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Talking Personalization, Part 3: Analytics

An interview with Alex Yoder, EVP, Analytics

In our last post, we focused on content and creative when it comes to evolving to a one-to-one customer approach. As many organizations move through the personalization maturity model, they are realizing that how content and creative is managed becomes a barrier to scaling personalization.

Our third superhero discussion in this series is with Alex Yoder, EVP, Analytics at Merkle, focusing on the critical role that data plays in the ability to deliver personalization.

Alex is a digital analytics expert and an executive leader with a comprehensive background in organizational development, financial planning, product strategy, and sales.

1) What challenges do you see organizations facing with their overall marketing strategy as it relates to delivering personalized experiences?

Personally, I think the term “personalization” is misused to a degree. 

I am excited by the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows companies to move at scale however, the computing industry is not there yet. This is all an evolution and for true personalization, that needs to be happening at scale.

2) How does organizational readiness around data as well as analytics enable organizations to deliver on personalized experiences?

Many organizations have limitations with data. Data is stored in multiple locations, so there isn’t a common user ID. There is also a lack of event stream analysis as well. Focusing on reducing data limitations allows organizations to start down the personalization path. In addition, CMO’s turn over every two to three years and when that happens, the priorities can change regarding implementing new tools. This tends interrupt the benefit of following a multi-year roadmap.

3) What are some key questions organizations should ask vendors and partners?

If an agency is assisting with data, clients should ask about its level of experience with data layer implementations.

4) What questions should organizations ask themselves about their strategy?

Do we know our customers? Do we own our data? Brands must have the mandate to build their own 360-degree customer database.

5) What trends do you see coming in personalization?

More accessible customer data in the digital space and integration with offline. Additionally, IoT — which allows for more customer and brand interaction.

The next blog in the series will focus on the technology required for personalization, featuring an interview with Matt Mobley, Merkle’s SVP, Technology: Technology Strategy.