Data as Currency: Consumers Willing to Pay for Personalized Experiences


Data is currency and consumers are willing to pay, but only if they receive something of value. Personalized messaging is valuable to consumers, but most marketers lack the data capabilities for real-time personalization. Jeremy Swift, CEO and co-founder of Cordial, shares tips on how marketers can overcome the problem. 

Today’s consumers want personal, relevant experiences and are willing to use their data as currency. Consumers know their data is up for grabs, whether brands acquire it from third-party sources or collect it directly. When consumers consider sharing additional information with a brand, they do so with high expectations about the value they’ll get in return. 

Cordial’s latest customer engagement study found that 80% of consumersOpens a new window expect to get relevant offers after sharing their data with marketers. Meanwhile, 70% would willingly share more information with brands if they knew brands would use it to improve their shopping experience.

Consumers’ willingness to share more information depends on marketers’ abilities to demonstrate the value they can deliver. Unfortunately for consumers, most marketers rely on disconnected systems and old data and lack the data capabilities required to power hyper-personalization. As a result, marketers act on outdated insights and fail to satisfy personalization expectations. Customers not only lose interest in sharing vital data — they’re also less likely to remain customers. 

See More: Trusting Your Own Data To Fuel the Personalized Digital Buying Journey

To keep pace with dynamic consumer behavior and deliver personalized value, marketers need cross-channel marketing technology capable of connecting up-to-date data to marketing activation. 

Consumers Want an Experience, Not Simply a Transaction

Personalization affects buying behavior across the consumer lifecycle. McKinsey’s latest consumer behavior reportOpens a new window found that when consumers received personalized communication from a brand: 

  • 76% were more likely to buy something from the brand.
  • 78% were more likely to make repeat purchases. 
  • 78% were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends. 

From a business perspective, personalization efforts usually drive a 10-15% increase in revenue. However, McKinsey found that organizations willing to put first-party data at the center of decision-making see closer to 25% revenue growth. 

But what kind of personalization are consumers seeking when they share their data? Relevant, timely messages are designed to help them save money and discover products. 

Exceptional Communication

While consumers still want 1:1 communications, they expect messages tailored to their needs real-time. 

Email powers buying decisions, with SMS and app messages also key channels for engagement. Half of all consumers in Cordial’s study — and 64% of millennials — say they shop in response to email. And 8 in 10 say email ranks among the top three sources driving their purchasing decisions. But the vast majority of consumers (75%) receive too many brand emails, half of which they classify as “generic.” 

McKinsey found consumers associate personalization with companies creating “positive experiences of being made to feel special.” In messaging, those positive experiences include:

  • Personally addressing messages. 
  • Sending timely messages tied to key moments. 
  • Helping celebrate milestones, such as birthdays and loyalty membership anniversaries.  

Better Product Recommendations and Promotions

Just as shoppers don’t like receiving generic emails and text messages, they also don’t want the same offers on repeat. Anyone who’s ever bought a raincoat, doormat, or even a refrigerator — only to get bombarded with ads for every variation of those same products for days or weeks afterward — can relate. Consumers don’t want their browser history to resurface. Cordial research found that 72% of consumers get frustrated when they receive offers for products they’ve already purchased, don’t need, or don’t want. 

By contrast, 80% of consumers appreciate it when a brand helps them discover new, relevant products. Consumers especially like receiving a brand’s email or text that helps them find a product they need exactly when they need it. 

While older generations still cite the lowest price on a product as the best way to win their loyalty, personalized offers incentives keep millennials and Gen Z returning to a retailer. Almost all (89%) consumers said they love receiving personalized coupon codes or discounts. 

Consumers aren’t just willing to provide data for better personalization — they’ve also outlined the kinds of personalized experiences they value. But to deliver on sky-high consumer expectations, marketers must be able to use real-time data in their campaign orchestration. 

Legacy and Point Solutions Stifle Marketers

Most marketers are bound by the limits of their technology, with data orchestration one of the biggest hurdles blocking effective data activation and engagement. The vast majority of marketers (81%) told Cordial they encounter obstacles when trying to send highly personalized texts and emails. Marketers struggle to activate all their data, and many are held back due to the limitations of their providers, most notably those on “legacy” solutions. 

Many legacy email service providers (ESPs), whose technology was built in the early 2000s need additional point solutions to personalize power communications, leaving marketers with multiple platforms for triggered and promotional messages. In fact, only a quarter of marketers can send emails and texts through one platform, while 35% say they need three or more platforms to send messages, according to Cordial survey data. These solutions lack true cross-channel capabilities, relying on separate data sets for email, text, and app experiences. With data trapped in a maze of add-on solutions, consumers get far less value in exchange for the data they share with brands. Brands get less value, too. Triggered messages prompted by customer behavior drive far higher revenue per thousand messages (RPM) than promotional “batch” messages. Brands that are more nimble and able to send 1:1 triggered messages easily generate much as 6-7x RPM.  

Marketers working with disconnected systems and providers without strong data capabilities are also slow to pull in new data for marketing purposes, sometimes as infrequently as once a day. Just a third of marketers told Cordial they can achieve real-time personalization, and even fewer (23%) can use real-time personalization in their text message programs. When marketers can’t access real-time data, it becomes impossible to provide up-to-the-minute recommendations, promotions, or other personalized communications. 

An inability to activate data ultimately limits performance, impacting consumer experience and curtailing data innovation. Disparate systems produce inconsistent customer experiences and add cost and complexity to marketing efforts. When saddled with cumbersome marketing technology, brands spend more time trying to execute their campaigns and spend less time developing the strategies behind those campaigns.

Better Technology Gives Consumers Value for Their Data

Marketers want to offer more personalized experiences and give consumers value for the data they share. To do this, marketers need better technology. That technology should provide insights at previously-impossible levels of detail and immediacy. And it should make it easy for teams to execute complex cross-channel messaging and analytics at scale, in real-time. Marketers need an all-in-one solution offering the flexibility to ingest, integrate, and analyze data — regardless of its source or format — with zero latency. A data-first platform focused on simplifying data management unlocks data potential and empowers marketers to go beyond transactions to offer hyper-personalized experiences. 

The right data capabilities enable marketers to provide a return on value to consumers. Brands with seamless access and activation of real-time data are better equipped to understand, predict, and provide what consumers want. When those insights flow directly into marketing orchestration, everyone benefits. Consumers willingly offer more rich data, which brands can use to create more personalized experiences, leading to deeper relationships.

How are you leveraging customer data to boost personalization? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you! 

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