Eighty percent of marketers will ditch personalization efforts by 2025 due to a lack of return on investment (ROI) and issues with customer data management, according to Gartner’s report, “Predicts 2020: Marketers, They’re Just Not That Into You.”

Despite the ubiquity of data-driven initiatives, many marketers believe that data itself is hindering their ability to personalize efforts. As Gartner’s findings show, 27 percent of marketers said that data is the key obstacle to personalization. 

Weaknesses in data collection, integration and protection are reflected by consumers’ profound concerns over data privacy. By 2023, one-third of all brand public relations disasters will result from data ethics failures, the report notes. The American Marketing Association’s 2019 study echoed this sentiment when it found that both US and Chinese consumers have anxiety over privacy, hackers, bots and worry that new technology will detect the human touch from shopping.

Before investing in personalization technology and new tactics, Gartner recommends marketers evaluate their personalization efforts in a number of ways. First, brands should test tailored recommendations at the segment level to avoid premature investment in a personalization tool. Next, cross-functional teams should take a collaborative approach to personalization efforts as doing so can expand ROI and collective impact. Lastly, the data suggests using case development and consent management as guides of the personalization roadmap.

Other critical predictions to help brands acclimate to evolving customer behaviors include the fact that budget allocation on influencer marketing will decrease by a third as consumers lose trust in figures or brands they don’t know. To help curb those effects, 25 percent of marketing departments will have a dedicated behavioral scientist or ethnographer as part of their full-time team. 

“Consumers have developed an increasingly jaundiced eye toward marketers’ efforts to embrace them. Their increasingly cluttered email inboxes and mobile phone notification centers may lead them to ignore even the most carefully personalized and contextualized message. Marketers must really adopt the basics when it comes to test and learn before investing in personalization technology and new tactics,” said Charles Golvin, Gartner senior director analyst.