There’s no doubt that the consumer is more powerful than ever. Forrester and Gartner (and McKinsey, and BCG, and Bain and Accenture and the list goes on) have researched and written about it extensively. Since we all know that consumers are more empowered than ever, more and more organizations are looking to personalization to help them get an edge on their competition and meet the needs of users who are more engaged, informed and connected than ever.
And while I am ALWAYS an advocate for personalization, it is important to make sure you have some foundational pieces in place before starting down your personalization path. In my opinion, technology and implementing personalization is the easy part, and strong, successful personalization is more a matter of making sure that the right information is being collected/is accessible before executing on personalization strategies. So what is that right information?
Well, without further ado, here are the 4 questions that you should be able to answer to ensure you are ready to turn your personalization dreams into a reality!
#1: Have you built your business case?
Developing and implementing a personalization plan can be a time consuming effort and success if often dependent on having a team of people on board and having a business case for stakeholder that elaborates on the importance of personalization. Before you even start your personalization plan, it is important that team members agree on why it makes sense to invest in personalization, how it will help your organization reach its goals and how these goals align with overarching business objectives.
#2: It’s 10:00 PM… Do you know where your data is?
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See what I did there – that advertising course I took in college is really paying off! Anywho, data is used to power personalization because it gives marketers the cues needed to inform effective personalization strategies so having a system in place to track user behaviors and interactions is a must! Confirming that you have accessible and informative data will allow marketers to serve up content that builds confidence and encourages users to take the next priority action in the journey. Out of the gate, having this information in a central location is important and make sure that it is routinely being checked so that user data remains clean.
#3: Do you understand your customer’s journey?
To know the customer you must think like the customer and man you would be shocked by how many organizations are not aligned on what their user/customer journey looks like. Understanding the phases users go through is key to building a strategy for personalization. First, you define your audience segments as their journeys will vary. From there, you can uncover insights on what triggers users to move from one phase to another, so you have confidence that when a user clicks on “x,” they are in journey phase “y.” For every step of the customer’s journey, set objectives and establish metrics – this will help you determine how personalization can help individual users.
#4: Have you thought about content yet?
It is never too early to think about content as it is oftentimes one of the biggest blockers to personalization. Having a well thought out and organized content plan (and a top notch content team) will ensure that as scenarios are being defined, there is a seamless workflow in place to deliver personalized content.
Luckily, the hardest part is getting started so once you get these questions answered you will have a strong foundation to embark on your personalization journey and can hit the ground running.