Who's Personalizing What?

Companies that actively prioritize the "customer experience" have three times higher annual revenue compared to those who do not. Despite the benefits, 67 percent of organizations are only in the first stage of the "Customer Experience Maturity Model," a roadmap for 'experience marketing' established by Sitecore.

Stage 1 includes companies whose digital marketing involves little more than a static brochure-ware website and a "blast" email newsletter that goes to all customers. These organizations do no outreach through social channels and make no attempts to identify what a customer's preferred marketing channel is. Surprisingly, numerous Fortune 100 companies are at this level - failing to provide a personalized, engaging 1:1 customer experience.  

Companies in Stage 2 (18 percent) are those that are beginning to reach out to customers through multiple channels including social media. They, according to Sitecore, may begin targeting messages through channels that are preferred by each visitor segment. It's clear that first-stage companies can do more.

"Experience now makes or breaks a brand, and only brands able to provide the best experiences will prevail," said Lars Birkholm Petersen, global director of business optimization services at Sitecore. "However, our research indicates that a vast majority of organizations serve disconnected experiences for their customers that fall far short of their expectations. The time for change is now.

"If customer experience laggards don't evolve their approach and strategy, their businesses will be obsolete in less than five years. Marketers must collect and connect data and use insights in real-time to remain relevant to customers and compete in their respective industries."