More than three quarters of digital marketers say that personalisation impacts customer retention and loyalty metrics, according to a newly commissioned study from Forrester Consulting and ExactTarget. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The study, entitled "Refresh Your Approach to 1:1 Marketing", found that marketers see value in marketing personalisation and predictive intelligence: 86% report that they use personalisation and targeting based on broad segmentation and simple clustering, and 84% report that personalisation impacts customer retention and loyalty. However, marketers face challenges in personalising each customer interaction (48%), meeting expectations of the always-connected customer (42%), and analysing the constant flow of customer interaction data (42%).

As a result, there are four key predictive and data analytic tools in which marketers said they plan to increase investment in order to overcome these challenges. Some 58% of marketers plan to increase spending in site optimisation tools; 52% plan to increase spending in real-time interaction management; 51% plan to increase spending in predictive algorithms; and 51% plan to increase spending in guided selling.

However, the expectations of empowered, connected consumers make this easier said than done. Consumers have instantaneous access to information across multiple devices and want to interact with brands on their terms - across channels and whenever they want.

In the study, marketers can see the massive role that personalisation plays in the customer journey, and gain insights on how to:

  1. Tie personalisation back to top marketing goals;
  2. Make personalisation a priority, turning browsers into buyers;
  3. Collect real-time data to build out personalised 1:1 profiles;
  4. Leverage technology to automate decision-making.

According to Woodson Martin, CMO of ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, "The future of marketing is the customer journey. Today's hyper-connected consumer requires companies to create personalised experiences and deliver value at each touch point to increase brand loyalty and drive sales. Marketers need to be empowered to use data to drive these 1:1 journeys and experiences with their customers."