

Respondents rate personalization activities effectiveness as follows:

Individualized e-mails and letters — 55.2 percent

Targeted database marketing, leveraging personal profiles — 34.5 percent

Opt-in, permission-based marketing programs — 29.6 percent

Variable data printing — 21.0 percent

Print-on-demand collateral with personalized content — 17.6 percent

Personalized URLs (PURLs) — 15.9 percent

Transpromotional communications — 3.8 percent

The top three metrics that marketers report using to measure the success of personalization: conversion and close rates, e-mail opening and forwarding rates, and Website traffic and page views.

From the Study

Personalized marketing techniques are still in the early stages of being integrated into most companies’ marketing campaigns and budgets. While the need for quantifiable tools for gauging effectiveness and ROI exists, marketers are also lagging on adoption due to the lack of accurate and reliable customer data sources. However, the majority of marketers who have implemented strategic personalized marketing techniques have seen decidedly greater success over traditional mass marketing approaches.

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