22 Feb, 2018

New Study Shows That Too Much Personalization May Hinder Brands


A recent study revealed on Marketing Dive shows that consumers are oftentimes creeped out by too much personalization used by brands. This information comes from a recent report “2018 CX Trends Report”, and it leads me to wonder, how much personalization is too much personalization for brands?

Of course, as consumers, we like to feel connected to brands. Consumers actually prefer to have meaningful relationships with the brands that they engage with, and if they don’t feel like those needs are being met, they tend to go to competitors.

“41% of consumers switched companies last year over a lack of trust and poor personalization, costing businesses $756 billion…” Marketing Dive reports.

Losing business and losing money for lack of personalization is a big no-no for marketers and it is ultimately something that all professionals avoid. In order to tackle this issue, marketers are met with the challenge to deliver a personalized experience that does not appear to go overboard from a consumer standpoint.

Personalization Goes A Long Way

Personalization is an essential tool that marketers have adapted to in order to engage with customers by tailoring marketing efforts to specific interests of the brand’s targeted audience. This means using data and analytics in order to gain a first-hand insight into the brains of the customer.

When personalization was first introduced to the industry, many professionals believed it was the new face of marketing. It was cutting-edge and leveraged different tools found through technology in order to optimize customer experiences within the brand. It was a great way to drive sales, engage with an audience and figure out what people want to see (literally) in their email inbox.

This trend was no longer considered a buzzword once it was integrated into marketing strategies on a global level. It suddenly became a necessity for professionals who are interested in targeting an audience. Now, personalization is a tool that professionals rely on. Which leads us back to our initial question, how personal is too personal while targeting customers?

Personalization Can Backfire

According to a new report, the way brands deliver personalized experiences may come across differently to customers, and can even be seen as creepy.

“Creepy brand experiences are having a strong impact on millennials, in particular, 22% of whom reported having had a creepy brand experience, per InMoment.” Marketing Dive reports.

Customers want to feel like they are gaining a special treatment when it comes to offers and rewards, but are not so happy when those awards are offered as a result of their own personal data used by the brand. In order to tackle this issue, marketers should be as transparent as possible when it comes to collecting data from customers. That way, customers are aware of exactly what kind of data is being used to make decisions within the campaign.

This means that forming a level of trust among customers is crucial. Customers want to know where their data is going, and why it is being collected. This will ultimately create an overall successful brand engagement among both customer and the brand, which will result in repeat purchasing behaviors.

“This tied to the findings that concluded consumers are also willing to share their data when they know a company can help them understand and control how their data is used. The consumers who participated saw the value in sharing their data because it can offer new types of value in return.” Forbes reports.

A mutual level of value is achieved when marketers take into consideration the way customers feel about their data being used. Thus, personalization will be most effective.


The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between individual consumers and brands. This need to think “customer first” has made the marketing function more vital than ever before.

C-Level executives around the world are anticipating that digital technology will continue to drive business. For April 19-20, 2018, at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN., we’re putting together a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions with our industry experts and advisory board.

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