Don't Underestimate Personalization — It's More Than a Feature, It's a Strategy
By Lee Pittman
Most brands today are well aware of the importance of personalization. If they aren’t, then their customers are letting them know. Around 49% of customers will become repeat buyers if they receive a personalized shopping experience. So it’s clear that personalization can hugely impact customer retention and improve the bottom line.
But personalized content doesn’t happen because your chosen CMS has personalization capabilities. Personalization comes from a deeper strategy that results in content being produced at scale and stored as ready-to-serve content blocks.
So whether you opt for personalization through Sitecore or personalization through dotCMS or any other CMS for that matter, you’ll still need to do some heavy lifting.
What does that heavy lifting look like? This article will let you know what you need to do to get your personalization strategy right.
Establish a Content Operations Workflow
The first step in implementing a personalization strategy is to have your content operations in order. Content operations refer to the people, processes, and technologies involved in planning, creating, and publishing content.
Getting your content operations in place starts with having a documented content strategy. The content strategy acts as a roadmap you can always refer to when unsure what type of content is required.
Next, focus on building a content team. You need to identify the required roles and the size of the team. The answers to these questions will depend on the amount of content you think you’ll need to adequately personalize experiences persona-by-persona.
As the final step of establishing content operations, you’ll need to identify and resolve content creation, production, and publishing bottlenecks, particularly on channels outside the company website or blog. For example, how can you effectively enable newsletter personalization beyond just the simple inclusion of the customer’s name, and what’s currently preventing you from doing that?
Break Down Content Silos
Another crucial step in executing a personalization strategy is breaking down content silos that make it difficult for everyone within the organization to access the content.
For instance, most companies may find that they store content across an array of platforms, from Google Drive and the CMS to Canva, Dropbox, and the local drives on an employee’s computer.
To make matters worse, different team members may prefer to work on content in different environments. Some content authors may want to work directly in the CMS; others prefer Google Docs, and others might like to use Microsoft Word on their desktops. And that’s just the written content, which doesn’t include the UX designs, images, videos, and other content assets crucial for creating an omnichannel customer experience.
Unfortunately, all of this creates content silos that cut content off from team members and departments without access to certain folders or user accounts. Content gets lost or forgotten, leading to duplication and mismatched messaging and branding across the customer experience.
However, by unifying where content is stored, collaborated on, and published, content teams will have a far more straightforward job. Establishing a central content hub where everyone knows the content available and how to access it is crucial for breaking down these silos and implementing a personalization strategy.
Own Your Content Lifecycle
Once content operations have been established and silos eliminated, organizations can own the content lifecycle.
The content lifecycle includes ideation, planning, production, editing, approvals, publishing, and measuring results. The content team should have complete control and visibility over each step in this lifecycle as it comes full circle, with the results informing the ideation process.
Organizations must identify the bottlenecks at each stage if full visibility isn’t possible. Knowing which steps are the slowest enables content teams to create a plan for fixing them. For example, if the existing content workflows create bottlenecks at the editing or approval stages.
Implement Content Modeling for Modularity and Reusability
If your brand doesn’t already use content modeling to manage content across multiple channels more easily, then it’s time to introduce it.
Content modeling is necessary for documenting the different types of content a brand publishes and how those different content pieces relate to each other. It provides the benefits of modular content that can be deconstructed and reconstructed to suit different channels or interfaces that support customer interactions.
Organizations can enjoy more reusability with their content thanks to content modeling. This makes it easier for content teams to launch new experiences or landing pages since there’s a library of pre-approved content.
Content modeling enables brands to create a centralized hub of approved stock images, boilerplates, page templates, headlines, and more, removing the need to get approval again. Branding maintains its consistency, and content creators can focus their time and energy on new content or experiences.
The Right CMS Can Aid Personalization, But It Can’t Solve It
A robust CMS with the right features and the ability to integrate with more advanced tools can help brands improve their existing personalization strategies. However, these organizations must first have a personalization strategy in place.
A personalization strategy should focus on creating content at scale, building reusable content blocks, and getting the entire content lifecycle, from ideation to analytics, under full control.
Content Bloom offers extensive support in establishing a personalization strategy with our wide array of digital marketing services. As an enterprise digital consultancy that weaves creativity, data, technology, and digital trends together to deliver the best experience for our customers, we know exactly what you need to create a personalization strategy that works.
Our holistic digital marketing approach is supported by our expertise with leading Martech solutions, including CMS platforms like dotCMS, Sitecore and Adobe. With an established strategy and the right supporting tools, brands can finally deliver the personalized experiences that their customers crave. Thus creating a connected experience that spans not just the website or email but the entire customer journey.
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