What is personalization?


Every wave of technological and marketing innovation comes with its own list of buzzwords. Most of the time, there is no standard definition or even use of these words. They quickly become stale, overused and used incorrectly.

Personalization is the DNA of our team, this is why we wanted to publish our own, unofficial, glossary of terms.

Term What It Isn’t What It Is
Personalization Getting someone’s name correct in email A means of utilizing information about the customer to make their experience more relevant across channels (e.g. email, website, in store/branch, customer care)
1:1 (read “One-to-One”) Coffee with a friend Taking personalization to the level, whereby every communication is unique to each recipient
Relevance This means so many different things to so many different people The basics of marketing (right product, right price, right place, right time, right promotion) brought into the 21st century through the means of data and automation
Segmentation and Targeting War terminology or creating two versions of a communication A step along the way to personalization and 1:1. This is done when little data is available to be used and/or clusters of customers can be satisfied with the same offer. The segmentation could also be used for content as creating a content that’s specific for each individual would be too big of a task
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) A means of communicating with customers in customer care A database that provides a holistic view of the customer, combining demographic, behavioural and transactional data, that can be used to personalize customer experiences


Why does this matter?

1. The Customer Expects It

Customers know that we, as marketers, collect reams of their data and they know the value of this data. They expect us to use it to benefit them, especially in the form of personalized offers, discounts and promotions.

  • 73% of customers prefer brands that use data to provide a relevant experience (Accenture Study 2012)
  • 84% of customers would no longer buy from an organization that failed to take account their preferences and purchasing history (Experian Marketing Services)

2. The Customer Is Not Currently Receiving It

We have the data, we have the technology, but we are not delivering on expectations.

  • 14% of customers are satisfied with the level of personalization they receive (Bond Brand Loyalty 2017 Report)
  • 41% of customers said they ditched a company because of "poor personalization and lack of trust" (Accenture 2017)

3. Personalization Drives Sales and ROI

  • Brands that use technology and data to offer customers personalized experiences are seeing revenue increase by 6-10% (Boston Consulting Group)
  • Companies who put data-driven personalization at the center of marketing and sales decisions improve marketing ROI by 15-20% or more (McKinsey & Company)
  • For our clients, personalization generates a sales lift of 5-10% (OSF Digital)

Why aren’t more companies personalizing?

Personalization is hard. Companies are dealing with:

  1. Data overload
  2. Challenges with data integration and management
  3. Challenges with getting actionable insights

This is where we, at OSF, can help. We are experts in personalization and we can help you increase conversion, simplify your operations and expand your knowledge of your customers. Let us transform your customer experience by adding Salesforce Marketing Cloud to your technology stack. With this robust marketing automation platform, you’ll get to know your customers better, engage them across their entire journey, and deliver personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints.

Becky Wright

Author: Becky Wright, VP Salesforce Alliance & Marketing

Becky’s background in corporate marketing, sales and leadership spans several industries including Media and Communications, Retail and Consumer Goods, Professional Services, Finance and Technology. With more than 15 years of worldwide experience in rapidly growing organizations, Becky plays a major role in integrating technologies and business processes to create demand engines that influence and convert growth. Becky’s passion for technology and B2B enterprise services inspire her to share unique perspectives on digital transformation strategies that deliver strong results and deep business intelligence.