Personalized marketing is the missing link to this dynamic puzzle. For example, a 2015 report from Marketo showed users spending more than 200% above average time on site. This data includes your users’ demographics, online activities, and behavior—both before and after they land on your site. Personalized marketing provides you opportunities  to continue to flex your brand and speak to different audiences while ensuring your core identity remains protected. The previous benefits are great and all, but here’s where the rubber meets the road: How can you be sure your personalized marketing content is actually more effective than the standard content it’s replacing? Sungevity has created a powerful opportunity. Perhaps I should try to get a more detailed quote. Though less tangible, another important reason to invest in personalization centers on the lift in your brand’s affinity. Sungevity caught my attention by creating a personalized experience for me. For this reason, any personalization strategy must incorporate a testing component. Where can you go from here to really understand the actionable to-do’s of managing a personalization program for your brand? In order to offer a truly personal experience through your marketing, … Last year, when I was researching solar panel installation companies online (as one does), I came across a site that greeted me like this: Seemed pretty harmless, so I entered the digits for my zip code in Somerville, MA, and clicked “Get Started.”. Pretty cool! Over the course of the summer, Boston Digital will be releasing posts that include ready-to-use frameworks, strategies, tactics, and case studies to help your team get up and running with our proven methodology. In the meantime, check out our latest ebook on content strategy. A lot goes into really understanding personalization, and personalized marketing “campaigns” take myriad forms in the real world. The reality is that while personalization sounds straightforward in concept, managing all of these pieces over time takes a lot of ramping up, including putting the proper processes and resources in place. **Check out the second blog post in this Personalization Series! We’ll unpack this further in future posts; for now, if you’re familiar with the mechanics of A/B testing on other media channels, like email content or paid digital ads, then you’ll have a solid grasp on how it works within a CMS, too. What’s more, those same users viewed almost 4x as many pages per visit. This brand, Sungevity, seems to get me and has presumably been an effective provider for customers in the area. This means Sungevity is applying personalization tactics to be both 1) functional by qualifying prospective customers and 2) personal by influencing a prospect’s decision process. How to Build a Content Strategy to Increase Leads Now, 5 Key Benefits of Personalized Marketing Strategies, Long Live the Green: How to Create Evergreen Content, 10 Inspirational Content Marketing Quotes, A Rich Niche: JetSmarter Fixes the Friction in an Underserved Market, 5 Common Challenges (and Their Solutions) in Legal Content Marketing. Try as we may to design tailored user flows, the user experience of any site is going to run into unexpected use cases once the site goes live. In a 2012 consumer behavior report , Harvard Business Review reported that almost two-thirds of brand “loyalists” remain so primarily because they feel shared values with a brand. Just for fun, I went back and tried the ZIP code for a couple of towns in upstate New York. For interviews and true stories about brands that have seen success with this approach to UX, check out our nascent, ongoing Friction-Free blog series. Put simply, personalization is the ability or process of leveraging what we know about audiences to 1) talk to consumers like we know them and 2) deliver customized experiences to users. Sure enough, I was served testimonials from customers in New York state. VentureBeat and Adobe have both also released stats regarding the sort of across-the-board engagement lifts that brands tend to see with personalization. Personalization as such a tactic can create a customized first impression that captures visitor interests and lowers bounce rates. This can range from presenting a user with location-specific content to customizing your homepage’s messaging based on the search terms a visitor used to find your site in the first place. (Hence why our strategy team’s mantra is, “Talk to me like you know me.”). With personalized marketing, you have amazing opportunities to start building strong relations with your prospects – seemingly, before you even know anything about them.Some aspects of personalized marketing are so clever, they can seem like magic to the untrained Web visitor. If you’re from the Greater Boston Area, you probably reacted the same way I did. Sungevity is just one example of companies using personalized marketing, and the example above highlights the overarching concepts and value behind a trend that has taken on new meaning and importance in recent years. While personalization is a tool that Sungevity uses in the company’s selling process, for others, it is more central to their product offering (think of your Netflix and Facebook feeds, both of which give the impression of being effortlessly tailored to your tastes). At one point, I used a ZIP code where the company doesn’t deliver, and I was instead served a CTA (call to action) to become a “Solar Advocate.” Well played, Sungevity. A successful personalization campaign involves learning, creating, delivering, and testing the right content for the right person at the right time and place on your website or digital experience. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch—as much as the rhetoric out there would lead you to believe. Gives a face to your business. In short, the company’s site has implemented personalization. When site activities like pages per visit, bounce rates, and time on site impact your revenue pipeline, selecting the right tactic to implement can make all the difference. This helps reduce the small friction points along the way that can make or break how long a user spends on a site, and whether or not he ultimately converts. In addition to gathering info on users’ context when they first land on your site, a personalization program can further refine experiences as the users continue to navigate and explore the site. With these kinds of numbers, it’s hard to argue against the value of a great first impression. In addition to the specific metrics mentioned under Benefit #2 above, ensuring a frictionless digital experience for users across touchpoints can contribute to moving the needle on big-picture goals as well– traction, Net Promoter Scores, brand engagement, and more. Increase Brand Affinity. Having an integrated layer of personalization technology running on top of your content management system (CMS) allows your site to collect implicit and explicit information about your users. Not only is a personalization tool able to talk to users in a variety of ways, it is also a great listener. With the data captured through your personalization tool, the now-dynamic site can determine which content to serve each visitor—even if it’s her first time on the site. Watertown, nice–that’s just two towns over. Personalized marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful trends in the online world. Though less tangible, another important reason to invest in personalization …

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