Personalization in digital marketing & machine learning
Machine learning is indispensable when it comes to personalization in digital marketing. Period.
Thanks to incredible advancements in terms of machine learning capabilities and analytics, companies can offer unique digital experiences to specific customers with virtually nothing more than a “flip of a switch.” So, instead of having a single experience for all of your users, your site can be personalized to fit the needs of each and every one of them.
This practice, known as personalization, involves categorizing customers as unique individuals rather than members of a broader customer segment.
What does this process look like?
Firstly, data is rapidly aggregated and then analyzed. Then, machine learning does what it does best. Learn. By deep analysis of the data it is being fed, relevant insights can be extracted about customers on a granular level. These insights can then be the driver in terms of deploying the optimal personalized website or app layout to the right person—in the right way.
Why should I implement personalization in my digital marketing strategy?
Each customer is unique—they want you to know what they want, when they want it and how they want it.
Personalization allows you to build deeper relationships with your users. It improves your conversions by convincing prospects that you know and understand their needs.
Furthermore, personalization allows you to micro-target prospects based on probability to convert, improve your engagement levels and grow your user community via features such as social sharing, comments and likes.
It is also important to note that combining your personalization strategy with CRO (conversion rate optimization) is a revenue-generating machine—.
How do you implement personalization on your website?
Before you can implement a website personalization program, you need to understand everything about your users. This may sound straightforward, but it can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have a clear strategy or roadmap from the beginning.
To get your 1-to-1 personalization program right, first establish the “who.” Who do you want to target with a unique experience? Here are some examples on how to categorize the “who”:
- Demographic attributes such gender, location, income & profession.
- Behavior of the users on-site and other marketing channels—i.e., browses awareness pages before making a conversion.
- First-time visitors vs. returning visitors, logged-in vs. not logged-in etc.
- Device types—desktop, mobile or tablet? What browser or do they use?
When it comes to the “what”—what type of experience or content do you want to show this segment of your audience? Consider the following:
- How much of your page can you personalize? Do you need to change anything on the backend before you are able to make the desired changes?
- What part of your page do you want to personalize? Popular options include headlines, images and calls to action.
- What value will personalization create? Don’t personalize just because you can. Think of what you are trying to achieve.
Things to keep in mind
Once you’ve done the above and know the “who” and the “what”, you need to keep the following in mind:
- Don’t slice your audience too thin. Allow them to discover new things should they choose to do so.
- Make sure to measure the impact of changes before and after you make them so that you have more insight into what worked, what didn’t and why—always test.
- Use automated data collection and personalization technology (to be discussed below) whenever possible for maximum efficiency.
Tools that can help with personalization
Monetate is a global leader in personalization software for consumer-facing brands. Their technology allows brands to create a more relevant and personalized customer experience.
CommerceStack is an add-on that works with Magento and automatically displays relevant products based on shopper behavior. This is accomplished by tapping into data already stored by Magento to make its recommendations.
CNET Intelligent Cross Sell handles cross-selling and up-selling based on behavioral data and can also be customized to use data points such as product profitability or customer reviews before displaying items to specific people.
SiteApps enables you to enhance WordPress websites with a wide range of apps, such as social media widgets, extensions for analytics, forms for feedback and comments and more, all of which can be added with a click.
Zendesk and LiveChat are great tools to use if you’re looking for customer help and support features on your site. These applications allow you to offer personalized support via your website, over the phone, on social sites, by email and by using live chat. This makes it easier to personalize customer service experiences for users.
Now to get a little more technical. You can use services such as Episerver and Kentico CMS to personalize content based on rules such as the physical location of your visitor and search terms. You can also use more advanced personalization features that use data on user behavior and profiles.
Finally, if you want to integrate marketing with your 1-to-1 personalization program, consider HubSpot, Marketo and Salesforce. With these tools, you can deliver the right content that you need to show a user based on where they are in the buying process.