WRITTEN BY

Kudakwashe Mazise

PERSONALIZATION IS A STRATEGIC PROCESS NOT A QUICK WIN

A strategic approach ensures that personalization actually improves conversions and justifies the investment. But where do you start?

we believe that personalization can provide substantial benefits to a website and that significant ROI is possible, even once you factor in potentially significant tech, development and content costs.  However, planning is key because personalization engines are not autonomous, and they need humans to make decisions and revisit these decisions over time.

Set goals or you’re set to fail

Personalization optimizes the onsite experience based on onsite and offsite behavior and other customer / prospect data, but without starting with customer insights or some basic customer ‘truths’, you can end-up optimizing the customer journey in a bubble. This provides some significant risks:

  • Converting low-value customers

  • Attracting leads which never convert

  • Increasing engagement, but not conversions

  • Generating an impractical volume of data

Personalization should start with the setting of goals, because without concrete objectives you cannot define a strategy to meet those objectives.  A set of typical objectives for personalization might be:

  1. Acquire more ‘best’ customers

  2. Retain most valuable customers

  3. Acquire leads/customers within a particular sector/target

These are basically marketing objectives nobody can argue with, but personalization is no guarantee you will achieve these.

Define appropriate segments and appropriate segment quantities

To be able to develop a strategy to deliver against your objectives, it is critical that you can identify your best customers and/or new types of customers you want to attract (but don’t have as customers yet).  To define best (or ideal target) customers may involve many factors, for example:

  • Products purchased

  • Product usage

  • Location

  • Demographics

  • Website/app/device usage

  • Sector, company type, job title, etc.

  • Acquisition channel

  • CRM interaction

Personalization engines can identify and act upon many of the traits which help define your best customers, so the first part of any personalization strategy is to map the personalization engine criteria to those criteria which impact customer value and/or future value (e.g. customers in new sectors or markets you want to attract).