5 Most Costly Personalization Mistakes

Aug 22, 2016 | Personalized Marketing

Personalization today is about offering a message that resonates on a deeper level – giving someone a holistic experience that takes into account their own preferences and needs. One of the greatest things about inbound marketing is its power to cater to specific buyer personas in this manner, but sadly, most brands still struggle with it on a daily basis.

personalization chart

Clearly there’s an issue with the way brands are executing (or not executing) personalization campaigns and a lot of room for improvement. We picked the 5 most costly personalization mistakes that brands are making. Let’s have a look!

Find out how you can personalize your content marketing


Too many brands while personalizing focus only on end results – buying behaviour and purchase analytics. However, there is a lot that can be learned on the road to the shopping cart. Paying attention to engagement and sentiment activities, on-site searching activity and browsing can give you loads of clues. The key is to pay attention to those micro-moments and understand how you can better influence customers as they move through the purchase consideration stages.

For example, you might start taking full advantage of micro-moments by sending a discount via push notification to a consumer who abandons his/her cart.



Each brand may have a different set of goals and objectives that they hope to achieve through their real-time marketing activities.

Recently, Hubspot interviewed 400 consumers, and shockingly, consumers believe marketers do not get it right – 80% say that brands are not really familiar with their needs. More interesting metrics that came from the survey:

-26% say that offers they receive via email, social media, and display ads are never relevant

-67% say these offers are only sometimes or rarely relevant

-Only 7% say the offers are regularly relevant


While offering as many channels to communicate as customers demand is important, it’s probably more vital that communication is seamless and agile. In marketing, we have plenty of great creative ideas and technology innovation in the form of content and channels and ad placements that we use to connect with people in various stages of the sales cycle. The challenge is in seamlessly getting that most appealing content to the right person when the timing is best. Knowing what content and when is the output of many analytical challenges. Personalization is now automated, and so the creative team doesn’t have to make a guess as to when a certain message will resonate – it leaves that detail to the technology and the scientists. Make sure that knowing what to create in order to full engage someone at a particular moment and setting your personalisation capability should go hand in hand!

David Edelman, McKinsey & Company: “Consumers now have the power to get information or get something done immediately. Because people have a computer in their hands at any given second, the individual moment they’re in is now the most important part of the customer journey”



There are growing concerns over the balance of personalisation and privacy. Not all customers want brands to have an intimate understanding of their life and desires. As a result personalisation strategies must factor in the consent, control and trust that consumers expect as part of what is ultimately a trade-off between exchange of personal data and the tangible benefits of personalized experiences.



In the latest PwC & Forbes conducted survey of the touchpoints that brands use to personalize content, mobile applications come first. Residing on the customer’s individual device and with the inherent ability to access and generate data, mobile apps lend themselves well to personalization, as does social media, which comes second overall. Communicating on an individual level can start at the smallest end of the spectrum.


Utilising Customer Feedback is a great way to personalise your offering. The ratings and reviews customers leave show specific likes and dislikes for an individual, this can then be compared to other similar customers (based on key demographic data – age, location, gender, etc). Customer profiling can help you to really know your customers. With this additional information changes can be made to help each customer feel like their needs are being individually met and your offering is specific to them.

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