What is it in a nutshell?
I frequently hear the term “personalisation” thrown around in meetings and used as a “buzz” word without people really understanding what it is. The reality is, it can mean different things to many people. For some, it can mean making a website feel more “human”, bringing the user closer to the company and its offerings. To others, it may just mean customising content to welcome a user with their first name.
When we speak about website personalisation, it may include the above, but it goes further in terms of gathering information about our users needs, whether implicit or explicit and serving content and features that add value to their online experience. Consumers now demand relevant, useful and interesting content so delivering that in a more personalised way will achieve more positive outcomes.
What are the benefits?
- Increase engagement of users with your web content, giving them more relevant information
- Tailor content and messaging for both the unknown and known users
- Increase conversion
- Test and learn, understand your most popular and engaging content and push this to the fore
- It can be automated, enabling you to deliver meaningful messages without a lot of ongoing heavy lifting
What data can I use to create a bespoke experience?
This will largely depend on your business and the information you capture from your users, but the below gives you a flavour of the variables that are typically available to enable personalisation:
Where the user is physically located, however this can be prone to error so one to be careful with.
The device the user is using e.g. mobile, desktop, browser and operating system
Where the user has come from, perhaps another website or from social media
3rd party data
Probably sounds a bit of an odd one, but companies collect information about us and essentially sell that to businesses to use for marketing. So this is a data set from another company. Another warning flag here is the risk of data inaccuracy.
Potentially the largest data set available. What users are “doing”, this could be viewing content, commenting, clicking, adding items to the basket….the list is endless.
Sounds rude! But this is information directly given to you by your user. It could be a preference or perhaps a demographic.
We would typically create a personalisation strategy to align with your business objectives and user needs to ensure the data to support it is captured and integrated.
What can I personalise for my clients and customers?
The opportunities for personalisation are endless. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Recommend relevant products and services
- Customise website content such as headlines, call to action text and promotional content
- Serve promotions and discounts to your most valued users only
- Notify users of events or information they should be aware of in a user friendly way
- Create bespoke landing pages for campaigns and specific audiences
- Optimise the search experience so that when users are finding something on your website, your serve the most relevant items first
- Customise the site navigation prioritising the elements that your users visit most frequently or that you want to promote
What not to do?
And of course, there are a few easy mistakes that should be avoided.
- Understand what you can and can’t capture and store
- Ensure you are complying to local regulation, GDPR in Europe has given marketers a bit of a jumpstart.
- Don’t sit on the data you capture. There is a wealth of information available, don’t just sit on it, use it.
- Scare your users
- Don’t use stale data, leveraging real-time information will deliver the best results. As humans, we all know how prone we are to changing our minds frequently
- Don’t store your data in silos (separate places)…there are so many options available now for integrating data across your digital estate including Web, CRM, Apps, HR systems, Advertising Systems…the list goes on.
Where to start?
Step 1: Get your personalisation strategy in place, think big and start small. It’s easy to get lost in the complexity.
Step 2: Put a plan in place to capture the data that enables the strategy
Step 3: Implement the technology that enables personalisation and automate the processes
Step 4: Test, learn and optimise…and never stop.
If you want to have a chat about the possible or get some support with the above, then get in touch.