By 2014, around three times as many brands as today will be offering their customers real-time web site experiences through the increased usage of personalised digital marketing techniques and technologies, according to research by conversational marketing technology provider Neolane. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

The company's survey, entitled 'Personalised Digital Marketing: What Really Works', of the current and planned marketing strategies of 600 marketers across Europe and the UK focused on brands' current and future plans for enabling their customers to experience personalised marketing messages when engaging through digital platforms, and found that brands are moving rapidly toward offering customers a personalised digital marketing experience, and that they are motivated to do so by expectations of improving loyalty and a swift return on investment (ROI).

The three most effective ways of acquiring the necessary customer intelligence to enable the presentation of customised experiences are seen to be data gathered through "having a complete customer profile", "monitoring purchase behaviour", and "monitoring web behaviour".

The key highlights of the survey's findings included:

  • By 2014, around three times as many brands as today, will offer their customers real-time web site experiences.
  • Fewer than 1 in 20 marketers doubt the ROI potential of web personalisation.
  • Of those that have invested in delivering personalised web experiences, more than half recouped the cost of the investment "within months", rather than years.
  • Most invest in personalisation expecting improved customer loyalty, prospect to customer conversion rates and heightened cross- and up-sell potential.
  • Many marketers are cautious, however, as nearly three quarters of those charged with creating more personalised web experiences, have allocated a budget below €50,000.
  • After the web, personalisation of email, call centre and point-of-sale experiences are seen by marketers as their priorities today, but by 2014 most expect social and mobile content personalisation to become their main focus, after the web.

"Once they opt in to personalised experiences, today's consumers expect to be recognised by the brands they purchase from and to be presented with relevant content and offers," said Martin Smith, head of marketing for Neolane UK. "Our survey suggests that delivering a personalised web and email experience will become the norm for European brands, and that social and mobile personalisation should also be on every marketers' horizon."