Choosing Marketing Personalization Technologies Without Overwhelming Yourself

Choosing Marketing Personalization Technologies Without Overwhelming Yourself

The Importance and Selection Process of Retail Personalization Platforms

Personalization platforms have become an integral part of modern businesses, but sometimes the abundance of options can be overwhelming. Choosing the right retail personalization platform requires careful consideration and understanding of the principles involved. In this article, we will explore why marketing personalization has gained popularity, discuss key principles for selecting a personalization platform, and provide insights into the decision-making process.

The Rise of Marketing Personalization

In a world plagued by spam and unnecessary offers, customers are gravitating towards personalized marketing experiences. The concept of “human2human marketing” or “marketing with a human face” has gained traction as businesses embrace personalization to enhance customer engagement. This more empathetic approach avoids spamming and pressuring buyers, and instead focuses on providing a tailored experience based on individual preferences.

The impact of personalization on revenue is striking. For example, among retailers selling home goods and furniture, newsletter personalization has been found to contribute to a revenue increase of 3-16%. Recognizing this potential, the marketing tech sector has exploded, with the number of martech companies growing from 150 in 2011 to a staggering 9.9 thousand in 2022.

Choosing the Right Personalization Platform

Selecting the right personalization technology can be a complex undertaking. It requires a thorough understanding of the implementation process and consideration of various factors. Here are five essential tips to ensure a successful implementation:

  1. Formulate the implementation goal: Define the metric of success and set clear expectations for it. Agreement among team members is crucial in determining the path to success.
  2. Describe use case scenarios: Clearly outline the specific scenarios in which the technology will be utilized to achieve marketing objectives.
  3. Consider data integration: For businesses operating across multiple channels and platforms, seamless integration of customer data is essential. This step requires careful planning and consideration of potential challenges.
  4. Evaluate implementation speed and adaptability: Time-to-market (TTM) is a critical metric for any technology implementation. Platforms that offer flexibility and quick adaptation to change are preferable, enabling marketers to pivot and seize opportunities swiftly.
  5. Estimate return on investment (ROI): Assess the potential return on investment based on cost, implementation resources, and expected benefits. Avoid technologies with lengthy integration periods or ROI timeframes exceeding a year.

Setting Clear Goals and Metrics

Setting clear goals and metrics for platform implementation is crucial. When formulating the implementation goal, it is essential to consider specific measurement methods and formulate realistic expectations. Merely stating an increase in conversion without context or measurement parameters is ineffective. Instead, focus on measurable goals, such as revenue or margin growth, decreasing costs, or increasing transparency and rate of change.

To provide a better understanding, here are examples of ineffective goals:
Revenue growth from an email channel measured by Google Analytics’ last-click attribution model: This metric can be easily manipulated, resulting in increased orders attributed to the email channel but providing no real benefit to the business. – Share of customers who are members of the loyalty program or a higher average order value from loyalty program members: While these metrics may show growth, they can mask underlying issues, such as the absence of new customers or reduced profitability due to increased discounts.

On the other hand, effective goals that stimulate progress include revenue or margin growth, decreasing costs, and increasing transparency and rate of change. Clear and well-defined goals serve as guideposts on the path to successful implementation.

Considering Use Cases and Workflows

Comparing multiple technologies while considering use cases can be challenging. Creating extensive tables with functionalities often leads to confusion and ineffective decision-making. A more effective approach is to analyze use cases specific to your business and requirements. By focusing on workflows rather than functionality, you can assess which technology aligns best with your needs.

For example, consider the following workflows and corresponding solutions:
Workflow 1: RFM counts implemented internally, requiring email address lists for desired segments:
– Solution: An inexpensive email gateway better suits this workflow. – Workflow 2: Targeted campaigns for RFM segments with limited understanding or internal resources:
– Solution: Seek an agency or niche service with expertise and transparency. – Workflow 3: Regular recalculations and utilization of RFMs across multiple channels:
– Solution: An automation platform offers the required flexibility and efficiency.

By assessing specific workflows and seeking examples from companies with similar needs, you can make an informed decision about which platform will provide optimal functionality and convenience for your business.

The Importance of Data Integration

Companies operating across multiple sales channels and communication platforms often encounter challenges related to data integration. Customer information is scattered among various systems and databases, resulting in fragmented and duplicate data. Ensuring seamless data integration is crucial for effective personal marketing.

Data integration involves cleansing and unifying customer data by addressing errors and inconsistencies. It is essential to merge relevant information from different systems in real-time, such as purchase history, behavioral data, and promotional points. Furthermore, the ability to manage external systems, like gateways or website personalization technologies, is critical.

Ignoring data integration can lead to integration chaos, resulting in disjointed customer experiences and conflicting promotions. Moreover, neglecting data quality can compromise the effectiveness of algorithms and big data analytics. Failure to provide clean and reliable data to these systems will yield unreliable results.

To address data integration challenges, customer data platforms (CDPs) have emerged as a solution. These platforms centralize data and provide essential data integration functionality. Evaluating CDP options and considering their significance in your specific scenario will streamline your personalization efforts and improve marketing effectiveness.

Speed of Implementation and Adaptability

Another crucial factor when selecting a personalization platform is the speed of implementation and adaptability. Traditional enterprise solutions often suffer from slow implementation times and rigid change management processes. Agility is fundamental in personalization efforts, allowing marketers to implement changes swiftly and seize emerging opportunities.

The ability to make real-time changes is exemplified by fashion retailer 12 STOREEZ, which frequently conducts A/B tests to improve engagement and key metrics. Marketers should have the freedom to take independent action, reducing dependency on IT and approval processes.

When comparing implementation speed and adaptability, the three situations involving RFM segments illustrate varying levels of efficiency and flexibility. Implementing changes in an automation platform proves to be the most effective, offering transparency, flexibility, and faster implementation compared to other alternatives.

Estimating Return on Investment (ROI)

Assessing the return on investment (ROI) is a crucial step in choosing a personalization platform. Summarize the expectations based on implementation metrics, estimate the platform and integration costs, and consider the costs associated with personnel using the platform. Avoid committing to technologies with extended integration timeframes and ROI horizons exceeding one year.

Ensuring a positive ROI is critical for justifying the investment in personalization technology. Detailed evaluation of costs and benefits, along with a realistic timeframe for tracking results, will aid in making an informed decision. Aiming for short-term ROI and a manageable timeframe for implementation and results ensures a more effective technological investment.

One success story comes from Blossom Flower, a company that diligently followed the principles outlined earlier. By setting clear goals, implementing workflows, and estimating ROI, they achieved a staggering 426% ROI within the first five weeks. Nine workflows with 38 automated campaigns were launched, with over 200,000 “lost” customers reengaged.


Selecting the right retail personalization platform is a crucial decision for businesses aiming to enhance customer engagement, revenue, and satisfaction. By adhering to the principles outlined in this article, including setting clear implementation goals, evaluating use cases, considering data integration, assessing implementation speed, and estimating ROI, businesses can ensure a successful selection process.

Personalization is an opportunity to provide marketing experiences that resonate with customers, avoiding spam and generic offers. With the right platform in place, businesses can create meaningful and tailored interactions that build loyalty and drive growth. So, take the time to choose wisely and embrace the power of personalization to revolutionize your marketing efforts.

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