Why Millennials Avoid Impersonal Brand Experiences Online

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This article was originally published in MarTech Advisor.

In 2017, brands that don’t embrace personalization will lag behind the competition. Adam Weinroth, CMO at OneSpot takes a data-driven look at why marketers who are not currently undertaking plans to move toward more personalized digital experiences may be putting their careers at risk

Heading into 2017 marketers can take one undeniable fact with them into any executive or planning meeting: Consumers expect a personally relevant digital experience no matter where they go online. In fact, marketing leaders who aren’t already planning for or taking the first steps toward more personalized digital experience by the time we put away the champagne may be placing their own careers at significant risk.

A little background…

Think about the platforms where people spend most of their digital time; it’s with companies like Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Apple, Google and others who’ve earned such a huge share of our collective attention. What do they all have in common? They’re delivering individually relevant experiences at the one-to-one level. But mass personalization like this isn’t just neato. It’s also incredibly important for business. Consider these eye-popping stats:

  • Netflix values customer retention from its personalized recommendations at roughly $1B. (Business Insider, 2016)
  • 75% of content watched on Netflix is driven by its personalization engine. (McKinsey & Company, 2013)
  • 35% of Amazon purchases come from personal recommendations. (McKinsey & Company, 2013)

And when you ask consumers, they’ll tell you 1-to-1 relevance is just as important to them. According to our recent survey of 1,5000 consumers designed to better understand U.S. consumer attitudes, preferences and expectations for personalized branded content:

  • Nearly half (45%) of consumers won’t spend time with branded content if it’s not relevant to their interests.
  • Forty-two percent (42%) of consumers are less interested in a brand’s products and services if the content the brand provides is not personally relevant.

The Personalization Imperative for Content Marketing

Where this all nets out is that consumers simply don’t have any reason to spend their scarce time or attention with anything online that doesn’t personally interest them. None of your ads, content marketing, or social posts are exempt from the expectation of personally relevant experiences that have been modeled by the Amazons, the Netflix’s and the Googles of the world. With virtually infinite content and a seemingly limitless array of channels and screens at their fingertips, consumers fundamentally have endless choice and complete control – the interesting thing they crave is always just a tap, a click or a voice command away.

When you take the sum total of all of these key facts, stats and consumer expectations, it underscores the significance of marketing personalization and how this will be a “need to have,” rather than a “nice to have” strategy for marketers. Consumers won’t spend a moment of their time and attention with content that doesn’t relate to their interests. It’s up to marketers to live up to that expectation if they’re to be truly successful with content marketing.

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