Most marketers will abandon personalisation, study predicts

Gartner for Marketers report predicts 80% will stop investing in personalisation over next five years.

Personalisation: marketers are concerned by data management (Getty Images)
Personalisation: marketers are concerned by data management (Getty Images)

The vast majority of marketers will abandon their efforts to personalise their marketing over the next five years, a new report from Gartner has revealed.

The Gartner for Marketers report predicts that 80% of marketers will stop investing in personalisation by 2025 due to a lack of return on investment and the perils of customer data management. 

Recent efforts to create personalised marketing campaigns have led to high-profile PR gaffes. Earlier this year, Adidas had to pull a social media campaign that allowed Twitter users to create a customised Arsenal shirt, after trolls created images including offensive terms.

Walkers suffered a similar embarassment in 2017 after it invited Twitter users to upload pictures to be used in a photo alongside Gary Lineker. Posts then spread of Lineker appearing with murderer Fred West and disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris.

Meanwhile, Gartner's findings reveal that more than a quarter of marketers (27%) believe that data is the key obstacle to personalisation, due to weaknesses in data collection, protection and integration.

The report also predicts negative times ahead for influencer marketing, despite the sector’s growing popularity in recent years.

By 2023, according to the study, chief marketing officer budget allocation on influencer marketing will decrease by a third as customers continue to lose trust in brands they don’t personally know. 

Charles Golvin, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Marketers practice, said: "Personal data has long been the fuel that fires marketing at every stage of the customer journey and the drive to find new forms of fuel and devise new ways to leverage them seems to be boundless. However, this quest has failed to meet marketers’ ambitions and, in some cases, has backfired, as consumers both directly and indirectly reject brands’ overtures."

Behavioural science will also play an even greater role in marketing, the company said, with a quarter of marketing departments set to have a dedicated behavioural scientist or ethnographer as part of their full-time staff by 2022. 

This trend will precede a huge advance in artificial intelligence-led creative, with more than half of online ads that people see using AI to identify human emotions by 2024.

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