By: Katie Johns
Customers are smarter and more powerful than ever before. They compare, read, connect, read, share and look up more than ever before. This new customer seems to be all-powerful and present everywhere, on smartphones and social media. You need to be more engaged with your brand and be able to predict what their customers need at different touch-points. You need your website, emails and social media campaigns to personalize the experience for your customers.
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Marketers are increasingly thinking of context marketing, which empowers businesses to understand their customers better and improve their real time online experience. How is context marketing different from personalization? Personalization means delivering content that is customized for specific audiences and their needs. Content marketing requires contextual intelligence used on customer interactions, a solid content management system and content automation so that content can be distributed to multiple channels.
You can acquire website traffic from search, email, social media, offline and other channels. These are the sources that are great for personalization of customer data. To personalize your website, according to your buyers, you need to first create a buyer persona and then categorize buyers in different segments. These segments can be defined based on parameters – potential (how much engagement do you need to increase personalized experience), importance (if the customer segment is significant for your business) and ease (if you can pin the visitor to a segment).
Website personalization helps you to provide tailored and real-time experience and content to your visitors as per their unique preferences. Personalization has a direct impact on engagement and conversion. You can experience it in your everyday lives as you visit Amazon, Netflix, or Spotify. All these platforms give you a personalized experience and tailor content as per their customers.
How does personalization help?
- Improve customer experience
- Increase engagement and conversions
- Enhance revenue
- Reduced acquisition costs
Is customization and personalization same?
Customization is when your customers make a choice on your website (as per his or her preferences) and personalization is when you predict your customers’ needs and serve them content as per their past behavior, age, demography and other factors.
To achieve personalization, I suggest the following steps to achieve higher engagement and improved conversions of customers.
- Define your goals
Identify and map the personalization goals that can help you to meet the marketing objectives. Even though personalization is a powerful tool but it’s not the only mechanism to reach your marketing goals.
- Identify the segments
You need to identify and rank customer segments that matter most for your business. You will then need to articulate the volume and value of personalization as per their requirements and life-cycle stage. I have covered ways, based on which, you can identify the segments.
- Connect segments to goals
This is where we map each segment to personalization goals that we defined earlier.
- Analyze existing data
It is important to analyze the customer historical data. It is important to understand the customer journey and buying behaviors, for each of the segments. Once you have an such customer insight, you can define what matters to different customer segments the most.
- Establish the most critical insights
It is at this stage that you need to identify the conversion paths that are most successful, the content offer that will be most appealing for that segment, the pages and sections that the segments are engaged with and the conversion path.
- Figure out the customer’s journey
Understanding your customer journey is crucial to understand the pages you need to personalize using customer insights to identify the most popular paths.
- Identify pages meant for personalization
You can’t go on a content personalization spree and update everything. You need to identify pages (that your most sought-after customer segments land) and even sections that need personalization and the order for each of these. You can create a ‘best of’ section where you can rotate content and show only the relevant sections of the website.
- Modify content or create customized landing pages
Customized landing pages to showcase relevant content for advertising and promotion. Users who click on a link will be interested in that subject and it will be a good idea for them to see an entire page full of content based on what interests them.
Content should be presented as per a visitor’s contextual situation and intent. If the customer is at the top of the buying funnel, you need to deliver content that builds trust and helps mature their intent. Serve content to solidify intention if the visitor is at the bottom of the buying funnel.
Do you want more engaged users on your website? Do you want to allow personalization to boost your online conversions?
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