Who doesn’t enjoy the personal touch?
We appreciate the familiarity when the waiter remembers our favourite dish or a regular supplier unexpectedly sends a little extra on our birthday. We all relish the personal touch, and this is no less the case when it comes to the marketing we are subjected to online.
Personalization vs. segmentation
Nearly all B2B organizations (95 percent) make some attempt to segment their content based on their audience, according to CMI’s 2014 B2B Content Marketing research report. The top ways B2B organizations segmented their content included industry trends, profiles of individual decision-makers, company characteristics, and stage in buying cycle. However segmentation differs from personalization:
- Segmentation, where organizations tailor or selectively deliver information or content to specific audience groups.
- Personalization, whereby organizations tailor of selectively deliver information or content to specific individuals.
To build out the definition further, according to Scott P. Abel (a.k.a. The Content Wrangler)
personalization is the process of targeting content to individuals based on one or more of the following: who they are; where they are; when, why, and how they access content; and what device they use to access it.
The different types of personalization
A truly personalized experience means focusing on a distinguishing feature of the user which is based on data identified, or assumed, via a number of different sources.
Broadly speaking there are four types of personalization.
A single action results in certain content being served to that user. A good example might be that anyone who signs up for a newsletter no longer sees the newsletter call to action.
It is an ‘if this, then that’ rule which does not necessarily require the identification of an individual.
Behavioral targeting captures data such as time on site, pageviews, location, device, etc. from each unique user and stores it in a profile without the visitor providing any identifiable information. This includes what parts of the site they visit, what they look at and how long they spend on the site. This is particularly useful in a B2B context where our clients employ behavioral personalization to anonymous browsers into leads based on their unique reading arc.
The user explicitly personalizes their digital experience by setting preferences about the type of content or interface they prefer. This is most commonly seen in apps where users are encouraged to set preferences around content and notifications.
Information known about the user and normally held within a CRM is used to serve specific content to that user. Since the data in a CRM is structured (i.e. first name, last name, job title, etc) it is more likely to be used to power better segmentation (e.g. show a particular piece of content to all prospects which share a particular job title) rather than ‘personalization’ proper.
How Demand Orchestration does personalization
At Idio we believe that “You Are What You Read”, i.e. the content that your prospects and customers choose to read is highly revelatory of their current and emerging needs and interests. Idio’s technology builds detailed and predictive models of individuals based on their content consumption.
As each of your prospects or customers reads your content, anywhere and at any time, you can understand their interests, and what this means about their next likely actions. This is particularly useful for content personalization: if you can identify a buyer’s unique need or interest, you can automatically tailor the right piece of content in an accurate manner that goes well beyond segmentation or personalization reliant on structured CRM data or triggered rules.
To do personalization based on each buyers unique needs and interests requires a blend of analytical and executional technology which we call Demand Orchestration; Natural Language Processing to understand the meaning of an organization’s content automatically, real-time data processing to determine how content interactions infer the interest and context of each customer, and a robust personalization approach to select and deliver the right message across web, email, social, and mobile.
Let us show you how we do personalization
We’ve recently released a series of simple Demand Orchestration integrations for organizations that are using marketing automation platforms to do triggered, behavioral or CRM-driven personalization.
Idio can be plugged into all major webCMS or email platforms. Idio doesn’t ‘rip and replace’ your current personalization tools, rather Idio adds a layer of intelligence to your current operations: powering a more intelligent way to do personalization. See it in action here.