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Personalization: 5 challenges

The advent of integrated, personalized, optimized marketing is near. However, Michael Gorman sees five challenges that marketers must overcome before marketers can create emails of which the content is assembled dynamically to match the users' needs and the marketer's goals.

1. Data integration. This is top priority for many marketers right now. Companies must work out how to assemble data from external and internal sources to build that elusive single view of the customer.

2. Cross channel integration. Today, technology makes every type of marketing dynamically targetable, but the numerous systems and solutions that make targeting possible generally don't talk to one another. So the behavioral data, which I used to target the banner you just saw does not travel with you as you enter my Web site; nor does your recent click behavior accompany you into my email database after your purchase.

3. Optimization.
With so much content and so many users, and each visit lasting only a few clicks, how do you decide what to show next on your Web site? Once you pluck the low hanging fruit, like 'abandoned shopping cart' and 'last product viewed', how do you make systematic progress at a rapid pace without spending a fortune on creative development?


4. Content Management. Elaborate, powerful content management systems are often limited in practice to serving content on a Web site, and even then they can be too hard to change to meet marketing's timetables. Content needs to be organized and accessible to all channels.

5. User Anonymity. Success stories often focus on the customers about whom marketers know the most - frequent visitors, past purchasers - but for most companies, 80 percent of opportunities to interact with prospects occur with people for whom there exists no record of past behavior, or almost none.

Nevertheless, integrated personalized marketing is around the corner. Here are four things to keep in mind as you plot your course:

  • Targeting isn’t just for your best customers. It’s easier to reach them if you’ve got more data. But, consider devoting just as many resources to improving yields from the larger mass of relatively unknown prospects, because that’s where you’ll ultimately find the biggest gains.
  • Leverage the content you have. Too many great ideas never get off the ground for lack of time or money for creative. Before you let that happen to your project, make sure you are fully leveraging the promotions, offers, and content you’re already paying to develop.
  • Don’t be deterred by limited information. There is usually data available to be leveraged, even on a user’s first click, and recognition technology can help hone in on the user’s identity faster than you might imagine.
  • Focus your efforts on users as well as content. Don’t just worry about what product to show next, what elements to keep or add to the page. The really critical question is ‘what does the user want?’ What question is in their mind? Make the data answer that question.

Source: DM News

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