The growth of the online personalization market has exploded and many of the top brands are scrambling to ensure that their web experience not only resonates with their consumers but ultimately is driven by their consumers’ experience with the brand. With online content consumption outpacing traditional forms of media, online retailers and service providers now strategize on the best approach to personalizing the end-users’ experience with a set of specific goals in mind.
Several KEY questions are often asked by organizations exploring ways to improve their relevant or targeted content distribution:
♦ How best do we target our content to our end-users?
♦ Do we offer recommendations of a similar product [competitive offers]?
♦ Do we inform consumers of ancillary product offerings that compliment or enhance their initial product purchase?
♦ How best can we associate revenue of recommended product purchase in our shopping cart experience
♦ Do we allow our end-users’ shopping behavior to drive our targeted content experience?
♦ Do we included our targeting practices outside of our site environment [display, banner, contextual, email advertising]?
Industry-wide leading marketers rely heavily on browser technology, often cloud-based, to achieve a new level of content optimization for brand/product campaign and end-user retargeting. The challenge for most is finding platforms that can accommodate most, if not all, of the following: advanced product testing, merchandising, A/B and multivariate targeting, cross-channel optimization, and improved shopping cart performance.
The caveat is finding a provider that offers the above technology with a less invasive, plug and play installation approach that effectively removes the constraints from IT or already stretched technical resources. Marketers rely on technology partners’ product offerings to not only assist in driving insight but also improving user adoption rates of the tools themselves. The tools are only useful if the end users of them are highly engaged and actively utilizing the features that can assist in driving performance benchmarks.
As online personalization strategies continue to evolve so do the client needs. Clients often side with solution offerings that allow for integration points within their front end business systems and other platforms that power [search, shop, selection, payment]. A tool’s ability to incorporate price feeding capabilities for optimized cart offerings based on end user engagement activity has made its way up a marketer’s priority list. For clients having a tool that can offer advanced shopping features, including ancillary product integration, to assist in the growth of digital revenues addresses the larger business requirement for online growth.
With that said, how can my organization prepare the brand for an evolved digital consumer?
Preparation is a matter of due diligence and, in the digital space, understanding where the technology is heading. You also need an awareness of whether your client environment is developed enough to keep pace with the growth in technology.
Have you/your organization done the following:
♦ A full evaluation of your brand’s online technology
♦ A complete analysis of your site data [source of entry, site usage, end user conversion]
♦ A comprehensive blueprint for future integrations and site enhancements
If you've answered yes to all of the above then insight from the due diligence will point you in one of two directions [build it in house or host a developed solution]. In either scenario it's important that your organization leverage outside expertise to assist with the strategy. Your due diligence has led you towards incorporating outside expertise, so embrace it. More often than not, businesses believe they can build it in house if someone else has and they already have all the answers which is usually not the case.
For enterprise organizations with large R&D departments, addressing the need in-house may be the only approach, and that's fine, but understanding the industry best practice and approach for tool standards of use still requires a knowledge transfer from an expert resource. For small/medium organizations, resource constraints are usually evident so leveraging external sources of knowledge are often preferred and received well within the organization. Because of this, decisions are usually made quickly often to great success because of the competitive advantage of going to market faster.
To sum it up, yes online personalization is important to your brand. And yes, incorporating it into your brand’s digital strategy is critical. I guess the only question left to answer is what you are waiting for - so go for it....