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The Internet of Me: Why Personalization is More Important Than Ever

Many have heard the term "The Internet of Things”, a term which was first coined back in 1999, that highlights just how connected the world we live in actually is. The Internet of Things - simply put - is a giant network of connected "things." It is the concept of connecting everything - from wearables to jets, headphones to toasters - and building a network where machines and people are constantly connected to the Internet and are sending/receiving data.

While "The Internet of Things" isn't going anywhere, the ongoing evolution of technology has catapulted us into a new phase where there is a shift from broad connectivity to personalized connectivity. "The Internet of Me,” a term I recently discovered and that you may have already heard, highlights the growth and prevalence of personalization across the internet and marketing efforts as a whole. A topic that is near and dear to my heart.

I have written about personalization a lot, but wanted to take a step back now and talk more broadly about personalization, its evolution and key role in the “Internet of Me” and how it is quickly changing the way both CMOs and CIOs are thinking about their digital ecosystem and evolution.

We are in the age of the customer - a time when consumers are in the driver's seat - and with the increase of competition in every industry, businesses are fighting to deliver the best experience to users as it has been proven that personalized experiences drive conversions and increase loyalty. In a recent Accenture study, it was reported that more than 56% of consumers say they would be more inclined to use a retailer or service if it offers a personalized experience.

Every day there are more and more stats being published about the importance of personalization so I figured I would pull just a few to highlight why personalization should be a focus for businesses, specifically during this period of the “Internet of Me”:

  • Almost three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content is not personalized/related to their interests. - Janrain & Harris Interactive
  • Personalized calls-to-action result in a 42% higher conversion rate than calls-to-action that are the same for all visitors. - Hubspot
  • Organizations who are personalizing their web experiences see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales. - Monetate
  • Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities. -DemandGen
  • Forty percent (40%) of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels. – MyBuys
  • In 2018, B2B companies who personalize their sites will be doing 30% better than those without personalization. – Gartner
  • Sixty-four percent (64%) of people say the customer experience is more important than price in their choice of brand. – Gartner

With all of these statistics (and trust me, these are just a sampling), it is clear that we have entered a time where "The Internet of Me" is dictating how businesses approach marketing strategies, user experience, technology selection and organizational structure. It is imperative for businesses to deliver 1-to-1 personalized experiences that address the needs of individuals based on a collection of data points- both explicit and implicit.

In order to take back some control from consumers, personalization has to be a key focus - and not just on your website. You need to think about the user journey and all of the points where you are engaging with consumers and where they are going for products/services. From email to social posts - personalization and consistent messaging should be woven throughout the user journey for your target audience. Businesses that make personalization a focus will continue to beat out competitors and gain loyal customers who are proven to produce more value.

Want to hop on the personalization bandwagon? See more on the topic here, or tweet at me @jgrozalsky with any questions using #VerndaleShares.