“Tim, try our new & improved product today!”

“Tim, your cat Gracie is in need of brand x flee treatment!”

I’m developing a condition. One where I’m blind to personalized offers. I was more apt to develop this condition because of my career choice, but I have a sneaking hunch that my friends are infected with this condition as well. Since an anecdotal story and my opinion make for a poor use of your attention I searched for data that had been collected on marketing personalized offers online. I found that we can make personalization exciting & effective again.

So I opened a new tab and visited DuckDuckGo. Since the NSA revelation the trend is towards searching anonymously online, and I’m a trend follower so bare with my choice of search engine. A recent study by Lyris and The Economist, Mind the marketing gap, provides a frightening assessment for brands. The assessment was attained from two separate surveys; one asking consumers, the other executives. The intended audience was split equally between the US & the UK and the executives were from six consumer product industries – clothing, banking, travel, media, entertainment and automotive. I’ve pulled what I feel is the key finding from the consumer survey:

The majority (63%) claim that personalization is now so common that they have grown numb to it, with 33% of consumers citing superficial personalization as one of their top annoyances.

I feel the increase in the volume of offers is the weaker discovery in the survey, as technology permeates the marketing departments of brands an increase in personalization is expected, and as I engage with brands online (email signups) my expectation is to receive personalized communication. But, I feel the most damning discovery is the perceived superficial personalization of the offers, described by consumers as their top annoyance. Do marketers stop to ask of themselves & brand, “Am I/are we annoying customers?”. I suggest a great place to start discovering the answer of which messaging is providing a positive experience for your customers is through testing. Webtrends Optimize can help you find the most effective personalization messages for your campaign across email, social & paid search ads.

I find that when my expectations are exceeded by a brand when purchasing online I’m more excited and open to customized and/or personalized emails from that brand. The survey doesn’t provide earth-shattering news when you read in the findings that consumers prefer customized offers over mass market offers, but it’s crucial to understand that consumers prefer the inclusion of individualized experiences via product recommendations in email messages.

I pulled the following content from an email, from my personal Gmail Inbox, as a good example of a personalized, product recommendation. This happens to be from Bonobos. A brand I’ve purchased from, and have had very positive digital purchase experiences with in the past. Here you don’t see my name anywhere in the email, in fact the subject line was, Wear this with your Jet Blues. I found this experience to be so positive that it’s the only email that I’ve recalled from memory after I opened my closet, and I made a mental note to visit Bonobos again to find a shirt for my pants. Now this experience could have gone horribly wrong if it was from a brand I didn’t have a positive digital experience with, or provided a horrendous customized, product recommendation.


I recommend you suspend the immediate reaction to the linked survey and set aside some time today to think on how you can improve your customer communication via email through high quality, personalized, and customized offers. The goal is to reduce the annoyance your customer might feel about your emails, to align with the positive experiences they’ve already had through high quality content, and this can be achieved today through Webtrends Optimize. Technology that can provide real-time insight and action, teamed with a services dedicated to making your campaign a success.