egardless of your size as a retailer or your target audience, there is a good chance you are feeling the pressure to further personalize your marketing efforts, primarily when it comes to your e-mail communications. But how exactly do you accomplish this? How much will it cost you? What areas should you focus on and, most importantly, what resonates with consumers?

Assessing the Situation

In a fast-paced and quickly shifting retail and e-commerce landscape, you may be weighing your budget options when it comes to investing in new marketing technology. Which platform or service is going to give you the highest ROI, and what should you be aware of as far as pain points? The very fact that these questions are on your mind is a promising sign that you are ready to go beyond the basics when it comes to your marketing strategy.

Pain Points

Despite a progressively increasing portion of marketing budget going towards personalization efforts, according to an October 2017 survey by WBR Insights, the most predominate obstacles for marketers were a lack of data quality and an inability to understand consumer buying behavior in context.

And even with marketers’ best efforts to enlist the help of new technology, 35% of consumers still stated they felt that automated online store product selections matched their interests “rather poorly,” ultimately influencing purchases only occasionally. And 56% of consumers found e-mail marketing not too helpful or not helpful at all, with their biggest frustration being recommendations that didn’t match their personal tastes and preferences.

Marrying Old School and New School

But what other feasible, scalable options are out there? Especially for young brands?

The answer - It’s all about utilizing technology to marry traditional relationship-driven marketing with data analytics and insights. This can be a key differentiation factor not only for customer satisfaction, but also conversion, average order value, and purchase frequency as well. Marrying your e-commerce data with qualitative assessments, like feedback and individual notes from in-store associates and management teams capitalizes on the omnichannel experience to solidify the consumer-brand relationship, giving the path to purchase a fuller, more robust context.

The value of this type of approach is certainly gaining traction in the industry at large. In fact, in a recent survey by Monetate, 83% of industry professionals sited in-store or customer service driven marketing based on digital behavior as a leading channel to pursue marketing personalization efforts.

With a proliferation of options flooding consumers' inboxes on a daily basis, it's important to remember the impact that a one-on-one interaction can truly have. At the end of the day, the best marketing efforts will appeal to an emotion-based decision about your brand and the people who represent your brand.

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