In digital marketing, personalisation is the golden ticket to rounding out your digital strategy – everyone wants to do it, and few get it right. Bespoke, relevant communications delivered to your various customers are invaluable in creating more enjoyable experiences for them. But in a world in which customers are not excited by personalisation as much as, in truth, they’ve come to expect it – think Amazon, Spotify or Netflix – the bar’s raised and the question is this: how do you not simply personalise, but personalise well?
Just how important personalisation is, is in the numbers. And it’s probably more central to consumers than you thought: over two-thirds of consumers want an individualised experience, with 80% of consumers saying that they’re far more inclined to support a company that offers a personal experience.
Personalisation is strategic, not tactical
When it comes to personalisation, one of the most common mistakes we see is that companies view it as all-too separate and it ends up existing in a disjointed way, outside of broader business strategy. If you hear one thing we say, hear this: your personalisation approach needs to exist within your overall digital strategy. Why? Because effective personalisation means clear objectives and goals connected to those of your overall communications strategy.
As Graham Barden, our Solution Architect, says,
"Personalisation is central to delivering relevant content or offers to your website visitor, based on either their journey through the site or demographic data which has been collected. When this is implemented on our customers’ sites we see improved user experience and increased conversion rates for our clients."
The way you personalise matters
Another key consideration is how transparent you want to appear in your personalisation. Sometimes, you might want to make it clear to your user that a page has been specifically personalised for them – perhaps they’re a paying subscriber to your content. And other times? Maybe you want to guide a returning visitor to the content you know matters most to them, but you might want to be a little more subtle about it.
Data is king
At the heart of good personalisation is good data. Good data, used well, will help you discern which signals are most important to build and define your user personas. And these personas will be key in helping you decide how you want to personalise and who you want to personalise for.
The thing about personalisation is, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. A frequent visitor of your site who skips around it exploring different sections will, more than likely, have a pretty different goal to a user that consistently engages with only one category of content in particular. Defining your “who” means looking at how customers behave on your website and creating behavioural personas based on these actions.
Once you’ve done this, analysing your users’ behaviour by looking at the when, where, what, and why will help you create a personalisation strategy tailored to their movements and actions.
Knowing when your users are online and engaging with your brand means you can give them the best type of content to align with their behaviour at different times of the day. An hour-long commute at the end of the day means they just might have the time for long-form content, whereas a ten-minute phone-check in the morning calls for something entirely different and more bite-sized.
Figuring out where your user is browsing from using geolocation gives you the chance to engage with them in a context-specific space, whether that be on a hyper-local level, or less specific, on a country-level. Is it summer where they are? Is there a particular social event you can connect with them over through content focused around it? Think about it: when you sit having coffee with a friend, you most likely connect over context-determined familiar topics. Being able to do the same with your audience is a win.
The How and Why
The thing about personalisation is it’s more than just knowing how your users are behaving today. Done properly, your personalisation strategy will encompass predicting your user’s intent based on how they’ve acted in the past. Simply put: when you can anticipate the individual journey a user is on, you can tailor their experience to help them towards their goal. And when you add to this by understanding why they are where they are on your website – how did they get there? Was it via a particular search query or email marketing campaign? – determining their objective is simpler still.
The key question here is, how do you go about measuring whether your personalisation is working? The answer isn’t, simply, views. User behaviour has evolved and factors like tab abandonment, for instance, make page impressions less fool-proof metrics. Instead, factors like depth of scroll, examining the time a user spends on a page, their interaction with your features, or their positive response to a call to action are all far more telling metrics capable of unearthing valuable insight into how to personalise.
As marketers, the next step is here is where the magic happens, because once we have this insight, we can leverage it to measure the effectiveness of your content personalisation, and use it to guide us in tailoring future offerings to your prospective customers.
Simply put, personalisation is worth it when it’s done right. Fortunately, we’ve got the know-how to make that happen and help you connect with your users in an authentically tailored way. Give us a call and let’s chat developing your personalisation strategy.