Saturday, January 9, 2016

Personalization in Content Management

Content personalization in content management makes your users' experience more rewarding. Content personalization targets specific content to specific people. One simple example is showing code samples to developers and whitepapers to business users.

Segment Your Users

The first step to delivering a personalized customer experience is to segment your visitors so you can present them with what’s most relevant to them.

Any good personalization strategy starts with a fundamental understanding of your customer’s behavior, needs and goals. Upfront research goes a long way to building out the personas and having the insight from which to develop an approach to personalization. This may already be gathered through ongoing customer insight or voice of the customer programs, or be more ad hoc and project based. Regardless of the approach, be sure that any approach to personalization is grounded in a solid understanding of your users.

The next step in the process is to define the audience goals and objectives so you can know if the personalization efforts are successful. These may include top-line key performance indicators such as conversion rate or online sales, or be more specific to the personalization scenarios (i.e. landing page bounce rate). Try to be specific as possible and ensure that your measures of success directly relate to the areas of focus for your personalization efforts impact.

Personalize Your Content

In order to provide personalized content, it is necessary to determine which content is most effective for each audience segment. This content mapping process can be done alongside the audience segmentation model to ensure you have the right content for the right user at the right stage. If we use the business users and developers example from above, we can personalize the home page for the developers segment to talk about things related to the technology and how it can be extended while we serve business users with information related to how they can achieve their goals using this solution.

The biggest mistake organizations make with personalization is thinking too big and getting overwhelmed before they even start. It is exhausting to even start thinking about how to deliver the right message to the right person at every single interaction. Starting with a few specific personalization scenarios can help you more rapidly adopt the processes and technology and see what works on a small scale before expanding.

Here are a few example rules-based scenarios for an insurance company:
  • If a user in a specific region of the United States visits the site, show them regionally specific rates and agent information.
  • If a user has shown a specific interest in a vehicle, show images and offers that include that vehicle.
  • If a user is an existing customer (as identified through specific site actions or e-mail campaigns) feature tools and content that help them maintain their relationship with you.
  • If a user has already subscribed to the newsletter, replace the subscribe to newsletter call-out with a different offer or high value piece of content.
As you begin to think about the overall customer journey and digital experience, this list of scenarios is going to be far more detailed. However, it should not be more complicated than is necessary to accomplish the organizational goal of making it easier for audience segments to achieve their objectives while having the best possible user experience.

The process of content mapping and scenario planning will inevitably surface holes in the inventory of your existing content. Obviously, they will need to be filled. This will require some combination of recreating existing content for different audiences in addition to generating some which is completely new. Not to mention the ongoing process of updating and managing these content variations based on what’s working and what’s not.

Personalization in CMS

It would help to develop a content model and taxonomy for your CMS that is aligned to your audience segmentation approach. By tagging content appropriately you can often automate many areas of personalization. For example, display all white papers from a specific vertical industry.

Regardless of what tool is used to manage all of this complexity, it will require custom configuration. Some systems are naturally more user friendly than others but none of them come out of the box knowing your audience segments, content mapping, and scenarios. All of this information, once determined and defined, will need to be entered to the system.

Rules-based configuration is the most common type of work you’ll do with a CMS which is literally going through a series of "If, Then" statements to tell the CMS what content to show to what users. It’s important to have someone inside your organization or agency partner that owns the product strategy for personalization and can ensure it is consistently applied and within the best practices for that specific platform.

Sitefinity content management system has a simple interface for defining segments through various criteria such as where the visitor came from, what they searched for, their location, duration of their visit, etc. You can define custom criteria and have any combination of AND/OR criteria to define your segments.

Testing Your Personalization

Once your audience and content plans are sorted out and the technology is configured, it is time to test the experience from the perspective of each segment and scenarios within segments. You should test each variation on multiple browsers and mobile devices.

Some CMS allow to impersonate to test your results. For example, Sitefinity allows you to impersonate any segment and preview the customer experience on any device with the help of the mobile device emulators. This way you can be sure how your website looks like for every audience on any device.

Measure the Results

After you’ve segmented your audiences, personalized their experience and checked how your website/portal/CMS is presented for different audiences on different devices you should see the results of your work. They can be measured by the conversions and other website KPIs for the different segments compared to the default presentation for non-segmented visitors or to the KPIs prior to the personalization. Measuring will help you iterate and improve the results further.

Going forward it will be possible to revise previous assumptions with new information which is substantially more valid. Using the built-in analytics within your CMS or third party analytics, you’ll be able to watch how each segment interacts with the personalized content and if it was effective.

Galaxy Consulting successfully implemented content personalization for few clients. We can do the same for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

No comments:

Post a Comment