Personalization initiatives can deliver significant value — brands are seeing lifts in traffic, website engagement and content consumption as a result. But the key to achieving these results is ensuring that you’re delivering consistently relevant experiences — at scale. This is one of the biggest challenges and points of friction for any business trying to build personalization into their content marketing strategy. In our experience working with enterprise brands, the path to success lies in being able to effectively operationalize their efforts with the right strategy, execution and technology stack.
Making the Pivot to an Omnichannel Strategy
Personalization is a key factor in the optimal omnichannel experience. Brands, and retailers specifically, are still finding the perfect balance between the in-store and online shopping experiences; for example, brands are trying to manage consumer expectations when 80% of shoppers use smartphones inside stores to look up product reviews or compare prices.
A high-performing personalization strategy is omnichannel, spanning across digital channels. Through a combination of rules-based segmentation targeting, triggered personalization and individualization tactics, brands can serve up personalized content and product recommendations to consumers on the channels that matter to them most.
Unifying the Execution of Personalization Across Channels
Personalization has many different layers of execution. For example, first name salutation within your email newsletter may be a layer of personalization, and segment-based targeting would be another. Then there is 1-to-1 personalization, which we call “individualization” or personalizing the customer experience to a segment of one.
Executing across these layers in a unified way brings personalization to the forefront of increasing a visitor’s experience within your digital channels. In other words, a well-executed strategy accounts for personalization across all channels and layers of the customer experience. But you don’t have to accomplish everything at once — start with a single end goal of what you want your visitors to do, then align your technologies to that objective.
You should also leverage automation wherever possible to diminish manual intervention. Pivot those “manpower” resources toward the analysis and results of strategy and continuously push the button toward optimization.
Understanding the Personalization Technology Landscape
Brands have designed their content marketing strategies to drive awareness, engage potential customers across channels and generate demand. And they know personalization is key to delivering relevant content experiences that inspire action. But where brands struggle is in the evaluation of martech solutions that align to their strategies. The challenge can be attributed to two things. First, there’s a plethora of martech companies within the digital marketing ecosystem, which leads to some overlap in personalization capabilities and messaging about those capabilities. As a result, it becomes difficult for one to understand and evaluate the differences among vendors.
The second challenge is having the internal subject-matter expertise to effectively evaluate and execute on those platforms. Historically, brands would outsource marketing execution to agencies. But today we’re seeing more and more brands take ownership of the technology by leveraging cloud-based tools and hiring the talent they need internally to execute their marketing programs.
Other brands will take a more hybrid approach. With OneSpot’s software-as-a-service personalization solution, brands can leverage the power of personalization technology combined with OneSpot’s managed services, serving as a virtual extension of the brand team as they progressively take full execution ownership. Learn more about the OneSpot personalization platform and strategic services.
David is Senior Director, Global Solutions Consulting at OneSpot.