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Link: Forget personalisation, it’s impossible and it doesn’t work – MarketingWeek

There’s just one little problem with personalisation: it doesn’t make any sense. We believe the case against personalisation is significantly stronger than the case for it.

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.

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%.