Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2016 Panel: Content Personalization

I was recently lucky enough to attend the Gilbane Digital Conference Content, and was asked to speak on the Content Experts Panel. The conference was a great place for in-depth discussions with experts who are passionate about digital content, speaking from a multitude of different channels and perspectives. Everyone who attended walked away with new ideas and thoughts on what to do next for their digital content efforts. As this was such a valuable experience, I’d like to share with you an overview of my part of the discussion, on content personalization. 

I decided to tackle the idea of whether content personalization is fact or fiction, if businesses are actually making use of content personalization, what technologies are required and what effort it takes to implement it.  I also discussed how technology has evolved to make it worth the investment in your content marketing efforts.

Content Personalization - Fact or Fiction?

Content personalization is fact, and numerous companies are using it.  The most obvious leaders in this realm are larger organizations such as Amazon and Netflix. These companies have led the charge in getting consumers accustomed to receiving personalized content based on their online interactions, and as this practice has continued to grow, customers are now expecting personalized content specific to them delivered more often, if not all the time.

eMarketer put together this chart demonstrating current approaches to personalized marketing:

What Technologies are Required to Make Use of Content Personalization?

This is a tough question to answer directly, as it does depend on your infrastructure. Bearing in mind the current trending discussions about “headless” CMS platforms, you can find content personalization technology in CMS systems, in third party standalone systems that are integrated with your CMS, and in multifaceted systems such as A/B testing platforms, such as Optimizely. Analytics, and a method of profiling your users’ behaviors or interactions online, are must-haves, so that your personalized content is delivered based on the past interactions of your visitors.

How Much Effort Does it Take to Implement Content Personalization, and Is It Worth it for Me?

Technology has evolved tremendously over the years in regards to content personalization. The early efforts to personalize content were technically involved; custom programming was necessary and an IT team would have been involved in the project.  Over time, that effort moved from IT to Marketing, and for a short period this resulted in the development of Technical Marketer roles.

Today, content personalization can be managed by content authors themselves, often with approval from marketing staff, through work flow systems.  

We continue to see the technology evolve. We are now seeing Machine Learning and Big Data being used to implement automatic personalization decisions based on prebuilt engagement plans, and learning what converts best for that specific user, based on other similar users. 

Why Use Content Personalization?

People are drowning in information and options. Personalization reduces the amount of information and the number of options to help guide visitors through a funnel that’s designed just for them and their individual needs.

Ultimately, if you use content personalization to guide your customers towards what they want, they’re more likely to convert, and consider your brand one that makes the purchase process convenient and simple. 

To learn more about content personalization please contact to start a conversation about the benefits and methods that would be best for you.

About Author

Tim has been building, designing, and executing websites since 1999, and joined in 2009. His specialties include online e-commerce consulting, web and business marketing, and project management. With technical and creative savvy, Tim is a born entrepreneur & problem-solver. When not staring soulfully at Google Analytics, Tim enjoys roughing it Apple-free in the great outdoors.

Featured Posts