In the next year, nearly half the retail professionals surveyed by SLI Systems intend to add personalization to their ecommerce efforts. But with so many marketing technology options available, do they know where to begin?

Personalization has never been hotter. And with thousands of marketing technology vendors purporting to help, it’s never been more misunderstood, either. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no personalization without a holistic omnichannel customer profile.

In other words, personalization is not something you simply bolt on to your existing messaging strategy.

Different Marketing Technology Solutions Don’t Communicate — Nor Were They Meant To

At first glance, the bolt-on approach may seem like the way to go. After all, there are so many different types of marketing technology that each do something exceptionally well. Putting them all together, wouldn’t you end up with the best each has to offer? Not quite. All bolt-ons result in systems that don’t talk to each other because they weren’t designed to do so.

With a hodgepodge of vendors comes data silos, which inhibit any marketer’s ability to create individual customer profiles and truly personalized communications. These lead to sustainable, long-term relationships with customers, which means they should start with a customer-centric point of view.

Bolt-on solutions don’t center on the user; they focus on the task at end. That could be a push notification or triggered email. But without user-centric personalization, marketers send those messages without the full scope of knowledge about the customer’s habits, behaviors and preferences. Ultimately, that means they’re not as relevant as they could be.

To learn more about how to make that happen, why true personalization is always omnichannel, and the various types of bolt-ons and why a connected solution is preferable, download A Marketer’s Guide to Evaluating Personalization Technology here.