Bryan Yeager, Senior Consultant, InfoTrends,
Feb 08, 2012
This post originally appeared in the Digital Nirvana blog
“Personalization” continues to be a prominent topic in a number of different circles: marketing, publishing, eCommerce, social networking, and search. It’s no wonder why: personalization helps boost response rates and profitability in cross-media campaigns, helps marketers drive conversion on their Websites & landing pages, and much more.
Wikipedia provides a very broad definition of personalization, which I do like: “using technology to accommodate the differences between individuals.” Specific to the groups that I am referring to, I believe that personalization can be more precisely defined as leveraging data to deliver relevant content to specific individuals.
That’s still pretty broad; what kind of data? what kind of content? what channels are being used? With this many constituencies looking to use personalization in their own ways to meet specific goals, those answers can range extensively. Furthermore, when these groups end up talking to each other about personalization, it can cause confusion and miscommunication. To clear the air, so-to-speak, I wanted to shed some light on the different ways personalization is being employed by these different groups.
Read part 2 of this article here
- Cross-media Direct Marketing: You’re likely familiar with the personalization model for cross-media campaigns: a digitally-printed direct mail piece (or e-mail) with variable text and graphic elements and a personalized URL, which links to a personalized microsite with variable text and graphic elements, often highlighting the recipient’s name in some way. Personal and demographic data is primarily used to drive the personalization in these applications. Depending on the client/campaign, additional data may be used for more granular, relevant content.
- Digital Marketing: Personalization is popular with digital marketers. E-mail is a popular spot for personalization: according to a 2011 study by marketing technology provider Alterian, 72% of marketing professionals surveyed reported using personalization for their e-mail campaigns. E-mail marketing complexity ranges from mass blasts to segmentation to real-time individualization, typically using customer data and purchase history data to make recommendations. Another prominent personalization tactic for marketers is retargeting, which involves serving ads to a specific user after they have left a Website in efforts to raise brand awareness, recapture their attention, and drive people back to their Website.
- eCommerce: Business-to-consumer eCommerce was and still is a center of innovation in Web personalization, driven by Amazon.com and other eTailers looking to provide a custom-tailored experience for each individual user in hopes of getting them to buy more. For these sites, personalization often comes in the form of a recommendation engine, which tracks your browsing habits, shopping cart, wish list, reviews, purchase history, and other facets to deliver personalized recommendations on what the system thinks you would like. It should be noted that digital marketing goes hand-in-hand with eCommerce; real-time individualized e-mail marketing is common for eCommerce companies, and retargeting helps bring back shoppers that left the conversion funnel.