6 Most Common Mistakes Marketers Make With Personalisation

Jul 2, 2016 | Personalized Marketing

Marketing to one anonymous audience without consideration for individuals and their preferences is a thing of the past. One size no longer fits all, and that’s truer than ever before when it comes to personalised marketing.

We’ve posted quite a few articles on marketing personalization best practices and ways to increase value with personalization, but what we haven’t touched on are things to avoid when it comes to building momentum with marketing personalization and automation.

Here are the 6 most common personalisation mistakes to avoid.


The ideal scenario: “Let’s understand what our customers need to achieve by using our product/service before we create this product page. “The reality: “I need to get this page up on the site today/tomorrow/this weekend.” Marketers will typically start with an existing page, similar product page, or a competitor’s page and design their new product in. The cookie-cutter approach works well if you’re adding in a similar item, but it doesn’t when there’s a significant difference in the following:

– 1. Customer type

– 2. Customer behavior (motivation)

– 3. Customer journeys

starting with design

Before starting design, create customer profiles to…

– 1. Understand your customers’ motivations

– 2. Map their consideration and purchase journey

– 3. Choose the appropriate design templates

– 4. Write more focused content that addresses their expectations and needs


From a real-time marketing perspective, executives will pay a lot of attention to the people and the technology, but often fail to think about process. Because real-time happens so fast, a lot of the processes that exist for traditional marketing simply don’t translate. The shelf life for some real-time use cases is measured in seconds and missing that window will render the insight or opportunity worthless. In fact, it’s very difficult to have a process when things need to happen in real-time! The answer is to look at technology as a way to help scale and execute real-time marketing strategies in lieu of a process. Marketers should consider tools that have the critical campaign management capabilities with a Single Customer View, reporting, and real-time execution channels all deeply integrated as one real-time marketing solution. With one solution, marketers can design journeys and optimise moments of engagement in real-time, at scale and worry-free. (CMI)


Whenever a new channel is developed, marketers immediately start running the race to see how quickly they can get their brand on the channel regardless of process, which usually means a specialised tool. As we know that new channels are always being created, the explosion of unique tools, data sources, and the big data associated quickly becomes unmanageable. The problem is complicated and lots of companies simply leave it be, and that’s a huge issue for consumers! 90% of consumers say that they will use multiple devices when making purchases. But if your business has numerous data silos and disconnected profiles for each data source, a consumer is going to have to start all over again whenever they move from one channel to the next. According to CMI, Businesses around the world lose over $80 billion dollars a year simply due to poor experiences as almost 89% of consumers will begin doing business with a competitor following a poor experience. The most effective real-time marketing is when a consumer knows that no matter when and where they interact with your brand, you’re using the data they’ve voluntarily provided.

Device optimization - Knexus


Since one of the first steps of true hyper-personalization is building an integrated data management system that can bring in multiple external and internal data sets, the inherent risk is quite clear. With all your data in one location, there must be significant care in protecting the customer gold harvested because one data breach can mean multiple streams of data are vulnerable. Be honest with your customers about what you are taking from them, and once you have their trust, protect what you have. It’s that simple. (Marketing Land)

customer privacy Knexus


Most marketers are guilty of this one: a long list of things to interact with and read, buttons to click and forms to fill. And when implemented, it never results in a happy ending. The reality is that peoples’ attention spans are more fragmented than ever. Moreover, attention spans get shorter as the day goes on—to the point that we’re happy to just sit back, scroll, and not really interact with sliders, accordions, etc. on a Web page.

When faced with multiple clickable options on a product page, most users will click once or twice to explore something and skip (or scroll through) the rest.

ROI customer success

Your first-time visitors are likely to take ONE action, if they take any at all. This is something I have observed in countless usability sessions. They’ll skim through some other stuff and ignore the remaining. So think carefully about the top two or three actions you want a visitor to take, then design the experience around those.


Multivariate testing can get very messy with hyper-segmentation, but always remember to test while executing. The closer you get to hyper-personalization, the more marketers will be tempted to skip various parts of the testing process. Just because the testing process will become more complicated doesn’t mean you should take your foot off the testing pedal. It will become even more important to your personalization journey that all your data sources, creative pieces, and messages are carefully tested to optimize your personalization efforts. Remember that a marketing personalization tool is exactly that…a tool that needs constant recalibration to make the high, consistent returns that you expect. (Nectarom)

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