- About 40% of consumers across several markets say messages only sometimes feel personal. The number of respondents who say messages rarely or never fit the characteristics that make them personal is greater than those who say messages usually or often feel personal, according to new research from Periscope By McKinsey, titled “Consumer Value Personalization: Up Your Game to Not Miss the Opportunity.”
- Among Americans, 31% of consumers "usually" or "always” find the messages that they receive relevant, compared to 23% who say they never do. In France, 19% said they “usually” or “always” receive relevant personalized messages, and 38% say they are rarely or never relevant. Eighteen percent of British and 17% of consumers say they “usually” or “always” receive relevant messages, with 33% and 36%, respectively, reporting that messages are rarely or never relevant.
- U.S. consumers felt mostly positively about personalized messages, with 50% saying they really or somewhat like receiving them. Thirty-eight percent of French, 37% of British and 29% of German respondents felt favorably about the messages. U.S. and U.K. consumers most wanted to receive personalized messages from grocery stores, restaurants and bars, and fashion retailers. The top categories for German consumers were grocery stores, fashion retailers and hotels, airlines and car rental companies.
The report underscores the tightrope marketers must walk as scrutiny by legislators, regulators and privacy advocates increases around how marketers use data collected from consumers even as those same consumers are demanding personalized experiences. Despite efforts to tailor their messages, brands need to hone in on multiple characteristics including location, age, gender and other demographics to maximize their campaigns, according to McKinsey researchers. Without looking at the 360-profile, companies may alienate customers instead of drawing them in. With third-party data facing significant scrutiny in the wake of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal and in anticipation of Europe's GDPR rules going into effect, one takeaway for brands is the need for strategies that enable them to gather first-party data.
Most consumers feel that brands don’t adequately capture characteristics about them to deliver relevant experiences, according to McKinsey. For example, U.S. consumers most appreciated it when brands offer items that are a good fit for their personal style, relate to frequent purchases and tie messaging to special events. German consumers felt that the most personal communications were those that included information about their style, name and a reference to a recent search.
Consumers expect certain levels of personalization and if they don't get it, are more likely to walk away. A recent Accenture study found that 48% of people report leaving a brand’s website and purchasing elsewhere due to a poorly curated experience. If done well, personalization strategies can offer many benefits to brands, including a 10% to 30% revenue lift on average, higher customer acquisition rates and engagement, the report noted.
Marketers need to tread lightly though as consumers often find some types of personalization creepy, including getting notifications from brands when they walk by physical locations or seeing ads on social media for products they previously searched.