The Single Biggest Challenge Facing Modern Marketers (And How to Deal With It)

By Jeff Bullas

The Single Biggest Challenge Facing Modern Marketers (And How to Deal With It)

Marketing used to be simple…

Create a promise. Find a platform. Deliver a message.

As long as these three elements worked in unison, people would buy what you were selling.

Then came the internet – the biggest marketing platform ever created.

In the beginning, that’s exactly what it was. A platform that you could use to deliver a message.

But then things started to get complicated.

As we began crawling out from our safe rock of naivety, the implications of exactly what this platform meant for society started to rear their head.

Our personal thoughts, feelings, and information were now in the hands of those wanting to sell us things.

The clash of the titans – personalization vs privacy

As with any progression in technology or societal innovation, it starts as a free-for-all with little governance. Before long, society develops a strong desire to protect their rights and regulation becomes inevitable.

That’s what is happening now with marketing.

Given the enormous amounts of personal data and information stored in the ether of the internet and beyond, a question of how this affects our rights and privacy as individuals has become prominent.

It’s the perfect storm of data, technology, and human instinct…

Marketers want to personalize the consumer experience for people because they know it results in better business outcomes. Utilizing advances in artificial intelligence (AI), cross-platform synchronization, and machine learning, marketers are creating a consumer experience that is more personalized than a recommendation from your best friend. But consumers, for the most part, want to protect (or at least control the use of) their personal data.

It poses the question – Where do we draw the line between personalization and privacy?

What the research is telling us

Salesforce recently published their 5th installment of the State of Marketing report, a research study that surveyed over 4,000 marketing leaders around the world.

The primary goal of this study was to determine how cross-functional dynamics, data, personalization, and consumer engagement, are changing the way businesses and customers interact.

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

  • 59% of high performers use customer data to create more relevant experiences.
  • The adoption of AI by marketers has grown by 44% since 2017.
  • However, 35% of marketers feel challenged to balance personalization with privacy, and;
  • Only 30% of marketers agree their organization is completely satisfied with their ability to balance personalization with privacy.
  • Yet, 44% of respondents believe their brand goes above and beyond to protect and respect customer privacy.

In short: more marketers are using technology to personalize the customer experience, but they are also actively looking to protect the privacy of their customers.

The tug-of-war is real…

How do we strike a balance between personalization and privacy?

The battle between personalization and privacy is only just beginning.

As marketers, we are scratching the surface of what is possible. For consumers, we don’t really even know what we want to control at this point – but it’s something.

The thing is, despite an uproar about privacy, 79% of customers are willing to share data in …read more

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