Website personalisation might sound futuristic but the reality is it’s happening all around you. The site that recommends an item based on your past purchases? That’s website personalisation. The one that recognises you’re a return visitor and tailors content accordingly? Website personalisation. The online pet food shop that knows you’re a dog owner, not a cat owner, and serves up relevant product offer - yep, you guessed it...
The best examples are those that work their magic entirely in the background, without the user even realising what’s going on. Truly effective personalisation is not about making the customer feel like you know everything about them - it’s simply about delivering very relevant and timely content at the right stage of the customer journey. Used appropriately, personalisation should drive deeper brand loyalty and, ultimately, higher conversion rates.
“Sounds great, sign me up!”
Website personalisation (also referred to as content personalisation) is great but before you go diving in, there are a few foundational elements you need to get firmed up - like a solid strategy and the resources to implement it.
The building blocks
The factors that determine website personalisation readiness basically fall into four broad categories:
The checklist below addresses each of these categories with a series of questions. If you can answer the majority with a ‘yes’, then the chances are you’re ready for website personalisation.
Do you have well-defined ‘success’ metrics for your website (e.g. sales, leads, memberships, donations, applications, bookings etc)?
- Do you have distinct and clearly defined target audiences?
- Have you conducted any target audience or persona research?
- Do you have a plan for identifying and communicating to different segments of your audience?
- Do you have distinctly different product lines or services?
- Do you have at least one person in your organisation who is solely dedicated to digital marketing?
- Do you have the resources (within your organisation or through outsourcing) to create the volume of content required to create multiple executions of on-site content?
- Do you have staff who have the time and the necessary skillsets to analyse and action the data generated by your website personalisation solution?
- Do you have an established content development and publishing process? (This may include web content, social media, email content, lead generation assets such as downloadable content, webinars, events etc).
- Do you have a content strategy that includes different messages for different target audiences?
- Do you have a comprehensive inventory of existing content?
- Do your conduct marketing campaigns?
- Do you know what data is being collected within your organisation (e.g. email addresses, e-commerce data, member information etc)?
- Is the data ‘clean’ and up-to-date?
While you don’t need to be able to answer all of these questions in the affirmative, if you’re ticking most of these boxes you've probably got enough of the foundations in place to start building out your website personalisation strategy.
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