Personalization of the web is the ability to show the most relevant content to targeted users at the right time. If implemented correctly, personalization solves many usability issues and can drastically increase customer satisfaction and conversions.
Today, with all the technological advancements, web personalization is a growing trend that many brands are integrating into their markeitng strategies. Personalization tools are becoming easier to use, so much so that many marketers are able to manipulate the process alone with minimal web work, especially with the abundance of plugins on Drupal, Wordpress or other platforms.
Personalization can be categorized and segmented according many categories. The main data sets often include, geography, previous onsite visits, repeat visitors, and other behavior patterns.
There are 3 types of user experiences that are easily personalized.
- Content corresponding to consumers meeting certain predefined criteria
- Modifying page structure for specific users. Clearly, this style of personalization needs to be thoroughly tested before implementation. A user who experiences a clear change in site design may question the validity of the site.
- Using personalization to trigger related, valuable content to the user.
While personalization offers many advantages to digital brands, the ability to change the rules requires consistent monitoring to allow marketing teams to test, iterate and refine their strategy until achieving their goals.
Personalization means integrating all aspects of the sales funnel to carefully craft a site to yield optimal results. An ideal personalization plan integrates information architecture, usability and content strategy into its planning to enable modification and testing before launching.
The two most common ways to come up with a personalization strategy.
1. By understanding core business issues, brands can use existing content to implement a strategy that responds to and solves the basic pain points of the target audience.
2. Audience segmentation creates niche data groups and enables a brand to provide rich,high value content to these predetermined targeted markets.
As mentioned, successful personalizaiton means investing in constant testing and tracking of the campaign, with a keen focus on refining the process along the way.
Google provides excellent tracking data with their free Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.
Problems with Personalization
If a site is heavily investing in a sophisticated personalization strategy, the bandwidth necessary to create a seamless, high quality user experience, can have adverse affects on the loading speed of the site. Carefully monitoring load times and refreshing rates is important during the pre-launch phase. A site that is slow in responding could actually detract customers.
As a final thought, a critical component to executing a successful personalization strategy, requires that a site is populating its site with high quality content that offers value to the consumer at all points of the sales funnel.
Web personalization is the quickly becoming a valuable marketing tool that many online businesses are adding to their digital strategy. By executing a carefully planned and well crafted strategy, brands can expect to see an increase in customer satisfaction and growth in converting customers.