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The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 3 of 6]

Picture of the author, Mary Clare Davis
By Mary Clare Davis
M01 3, 2018

Welcome to our six-part series on building a successful website personalization strategy. We will publish a new post each week. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates!

In the last post, we talked through setting goals for your personalization strategy. Next, we’ll describe how to choose personalization plays to meet your goals.

How will you solve your challenge?

Personalization plays are meaningful groupings of your web audience for the purpose of reaching your stated business goals. Let’s break this concept down further.

First, personalization plays define audiences both among and within your market segments. You may be wondering why we don’t just call personalization plays “segmentation.” With Daniel Yankelovich’s 1964 Havard Business Review piece, market segmentation became the foundation of marketing strategy. Moving the practice beyond basic demographic information such as age, sex, and income, Yankelovich created the norm of positioning each brand or product for specific need-based segments. While traditional segmentation certainly influences your personalization strategy, personalization plays are often characterized as groups within your defined market segments.

Next, personalization plays are specific to your web audience. Your web audience is unique in two important ways: 1) it represents people who are relatively in-market for your product or service and 2) it is 95% anonymous. Personalization plays must be developed with these concepts in mind.

Finally, personalization plays must point back to your stated business objective. For example, if your business goal is to close deals faster, role-based plays are probably more effective than industry-based plays. By nature, some plays work best for each top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, and bottom-of-funnel goals. Others, like account-based plays, apply throughout the funnel.

We’ve outlined the most common personalization plays our customers use to help solve their business challenges:

Personalization Plays

  • Industry and/or company size – Engage prospects or customers from key industries. Leverage existing industry-based content, tailor website messaging and feature relevant products by industry or company size.
  • Account – Engage prospects or customers from key accounts. Determine the optimal message for key accounts and direct those prospects to bespoke content.
  • Role – Engage key buying roles. Direct them to areas of the website most relevant to them and deliver persona-based messaging through their buyer’s journey.
  • Intent – Engage prospects based on offsite intent. Position the right product or deliver a stronger call to action for in-market visitors.
  • Geography – Engage prospects or customers from different geographies. Promote location-specific events, programs, or messaging.
  • Program engagement – Engage prospects or customers based on previous marketing interactions. Use activity from your marketing automation platform to determine what content or messaging to serve.

Each of these personalization plays support business objectives uniquely and require specific types of data to effectively implement.

personalization segmentation personalization plays

About the personalization strategy series

In this multi-part blog series, we’ll break down each of these five critical elements to building a website personalization strategy. In the next post, we’ll talk through determining how to target those prospects to engage them with your plays.

Download the eBook The Fundamentals of a Successful Website Personalization Strategy: The Focus Required to Earn Results to learn more!

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