True personalisation is unachievable due to poor data quality, but it’s ineffective anyway and should be replaced with creative that resonates with everyone.
Most personalisation efforts are powered by third-party data. Marketers infer who customers are based on their browsing behavior. So how good is that third-party data? It must be extremely good, if you’re claiming to understand buyers on a “personal level”.
Spoiler alert: it’s not. Most third-party data is, to put it politely, garbage.
In an academic study from MIT and Melbourne Business School, researchers decided to test the accuracy of third-party marketing data. So, how accurate is gender targeting? It’s accurate 42.3% of the time. How accurate is age targeting? It’s accurate between 4% and 44% of the time. And those are the numbers for the leading global data brokers.
Recently, Professor Nico Neumann partnered with the brilliant marketing team at HP to replicate this research for B2B. The results were unsurprising – but horrifying. Many enterprise technology companies spend millions of dollars ‘hyper-targeting’ IT decision makers (ITDMs) using third-party data. But if we get gender wrong more often than 50% of the time, what percentage of ITDMs do you think are actually ITDMs, according to the research?
Do you want to guess? It’s 14.3%. And for ‘senior ITDMs’, that number drops to 7.5%.
Super impressive! That’s about as precise as… a drunk monkey throwing darts?
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