3 Essential Elements for Personalization Success

By ​Jonathan Duch

December 5, 2017

On a recent webinar, Laura Vittori, co-founder TWOpointO Consulting, explained that personalization is a journey. We couldn’t agree more. Not only is it a journey, but one that’s totally worth taking. Personalization increases conversions, cements loyalty and improves overall customer satisfaction.

In the presentation, Laura outlined three essential elements each personalization program should consider.

#1 Strategy

Personalization is a strategy, not a tactic. To begin, she advises you to start with an evaluation of your existing program's maturity and then document an intentional plan.

  • Be intentional - Laura’s guiding principle is to use personalization to solve specific customer needs. For example, make your website easier to navigate, or your products easier to find. Whatever aspect of customer interaction you are enhancing, use changes to simplify the customer’s experience.  
  • Document your plan - Create written records that show where you are in your journey, your objectives, your financial goals, the team you'll need, and some of the basic tactics that you'll use. This document will guide your evolution and will ensure you don't get distracted along the way.

#2 Resources

Laura points out that you likely already have people doing a lot of work publishing content on your website so you can deploy personalization programs with the same team you have in place.

At the beginning of the process, you may need someone to champion the implementation. But in the long run, she advises that personalization shouldn't be owned by one person or even a small group of people because personalization is a strategy that permeates the entire organization.  

  • Identify who you need early in the process. A personalization program usually requires support from many groups in your organization, from ecommerce to creative and IT.
  • Find an executive sponsor. An executive sponsor will ensure that the personalization strategy is aligned with the other priorities within the company.

#3 Technology

While you don’t need perfect data, Laura cautions against taking too many shortcuts.

  • Start with what you have. The good news is that you can start with the data you already have. Any company with a working commerce site is probably collecting behavioral, contextual, and historical data. As you move up in your maturity curve, you will integrate other data sources to support more sophisticated personalization.
  • Pick a forward-looking technology partner. Meet with vendors, understand their capabilities, and partner with one that gives you ideas of how and where you can execute personalization. They'll provide expertise, but also support when you need to troubleshoot on solutions.

Ready to learn more? Watch the webinar today for more great tips or read 13 Questions to Ask Personalization Vendors.

Jonathan Duch is the Product Communication Czar for Monetate, where he oversees and directs cross-departmental product launches. Jonathan is a 10-year veteran of marketing technology software, and has pursued a career that has taken him from the US, to Europe, to Southeast Asia, and back again. He currently lives in the Washington, DC area with his wonderful wife, and can often be found running the local trails, or sailing in the Potomac River.

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