Businesses aware of need for personalisation but suffer from data and tech shortcomings

Couple enjoying the experience being offered to them on their smartphonesOver a quarter of companies in the UK believe that a lack of data skills within their organisation is preventing them from delivering personalised experiences to customers, while almost the same number blame a lack of a data-centric culture or the absence of a unified technology platform.

According to an Adobe survey of 750 European business leaders, including 250 each in the UK, France, and Germany, 27 per cent of business leaders in the UK feel their ability to deliver engaging, personalised experiences is impacted by a lack of data skills within their organisation. Moreover, 22 per cent are being held back by the lack of a data-centric culture, and 24 don’t have a unified technology platform at their disposal.

At the same time, despite artificial intelligence (AI) being ideal for organising large amounts of data at speed, only 34 per cent of the companies surveyed are deploying AI to deliver personalised experiences, with 24 per cent having no plans to deploy AI. There’s also a point that only 15 per cent of respondents are confident that AI is effectively embedded into their tech stack, while 41 per cent say the platform they use cannot stitch together customer data in real-time.

The research did, however, find that UK business leaders are aware of the importance of delivering personalisation. 46 per cent identify gaining real-time customer intelligence, and 40 per cent identify improving customer segmentation and targeting, as the most important areas to improve. This is all well and good, but, back to the negatives, only 19 per cent are confident they can aggregate online and offline data and just 17 per cent are implementing good data hygiene practices.

“Today’s consumer is all about speed and convenience, and they share data with brands on the understanding that they will have a more personalised experience in future,” said Gavin Mee, vice president of Northern Europe and Middle East and Africa at Adobe. “Our figures should act as a wake-up call for businesses and encourage them to re-focus their efforts on delivering against the heightened expectations of their customers. Having the right skills to capture and analyse data are important, but so too, is instilling a data-centric culture across the business that means insights and technology platforms are used to create amazing, personalised experiences.”