Laying the Foundations for Successful Online Personalization

Rising to the Challenge

Personalization is an increasingly important tool for marketers, with Forbes predicting it will be a top marketing trend in 2020. With 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience, it is clear that users favor personalized content over traditional. So, why isn’t every brand using it?

The truth is that many companies simply don’t know-how. More than half of marketers (59%) agree that they find it difficult to personalize content at scale, due to a lack of resources. With the rise of customers expecting personalized content, brands know it will benefit their engagement and sales, however, find it difficult to put it into practice and create successful personalized content for their website.

Many also struggle with Personalization because they lack the audience insight needed to create an effective Personalization strategy. To be effective, organizations must first invest in understanding their audience and establish what their desired next steps from their content is.

Read more: The Price of Personalization: Unpacking the Realities of Consumer-Brand Engagement in the Digital Age

Preparation Is Key

Brands striving for successful Personalization must invest in laying down the foundations needed for a baseline strategy on which to build as your company grows and customer expectations evolve.

The first step is to establish your ‘why’; what is the purpose of your Personalization efforts and what are the key business drivers? Whether it be to maximize Sales conversions, drive brand loyalty or simply to improve the way users navigate your site, your end goal will give you a point of reference which underpins the way that you tailor your content from the very beginning.

Know Your Audience

Next, work out exactly who you are trying to target and gather the insight you need to understand what content will resonate most with your desired audience. Through user research, develop a set of personas that provide a detailed representation of each segment of your target audience. This will enable you to gain an understanding of your audience’s goals and characteristics. This will reveal what content on your site will resonate with them, helping you to map out their journey and correlate this with your conversion goals.

Rushing into your Personalization efforts without gaining a deep understanding of your audience first will limit your ability to create effective and accurate content that reaches each user at the right time. Taking time to map out the full user journey during the initial discovery phase will highlight the key touchpoints where tailored content will be most effective and allow you to optimize your site for each viewer.

Going Back to Basics

When it comes to personalization, success in the early stage can be achieved simply by having the right processes, people and audience insight in place. Using these three core pillars, marketers can deliver a website that reflects the needs and personalities of their desired user, to improve the interactions each one has with their brand and facilitate the high-value engagement which motivates consumers towards that optimal end result.

While effective personalization can help brands make incremental gains towards better user engagement in every single site visit, it also can also have a huge hand in forging long term customer relationships. With a deeper understanding of the messages which encourage a particular action from consumers over time, marketers can use these insights to reengineer their strategy for different purposes, optimizing interactions to keep customers engaged and informed with the right information – whilst building that level of consumer trust that is now so vital for encouraging brand loyalty.

Brands who ‘get it right’ – with the proper foundations and audience know-how – will ultimately reap the full benefits of successful and accurate Content Personalization both now and in the future.

Read more: Personalization, Customization, Configuration: An Intro for E-commerce Marketers