Author : Vikas Kumar
Director - Customer Experience, Espire | Sitecore MVP 2021

Vikas is a Sitecore MVP who heads the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) initiatives at Espire. A skilled craftsman in competency building, Vikas is a go-to-CMS expert, known for designing & developing best practices, that consistently transforms digital journey for clients.

8 ways to meet your Personalization goals

In the digital age brands face the challenge to provide a more personal feel to engage the customers in order to attract them for conversion and loyalty. It is here the concept of personalization has arrived with websites getting more and more customized and personalized for better customer experience (CX). Personalized websites as a concept is all about displaying contents that fulfils the expectations of the users giving them the feeling of exclusivity and personal attention. An effective approach to personalization can give you an edge with your competitors by providing truly superior customer experience.

1. Identify Micro goals with Value

It is very important to know exactly what your organization goals are and identify Micro goals to achieve the desired goals. Map your Micro goals and then decide what exactly you are trying to achieve with personalization. You need to spell out the purpose from the very beginning about the objective of personalizing content for users. It can be about increasing sales for your products and services, increasing the traffic on your websites, highlight your brand or growing your email marketing list. Hence, you must align the efforts of all stakeholders with the goals at the very outset.

2. Cross departmental effort

Personalization efforts cannot succeed if the team working with the project does not have first-hand understanding of the needs of the users and how it shall add value to the business. Hence, it has to be cross departmental effort with sales people, marketing staff and delivery team to give the true insight into user behavior and needs in order to curate content that is relevant and contextual.

3. Identify Customers as individuals and not just User Personas

Use right technology to collect data at every digital touchpoint to ensure you get relevant facts to identify customer as Individual. The very purpose of personalization fails when a brand tries to place same content for all their customers or similar customer making the entire effort irrelevant. Hence it is very important to not to just create user personas that represent a set of customers with similar needs and behavior but their individual identity as well. User personas thus simplify the task of personalization by targeting relevant content to related users and is way better than coaxing same content to all users.

4. Mapping user journey

To truly serve the content for each combination of persona it is important to locate the points where personalized content needs to be placed to better meet the needs of users and help them take the intended route towards successful goal completion. It is thus important to map user journeys in order to track user footprint and offer action driven content as well as to find out the user pain-points and to finally resolve them.

5. Finding the right technology

For achieving the goal of personalization, the right set of tools and technologies must be put into place. A good analytics solution is the starting point to understand the customer journey, customer behavior, success rate and customer pain-points. The next step is to create a dedicated personalization platform that integrates your CMS and CRM system for behavioral targeting. Digital platform offering personalization solutions like Sitecore may serve the purpose right. With right technologies in place you can focus on the important task to deliver the preferred content and experiences at the right time and place.

6. User relevant content

Every customer is not on the same point in their journey with you and hence their needs are different as either of them are looking for varying content depending on their association with you. Hence, serving relevant content that caters to their unique needs at each point along their journey leads to satisfying customer experience and meets the goal of personalization. A user who has purchased a product with you may not be interested or rather may get annoyed with the display of same product to them as they revisit your website, advertisement banner or email.

7. Starting low scale

While embarking on the journey of personalization you can start with small, isolated and iterative experiments in areas where you expect to gain maximum value with bare minimum resources. With this, you will be in a position to assess your efforts for efficacy and can accordingly optimize and adjust in your succeeding efforts. As you continue to test, refine and succeed with your methodology, your personalization efforts can then be expanded to more user journeys with further technological upgradation and expansion of your human resources, letting your current success to fund your future large-scale efforts.

8. Ensuring data compliance

The GDPR and similar laws and Facebook expose has made it more than important to focus on data protection policy in the process of your personalization campaign. Such a policy is about simplifying and defining storage, access and protection of internal data. It should explicitly assure customers that how you are committed to and approach collection and usage of personal data of your customers. In the days of hyper personalization and improvised CX, the differentiator would be data protection, privacy and maintaining transparency.

Espire's Digital Experience Platform (DXP) solutions are transforming websites into powerful customer engagement and conversion platforms and empowering marketers with the ability to engage with the hyper-connected, on-the-go customers of today in a more meaningful, highly personalized and contextual manner, seamlessly across all brand touchpoints - globally and locally.


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