With 2019 well underway, marketing teams are busy executing specific tactics to hit their new traffic, engagement, and revenue goals. However, one common pitfall that brands succumb to this time of year is diving into tactics without taking the time to get the strategy right first.
There’s a clear difference between strategy and tactics. Tactics can’t be thoughtfully executed without the strategy, and vice versa. To do both correctly, you need a foundation that guides your tactics, aligning them to an overarching business objective. That foundation is your strategy, which is why it must come first. With more and more brands investing in personalization this year, they will first need to focus on the foundation (the strategy) in order to see the true value and engagement personalization can deliver.
Forrester reports that 89% of digital businesses are investing in personalization. As brands invest more time and resources in personalization programs to build deeper engagement with consumers, it can be too easy to start by executing smaller campaigns and a list of tasks that ultimately only have incremental impact on engagement and the business.
To set your personalization programs up for success, start with the foundation, not the tactics. Here are some personalization strategies to consider:
Strategy #1. Have a Strategic Roadmap or Plan
There are differences between a strategic personalization plan and a tactical personalization plan. A strategic plan documents the priorities and milestones. It also sets the vision for your program so you can get grounded in your objectives, get alignment from multiple stakeholders, and operationalize your teams around your vision.
We like to help our clients establish a three-year roadmap, from defining marketing priorities across audiences to planning for resource investments to operationalizing and scaling. To help you start thinking about your strategic roadmap, here are a few areas to think about to help you strategize and document your priorities and milestones.
Strategy #2. Consider Agencies vs. In-House Content Services
Another strategy to consider for 2019 is how you will leverage content services to execute content and personalized experiences for customers at scale. For example, will you rely on creative agencies or in-house resources? In recent years, many leading brands are moving away from the traditional advertising agency model and building creative studios of their own to keep all creative talent and ideation in house.
Digiday reports that 56% of brands moved more of their creative in-house over the course of 2018 and 69% of brands already conduct over half of their creative marketing and advertising internally. In 2019, marketing leaders should consider which model best supports their creative needs to execute personalized content experiences at scale.
Strategy #3. Selecting a Personalization Platform
The majority of marketing organizations (65%) intend to invest more in marketing technology over the next year. If your business is prioritizing personalization, you will definitely want to consider how potential personalization platform vendors can support your business objectives and deliver the functionalities you need to execute your vision.
For starters, you’ll likely need a robust platform that leverages automation via artificial intelligence. Personalization, and true one-to-one individualization, means delivering individualized content experiences to each customer across channels. The right personalization platform will be able to leverage machine learning to analyze customer data and content performance, and then deliver the optimal piece of content to every individual in the moment.
Bring People Closer to the Content That Matters
When you uplevel your personalization tactics with the right individualization strategy, you have the ability to ensure every interaction customers have with your brand delivers a moment of relevant discovery. Learn more about how you can deepen your brand’s relationship with consumers in 2019. Click here for a closer look at how individualization technology works to create one-to-one content experiences for customers.