Three Steps to Building an Effective Onsite Personalization Strategy

Vice President of Marketing
Published 4/5/17
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According to Nielson, “74% of customers are frustrated that web content doesn’t map to their interest.” With this in mind, what is your organization doing now to create more meaningful experiences for your visitors online?

Destinations across the globe are in various stages of maturity when it comes to personalization, but regardless of whether you are a first adopter or are just coming on board with personalization, there are some important foundational steps you’ll want to include in your strategic plan. 

Step 1: Conduct Research and Identify Visitor Segments

Identifying visitor segments and understanding what those visitors are looking for in their online experience will help you map the customer journey and identify the types of content you’ll need to drive better engagement and higher conversions. From our experience, we suggest you start simple and expand your segments over time; deeper segmentation will be possible once you accumulate more data on your visitors. 

This is also the right time to set short- and long-term goals for your new personalized content. Define the outcomes you expect and make sure that the content you develop aligns with these goals. In doing so, keep in mind that your short-term goals should be viewed as milestones towards the larger, long-term ones.

Step 2: Develop and Distribute Content

Once you understand who you’re targeting and what actions you want them to perform, you’ll need to identify the when, where and what. Depending on what technology platform you use to serve personalization, you’ll have different options in terms of what types of content you can personalize. In general, you should be able to swap out any visible element or piece of content on your site with a personalized version, and in some cases you can now leverage new elements like banners, fly-ins and modals to layer in tailored calls to action. 

As you set out to develop this new content, ask yourself whether this content is inspiring, engaging and facilitates action. If the answer isn’t clearly “yes,” start over. 

Step 3: Analyze and Refine

The most important part of measuring success is making sure you have a solid benchmark to compare performance against. If you’re building a new site you might consider gathering data with your static content before serving personalization. And as with any digital marketing strategy, the key to getting results is allowing yourself and your team the ability to iterate and optimize. Without the bandwidth or the resources to A/B test, you won’t gain the insights necessary to enhance performance or the user experience to the levels possible.