Website Personalization: Unpacking the Tools You Need

Website Issues That Keep Marketers Up at Night

In 2016 the biggest players in the online space differentiated themselves by leveraging dynamic content. Dynamically creating content for each user across their digital properties offered a new kind of experience. Something much more intuitive. Personalization allows a brand to improve the way they highlight their expertise, sell their products, and create a more meaningful relationship with anyone who engages with them online and offline.

There are a few ways to unpack this.

First of all, creating dynamic content. Dynamic content is what leads to personalization. It umbrellas anything–landing pages, webforms, video content, images, product carousels–that adapts itself to the specific viewership of a particular user (also known as “smart content”).

The call for dynamic content is now what the call for mobile responsiveness was a few years ago. According to Janrain & Harris Interactive, 74% of users online are frustrated with website content that doesn’t appeal to their interests. The increased use of personalization technology and the growing perceptiveness of Big Data have led to a rapidly declining tolerance for irrelevant content.

Dynamic content pulls on three data sets:

  • Behavioral: What you’ve collected in the past, the user information stored in your CRM or marketing automation platform.
  • Demographic: Information such as their gender, age, region (usually this is taken from the browser).
  • Inferred: This is information you can get from a user’s browser, device, location, screen size, time zone, and session information such as how many times they’ve visited your site.

Leveraging data and managing dynamic content is a tall order, and controlling custom content on your website directly requires the right tool.

For starters, you’re going to need a CMS–content management system. A CMS allows admin to manage their websites through a user interface. With a CMS, non-technical admin can create landing pages, set up webforms, and design unique web pages without struggling with the complexities of coding or HTML.

There are many CMS platforms available, and deciding on the right one–Wordpress, Squarespace, Drupal–is a complicated decision. If you want to create and manage dynamic content on your website, you’re going to need a CMS that can integrate with your other digital marketing tools. A CMS can manage personalization, storing default content and all potential variations to leverage inferred data, but it can be extended even further with behavioral and demographic data from other sources to present a complete, unique experience. it needs demographic and behavioral data, and then some trigger to know what content to show and to whom it should be shown based off of information from one of the data sets.

Utilizing demographic, behavioral, and inferred data requires a CMS that:

  1. Integrates with your marketing technology suite (CRM, analytics, and, marketing automation tools). It communicates with your tools to draw on or add to that data.
  2. Is responsive enough to react to demographic browser data.

If you’d like more information, or you’re interested in the process of enabling personalization on an integrated CMS, you can check out our guides to dynamic content on Drupal down below.