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Make it Personal Study: Consumers Claim “They Are Not a Number” #Adobepartner

Make It Personal is the title of Adobe’s latest research on the subject of customer experience. In a nutshell, it concludes that it’s time to put CX stereotypes to rest and deal with consumers as free human beings rather than numbers to put it in the words of Number SixThe Adobe Experience Conference is approaching (London on November 2, 2022, and in Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Madrid and Milan). Let’s take a dive into Make it Personal, a study conducted and published by Adobe* for the occasion.

Make It Personal Study: Today’s Consumer Refuses to be Stereotyped

Make it personal

*Disclosure: Adobe is a client of Visionary Marketing

As a result of exploring the field of customer experience in that survey, many preconceptions were debunked. European consumers want a new standard to be set; a relevant, real-time personal experience. 

Companies need to treat consumers how they expect to be treated by seeing them for the unique persons they are. So the question is: How can you meet and exceed these increasingly complex expectations?

Making It Personal

Make It Personal shines new light on the changing demands of consumers. An Adobe survey was conducted in late 2022 across three European countries (the U.K., France, and Germany) to 6,000 unique individuals.

Over the past two years, the only constant has been change, and marketing needs to adapt to meet these changes.

Since the dawn of the digital age in marketing, there has been increasing demand in personalised experiences with brands.

Though, we are reaching a point in the process where companies can no longer categorise a group of people. 

Consumers are demanding unique personal experiences that are tailored to them.

From the moment we’re born, we’re placed into categories – whether that’s due to our age, background, or even personality types. But the human mind is infinitely more complex than these sweeping categories would have us think. From month to month and year by year, our habits and expectations subtly, and often irreversibly, alter and shift

Alvaro Del Pozo, Vice President of International Marketing at Adobe

The Research

As Professor Bobby Duffy says, ‘This study shows that generational labels are next to useless as a basis for delivering the targeted services or products that today’s consumer expects. We may enjoy similar cultural references to people who grew up at the same time as us, but fundamentally people increasingly expect everyone – whether it’s their peers, policymakers or brands they interact with – to recognise, understand, and respond to their individual behaviour and preferences in-the-moment.’

So what does the research tell us?

Rethink the Generalisation Approach

The assumption that your personality is prescribed by the decade in which you are born is outdated. Companies need to rethink the generalisation of their consumers as people are embracing their authentic selves. As a result, consumers want brands to respect their capacity to make choices for themselves without restriction. In response, companies should guide and facilitate, not dictate and control based on generalisations.

According to the research, 46% of people think that being labelled by their age cohort isn’t relevant opposed to the 31% that do.

Make it personal
Age cohorts: useless consumers say

Celebrate Customer Individuality and Identity

The modern customer demands that brands see them for the individuals that they are.

Brands should see customers as people, individuals with their own identity and unique personality and interests that most likely won’t fit generalised categories. 

According to the research, 73% of consumers want to be seen as individuals rather than a category.

Make it personal
‘I’m not a number, I’m a free man!’ So are consumers talking to us and we’d better listen

Small Moments Outshine Grand Gestures

Brands that truly understand their customers can create small moments of connection.

Non-personalised big gestures don’t make their customers feel special and they may not even interest them.

Companies can do things like reserving a product for their customers that has been out of stock, or giving first dibs to a new line of clothing within the customers style.

According to the research, 53% of consumers would rather receive regular thoughtful gestures based on their interests. In contrast to the 18% that prefer generalised one-off offers.

Forget about one-off promotions and Good Friday deals, what consumers want is love and dedication

The Only Constant is Change

It’s within human nature for preferences and interests to change. Companies need to understand that and adapt their marketing strategies to be flexible to this fact.

Rather than relying on old generalisations, brands need to be sure to keep relevant information and adjust as they notice changes in interests.

According to the research, 78% of consumers say that their tastes change every few months. Meanwhile, 37% say they see themselves as very different to how they were 12 months ago.

Consumers’ tastes are changing … all the time

Consumers Want More

Companies interacting with consumers based on old or inaccurate data are at risk of delivering a poor experience.

Though a single misstep may not turn a customer away, each time it occurs it creates more distance between the brand and the consumer.

This dismantles the trust that took a lot of work to build up over time.

According to the research, 75% of consumers say that brands are not doing well, or are inconsistent at keeping up with their preferences. In contrast, only 13% say that brands are doing well

The New Experience

Achieving this new standard isn’t easy. From ensuring data policy to connecting experiences across every channel, meeting these changing consumer desires is a challenge. So, what is the right way to overcome these obstacles?

Get to know the customers

The future of CX is more open than ever . A game-changing opportunity to those who move swiftly, with intent.

Recognise that customer preferences grow and change

People are going to grow, make sure you grow with them. The last thing consumers want are experiences that are not in line with their interests any longer.

Focus on the Small Moments

The way to a consumer’s heart is through consistent and thoughtful interaction. This shows that the company truly values their relationship and understands the customer is a unique individual.


Customer experience is evolving and consumer stereotyped needs are outdated. The digital economy continues to drive growth for businesses around the world today.

In fact, this digital-first economy should reach one trillion d  ollars in the U.S. alone. The ability to achieve unique personalisation at a grand scale isn’t an easy task, but is quickly becoming the new standard.

A Two-Way Communication Flow

Companies need to create a valued two-way communication flow with consumers in order to stay ahead of the competition. 

The key is to understand that consumers simply want bands to treat them like people, not numbers nor categories. Companies can utilise this to maintain a relevant relationship with their consumers.

As Alvaro Del Pozo says:

There’s a significant opportunity for brands to build their capabilities to deliver against these new expectations – powered by data and applied in real time, with experiences that are scaled and personalised to grow and evolve alongside your customers. If you are serious about declaring your business as truly customer-centric, then this must become the new lens through which you view your customers

Jared Roth

Jared Roth

Jared is a senior Business Administration major with a focus on Supply Chain Management and Logistics at Arizona State University. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin currently located in Paris, France with Visionary Marketing.
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