Business is personal – CMO Council

by Tom Kaneshige. Customer loyalty is fleeting, brand abandonment a reality. Three out of four consumers switched to a new store, product, or buying method during the pandemic.

by Tom Kaneshige. Let’s face it. People are sick and tired of being treated as part of a generalised customer segment. After all, we’re individuals with different values and interests. We want to take a stand on important issues and will choose companies that reflect and support them. We don’t want to receive boneheaded marketing messages that expose a brand’s cluelessness about us. Most importantly, we want to feel special.

Thanks to the growth of digital sales channels, it’s easier than ever to research, compare, shop and swap brands that don’t meet this new standard. More than 70% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, McKinsey says, and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Customer loyalty is fleeting, brand abandonment a reality. Three out of four consumers switched to a new store, product,  or buying method during the pandemic. To wit, business has become personal.

Marketers know this all too well. According to an Ascend2 2021 survey, the top marketing objective of a strategy for using data to make decisions is to increase customer loyalty. McKinsey says companies that excel at personalisation generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average players. Personalisation means recommending products that we want, giving us special promotions and offers, tailoring marketing messages that fill our needs, following up after we bought something, creating a great online experience based on our profiles, celebrating our milestones, championing purpose-marketing that matches our values, and more.

Do this, and we’ll reward you for it

Salesforce says 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalised offers or discounts. McKinsey says 76% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from brands that personalise, while 78% are more likely to refer friends and family. A Deloitte Digital report found that 87% of consumers are loyal to their favourite brand for three or more years, with 61% making at least three purchases from the brand in the previous six months.

Personalisation sounds critical, right? So why do many marketers get it wrong? Judging from the lack of loyalty, marketers are failing to deliver a personalised experience. In a CMO Council survey, 65% of consumers said digital engagements during the pandemic weren’t exceeding expectations. Frustration mounts, leading to 73% questioning why they were spending with the brand in the first place.

Personalisation isn’t easy

In the article, The Value of Getting Personalization Right — Or Wrong — Is Multiplying, McKinsey cites five Herculean labours to pull personalisation off: Lean into data and analytics; invest in rapid activation capabilities; invest in fit-for-purpose MarTech and data; commit to an agile operating model; and invest in talent and training. Each of these labours deserves its own library. Throw in a big dose of AI and machine learning — critical ingredients for enabling hyper-personalisation at scale — and you’ve got the kind of massively messy project that makes and breaks careers.

Are marketers up to the task? They better be

“Personalisation is a force multiplier — and business necessity — one that more than 70% of consumers now consider a basic expectation,” McKinsey says. “Organisations able to build and activate the capability at scale can put customer lifetime value on a new trajectory — driving double-digit revenue growth, superior retention, and richer, more nurturing long-term relationships.”


Related: Humanizing + Analyzing Relationships To Drive Revenue, Retention And Returns.



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Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles.



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