Effective personalization in marketing campaigns starts with strategy and design. The strategy includes identifying the right goals for the audiences you are targeting while design focuses on the right types and the amount of content and data you need to reach your audience.
While personalization CAN be done at the personal level, it can also be executed at higher levels and still have an impact on campaign performance. For example, programs can be executed at the market level by attributes such as industry, geographic region, or the size of the business.
A level deeper would be at the account level, either account-based marketing or marketing to accounts. You could also target a collection of personas that make up a buying group, such as a job function or department of buyer personas.
The audience level at which you choose to personalize your marketing campaign is important as it sets the stage for the design components of your program—the audience you choose to target drives the content depth and breadth. That makes understanding the audience and the level to target with personalization and the associated buyer journey major keys to developing marketing programs that will nurture buyers through ongoing engagement.
The Three Types of Personalization That Drive Design Considerations
When considering the design of the content to reach the designated personalization level, understand the source and the mix of data that can help drive the design efforts. Here are three types to consider:
• Explicit personalization relies on data provided directly by users to determine what content and interactions should be presented. Because users must provide information themselves, this type of personalization is most useful for well-defined segments, where users can easily provide the identifying data in a reasonably consistent way. Typical types of data include title, role, company, industry and geography. Among the three major types of personalization, this is the simplest to deploy. But success requires defining the segments and the rules to determine what content to show, and validating the information provided and the overall quality of the targeted content.
• Implicit personalization is often deployed in addition to explicit personalization. This type of personalization relies on tracking user behavior across a wide variety of marketing vehicles to infer what type of content to present. The approach can be used to personalize characteristics that are more complex and less defined than explicit personalization—including segmenting by stage in the buying cycle, interests, or business need. These qualities make it extremely useful for companies looking to drive progression or create opportunity based on complex circumstances.
• Augmented personalization data does not come directly from users to drive personalization decisions and represents the most advanced form of personalization. It includes data from third-party sources, such as LinkedIn, and other demographic and behavioral data sources. With this data, user profiles can be expanded to provide information that can be used to present more targeted content and interactions.
When explicit or implicit personalization are combined with augmented personalization, it can increase the accuracy and speed that relevant content can be delivered. While this level of personalization has clear and obvious benefits, it has steep requirements for deployment: It requires technologies that can support explicit and implicit personalization and integrate additional data seamlessly with the data collected directly. It also requires a source of useful and reliable third-party data that can provide relevant information on website visitors.
Everyone Must Buy In
Achieving personalization in marketing campaigns as the standard for buyer engagement is rarely successful if not fully supported—from executives to those on the front lines of the marketing team. Everyone must buy into the value of personalization.
Marketing teams can achieve this buy-in by striving to understand the needs of the buyer audience, and communicating internally how adopting a personalization approach will help marketing campaigns evolve. Then, share the deployment model and work with a cross-functional team to define business requirements, review system and technology capabilities, and manage the roll-out of program updates required to deliver personalization.
Your strategy should also include clearly-defined, achievable goals that can be measured, and KPIs should be set upon program creation. This approach will set you up to spot problems and opportunities for process improvements along the way.
This blog is the first excerpt in a series from “Personalized Experiences: Building a Powerful and Scalable Digital Foundation,” a webinar sponsored by SiriusDecisions and featuring Jay Atcheson, VP of Marketing for R2i Technologies, Danny Dalton from the Adobe Industry Strategy Group, and Jessie Johnson, Research Analyst-Demand Marketing from Sirius Decisions. For more information, contact R2integrated at https://www.r2integrated.com/contact.