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What Types of Personalized Content Appeal to Consumers?

Finding the right balance when serving personalized content to consumers can be tricky. But marketers that do this successfully understand that fostering better communication with their target audience is key.

According to a March 2019 survey from Evergage, 86% of US business-to-consumer (B2C) companies said delivering a better customer experience drives personalization. Sixty-one percent cited generating measurable lift/return on investment (ROI), and 58% said increasing loyalty is what fuels their personalization efforts. To meet these goals, marketers need to pay attention to what consumers actually want.

Often, the case is that shoppers feel inundated with content they don’t think applies to them. A February 2019 survey from Havas found that 58% of content created by the world’s leading 1,800 brands was “poor, irrelevant and fails to deliver.” When personalization is effective, it's because product recommendations and offerings are made based on consumer interests, purchase history and relevancy.

Half of US internet users say that receiving product recommendations related to their interests appeals to them, and 45% say this content is the type they get most frequently, according to a March 2019 survey from Periscope By McKinsey. Those results are relatively aligned, but the same can’t be said across all personalized content categories.

Sometimes, consumers receive more personalized content than they’d like—and other times they don’t get enough. That misalignment may hurt brands in their efforts to improve the customer experience or drive loyalty.

Among those surveyed, 43% said that getting updates on product availability and price was the most appealing content to receive, while only 34% said it was the most common. Also unbalanced is retargeting of the same product—43% of respondents said it was the most common type of received content, and just 35% felt it was most appealing.

In a January 2019 survey conducted by Salsify, one in five respondents said they felt understood when a brand or retailer recommended relevant items, and 15% of respondents cited when a company remembered their purchase history.

These results illustrate that consumers are looking for personalized content and understanding. They want relevant, curated content that is sent to them enough (but not too much).

And when that desire is met, marketers are rewarded. Per a December 2018 survey from Adobe, 51% of US digital device users were likely to make a purchase when they received personalized content. A similar number said personalization pushes them to become loyal to a brand, and 34% said they’d make a purchase they hadn’t previously intended to due to enhanced recommendations.