Bringing it all together — deliver personalized content every time

One of the most difficult tasks for marketers today is figuring out how to deliver one-to-one customized experiences for each customer no matter which audience segment they fall into. To deliver relevant and personalized experiences, you need to consider the type of content you offer and when customers should see it. Plus, decide what it looks like and find the best places to show it on your website.

This is the third post in a series covering web personalization. In part one we discussed how to write an effective web personalization strategy that scales seamlessly with your current marketing initiatives. In part two we shared how to integrate web personalization into your other marketing channels. And in this post, you’ll learn how to use your new web personalization strategy to build and execute a content plan that will serve relevant content to each customer at each stage of their buying journey.

Before you present customers with a specific piece of content or content type, you need to gain an understanding of who they are — and segment your audience based on behavior, location, demographics, and previous interactions with your brand. This information is a core part of delivering personalized experiences at scale.

Once you’ve learned a little bit about who you’re talking to, you need to understand what their needs are and how they prefer to interact with your business. Read on to learn more about how to make your content feel more personal and relevant to each person you interact with.

Step #1 — determine what content you have

Once you have a better understanding of your audience, it’s time to decide what content format you’d like to present to them. This can be a daunting task if you have several distinct audience segments to target — with an entire library of content and assets to sort through.

To begin offering personalized experiences for all your customers, you don’t need to start from scratch. You likely already have some if not most of the content you need. You can stretch your existing content even further just by reworking sections to make them more relevant to specific industries or demographics.

The content you use should depend entirely on what your goals are and who you’re trying to reach. Think about all the guides, customer reviews, case studies, product videos, special offers, and testimonials you already have. Next consider whether you can use these for different segments or change a few details or examples to make them more relevant. For example, the design elements you used in a guide could be used in another related asset, like a blog post or email. When the visuals are consistent across touchpoints, it empowers your campaigns to work together in harmony.

There’s no one answer to knowing what offer to deliver and when, so here’s a quick guide for understanding how to reach your audience depending on which stage of the buying journey they are in.

Sorting and analyzing your existing content can help you discover opportunities to use and tailor that content more effectively. Without a clear understanding of what you already have, you could be missing out on opportunities to reach potential customers with the exact content that they’re looking for.

Step #2 — map out your content on a campaign matrix

A campaign matrix is a tool that helps marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content and campaign types for their audiences. It helps to map out your content by segment and journey stage — and how you will meet each segment’s needs.

To effectively map out your content, consider which content you will deliver to each of your audience segments at each stage of the customer journey. We came up with a few examples of what type of content will resonate with your target audience at any stage.

If you have multiple assets that could fit a certain segment and stage, don’t overthink it — test them all to determine which is most effective. When you use content you already have for this matrix, you’re moving closer to personalized journeys without added time and resources — while identifying gaps that you need to fill.

Step #3 — fill in content gaps

Content gaps refer to areas or topics that are not adequately addressed or covered in the existing content of a website, blog, or marketing campaign. These gaps represent the informational needs or interests of the target audience that are not fulfilled by the current content offerings.

Instead of creating brand new content to fill in these gaps, you can speed up the process by repurposing what you already have. Rework sections to make them more relevant to specific industries or demographics — or add in the missing information to make your existing content more complete.

Repurposing existing content

Instead of creating new content, here are a few parts of your existing assets that you can edit to improve your personalization efforts:

This approach is effective because it lets you get personalized content running more quickly than starting from scratch.

Consider a content recommendation engine (CRE) to help you automate

A CRE is a technology used to suggest relevant content to users based on their preferences, interests, and behavior patterns. CREs can analyze user data to make predictions about the type of content a user might be interested in.

The goal of a CRE is to improve user engagement, increase content consumption, and enhance user satisfaction by presenting relevant and personalized suggestions. The right tool can make all the difference in getting started with web personalization. A CRE can help you automate your efforts — so you can target each of your customers with the right content, on the right channel, at the right time.

A predictive CRE can make this easier by:

CREs combine the speed of real-time targeting and personalization with the insights of machine learning and predictive analytics. All of this helps improve customer experiences — while saving time and resources for the marketing teams who create them.

Example of a CRE

Let’s take a closer look at how a CRE might work in a real-world application. If a CMO at a financial services company is browsing your website, they might not be interested in reading a whitepaper about general marketing topics. But they might appreciate being offered a marketing whitepaper that focuses specifically on their industry and addresses relevant pain points. The CRE system will consider this visitor’s previous behavior — for example, which pages on your site they’ve visited or which content they’ve engaged with — to determine which content makes sense to show them on this visit.

This process will help bring them one step closer to conversion. So, in this example, after the CMO downloads a whitepaper, they may be presented with a new content asset, such as a different, more targeted whitepaper or a webinar.

Why a CRE works

Using content recommendation engines is so effective because they can combine AI and machine learning tools to support your web personalization campaigns. They help you provide valuable content in real time — without additional resources or manual interaction with each customer. The right CRE can automate time-consuming processes, so you have time to focus on optimizing and improving to maximize conversions and ROI.

Personalized experiences are a win-win. They make it easier for customers to interact with your business, and they allow you to move customers toward conversion more quickly. Despite the power of one-to-one personalization, 63% of digital marketing leaders still struggle with personalization. And perhaps even more surprising, only 17% use AI and machine learning. This highlights a key area for improvement for digital marketers and their teams.

Let Adobe help

Now that you’ve successfully defined and integrated a web personalization strategy for all your marketing channels and mapped out a personalized content plan by segment and journey stage, you need the right tool to help you implement your personalization efforts.

With a web personalization solution, you can take what you know about your customer, from listening to them across channels and from past sales, turning this information into relevant offers and product or content recommendations. These may be for products they haven’t bought yet or content they haven’t seen, but it specifically matches either what they already have or what they’re currently looking for.

Adobe Marketo Engage is a B2B marketing automation tool that lets you attract, segment, and nurture customers — from discovery to becoming your biggest advocate. Use rich behavioral data, built-in intelligence, and sophisticated journey flows to identify and engage with your best customers and accelerate the customer experience.

Download the full guide to learn how to deploy and test content, and much more.