If you haven’t seen Epsilon’s study “The Power of Me: The Impact of Personalization on Marketing Performance,” you might want to take a look. It is a treasure trove of data to help encourage customers to start personalizing their marketing communications if they are not already doing so, and if they are personalizing, increase the level at which they are doing it.

For the study, Epsilon partnered with GBH Insights to survey consumers to understand just how personalization enhances the relationship between brand and consumers.

The appeal of personalization is high. However, Epsilon found that while consumers want and expect personalization, they are most comfortable with providing personal data when they are able to manage and control the resulting experiences. Financial incentives like tailored discounts and offers are the greatest motivators to provide data.

Here are some nuggets from the report:

  • 90% of consumers feel that personalization is “very/somewhat” appealing.
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.
  • 66% of consumers feel that companies are doing “much/somewhat better” in their efforts to personalize their experiences.

Of course, personalization requires a significant investment in time, manpower, and dollars. Epsilon emphasizes that the investment pays off, especially for higher value products and markets. “Well-executed personalization strategies have strong ties to high purchase volumes,” notes the report. “In fact, high-value segments want more personalization.”

Despite consumers’ growing comfort with (and demand for) personalized interactions, a significant percentage of respondents are still protective of their personal information. Marketers have to tread carefully. Twenty-five percent of respondents see getting personalized offers as “creepy,” and 32% say that getting personalized experiences is not worth giving up their privacy. More than one-third (36%) feel that companies don’t do enough to protect their private information.

In the end, Epsilon concludes that personalization is critical to the customer experience. However, marketers should be careful when and how they use it.

For example, it suggests:

  • Using personalization to provide tangible benefits such as discounts, improved speed and ease of doing business, and improved, interactive experiences with the brand.
  • Building trust by providing transparency around how data is gathered and used. (When possible, Epsilon says, give consumers a choice in which data they provide and how you will use it.)
  • Take advantage of all of the data sources available. More data provides more options, and more targeted and more accurate personalization yields better results.

To access Epsilon’s presentation on the study, click here.