Websites today are still often a one-size-fits-all communication channel. In an era where consumers expect (hyper)relevancy, this is difficult to fathom. Organizations do understand the importance of personalization, but they just don’t know how to make it happen.
Defining objectives for personalization will help you define priorities, yet it is equally important to define the WHY for your personalization efforts. It will establish what will make your personalized content relevant for your targeted audiences. Personalization requires a lot of effort, so you want to make sure that it pays off.
In B2B for instance, you want to understand the needs of buyers versus end-users of the offered products. They may be interested by the same product, but the information they want about that product will be different – the buyer will look for pricing, conditions, warranties, whilst the latter searches for product specifications, user manuals etc. With this kind of information, you can start adapting the hierarchy of information on a product detail page, depending on one’s role or on a segment.
Even when you have tons of data and you have a vision on how to use this in personalization scenarios, start small. Personalization is not an exact science, therefore it is crucial to validate the hypotheses you may have – one after another – before you start investing in elaborate tools or setting up complex variations.
"Only 25% of Belgian companies claim to apply personalization on their website."
In order to make the case for personalization, it is important to establish before you start how you will measure the impact of personalization: how will I differentiate users that have been exposed to personalized content from the others? Is it enough to measure short-term impact, like better conversion rates?
In any case, don’t be discouraged if your first experiment doesn’t pay off. Iterate, refine or even throw it away and start all with a new hypothesis. Expand only when you start seeing result.