A survey of 506 marketers finds that between 70 and 94 percent have seen an increase in the effectiveness of various key metrics by employing personalization (excluding those who say it’s “too early to tell”).

These findings come from VB Insight’s new report, “Marketing personalization: maximizing relevance and revenue.”

Personalization is different in every channel — ads, web, mobile, and email — because customer data and engagement methods are different. And it is not being used evenly across these channels, either. Email dominates, for example, while mobile efforts lag the most.

Digital channels personalization

We found, however, that the top objective across each of these channels is reaching more prospects — done at the top of the funnel — and that marketers today aren’t able to employ personalization how and where they want to.

In fact, we found that most companies begin their personalization efforts with known prospects or customers. Although it runs counter to the top objective of reaching more prospects, this makes sense: These are the targets that companies have the most data about. Plus, many companies’ major revenue comes from their existing customer base. That makes known customers low-hanging fruit, relatively speaking, when it comes to delivering more relevant messages.

anonymous vs known

Yet most personalization efforts are also based on transaction history with limited demographic data, meaning most personalization efforts today are relatively limited.

Enter real-time behavioral data.

Historical data is only so good, because it doesn’t tell you what somebody wants right now. Charles Nicholls, senior vice president of product strategy for SAP Hybris, tells us that after 12 hours, 70 percent of interest is gone.

Interest, it seems, has a half-life.

Real-time behavioral data provides better overall individual insight, especially about interest and intent, and is also getting easier to collect and use. As a result, tools that track our behaviors on the Web and on our mobile devices are becoming more important for personalization efforts in all channels. Even email, where real-time would seem to matter less, is seeing substantial KPI (key performance indicator) increases with the addition of real-time behavior data.

Want to learn more about the process of personalization and how it’s being done across channels today? Get the new report here: Marketing personalization: maximizing relevance and revenue.

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