Personalization is about moving from a generic approach to the customer experience to one that is tailored to the individual.
Recognizing visitors are highly diverse, no one version of a site or app is, therefore, bound to resonate with all.
This means multiple experiences and variations must then be created, delivered, and optimized for each audience group to ensure relevance and results.
It’s no wonder Gartner has cited the increased volume of content as a leading barrier to implementing personalization.
With more time, resources, and effort required from marketing, design, and development, brands are feeling the pressure to meet the demands of consumers who expect to see their interests and preferences reflected online.
Fortunately, there are several strategies teams can adopt to increase their efficiencies in content creation and scale personalization efforts for long-term success.
A common trap when first attempting to personalize the customer experience is to launch a number of campaigns at once.
Instead of trying to “boil the ocean,” focus rather on a single customer pain point or opportunity at a time.
For example, cart and site abandonment are detrimental to a business’ conversions, so deploying an exit-intent popup and testing multiple variations with different messaging or creative can have a significant impact on key segments right out of the gate.
Teams will often find that investing in smaller, high-yielding campaigns proves more fruitful than running a number of less important experiences.
The positive uplifts generated help highlight the merit of personalization to the rest of the organization, which can secure more resources and buy-in for future, greater endeavors.
Jump into the data and let the insights uncovered drive what content to create and why.
Don’t waste too much time on “vanity tests” like simple color changes or button size experiments, as they have no real influence on the relationship between the brand and the individual.
Teams should play around with elements of personalization that are actually meaningful and provide value.
Consider a timely email, triggered after a visitor takes an important action such as leaving an item in their cart; upon receipt, the visitor is reminded of their interest and maybe even encouraged with a small discount to complete the transaction.
A button change just doesn’t wield that kind of power.
Prioritizing the right tests is critical to ensuring the content created to support it pays off in the end.
If an experience requires a lot of resources but isn’t likely to have an effect on the purchase funnel, for instance, it may make more sense to move forward with another idea.
A quick win would be to introduce social proof messaging – minimal design and development is required, and through its deployment, teams can effectively reduce purchase hesitancy amongst shoppers.
Though content is a vital element of personalization, it’s important to remember that teams don’t have to constantly create new content.
Brands can maximize their efforts by leveraging existing content that has already demonstrated positive results.
Start by identifying top performers, such as campaigns, experiences, or variations that have generated increases in conversions, add-to-cart rates, average order value, revenue, and so on.
Then, analyze the segments, traffic sources, device types impacted, etc. to determine if they’re ripe for repurposing in new channels, formats, locations, or even different periods of time.
Finally, always be sure to iterate on the content, refining the design, messaging, and audiences associated with a campaign to optimize the experience over time.
Data should always act as a guiding light, with insights from past and present experiments informing new initiatives and content.
Brands need to be able to quickly and easily create experiences with rich content if they want to scale personalization efforts, increase speed to market, and adapt to emerging trends. And as leveraged in many other areas of digital marketing, an effective way to do that has been through templates.
With pre-built experiences for hero banners, exit-intent popups, email capture overlays, and more, teams can customize each template accordingly and set it live instead of starting from scratch, saving valuable hours in design and development.
Some marketing tools and platforms even allow brands to save their own templates.
For example, if a development team builds a high-performing overlay notification and marketing wants to create several variations based on that successful experience, a custom template can be saved and repurposed with Dynamic Yield’s templating engine.
Then, with flexibility and ease, elements such as the text, images, colors, products, and more can be altered without having to go back to design or development.
While the content creation required to fuel personalization places a higher demand on marketing teams, thankfully, there are several tools available to help them rise to the occasion.
By approaching content strategically, brands can truly maximize impact and sustain the cadence needed to realize the full benefits of a tailored customer experience.
Mukund Ramachandran is the CMO at Dynamic Yield. Mukund is an accomplished marketing executive with a 15+ year track record in media, adtech and SaaS companies.
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