Bound Blog

What Personalization and Candy Shopping Have in Common

Picture of the author, Jessica Cameron
By Jessica Cameron
M02 18, 2021

We all know the best part of February is AFTER Valentine’s Day when all the candy goes on sale, so cheers to candy discounts! What you may not know, and probably have never thought about, is how similar candy shopping is to planning your personalization strategy.

Hear me out. Most marketers are well versed on the impact of personalization (such as engaging view-through visitors, increasing key goal conversions, and reducing bounce rates, to name a few) but struggle with how to personalize. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re facing aisles and aisles of candy options. The key to both candy buying and starting personalization is to identify and narrow your scope. 

Think about it this way. Your default piece of content is like buying a large, mixed bag of candy: you hope that there is something that everyone will enjoy, but know there are going to be some people who don’t like anything in the bag. Ideally, we would buy every single person their favorite candy (or serve their ideal content), but the limitations of budget, creative resources, and shelf space will always be a reality.  Setting a scope gives us a place to start with targeting so we can better buy the right candy. 

The next step comes in figuring out who those groups are. 

First, I would recommend identifying any niche interest groups. Maybe your spouse is one of those rare individuals that likes candy hearts and hates chocolate. Conversation hearts are only available this time of year, so you definitely want to stock up! Niche-interest visitors who aren’t likely to enjoy the same default content as everyone else are the perfect candidate for personalization. These small but high value groups may be disengaged from your site’s default content, making this the perfect opportunity to speak directly to their heart with a personalized message. 

Next, try and find your largest audiences with something in common. Maybe in your house all your children love peanuts and chocolate. It’s fairly easy to find one type of candy (I’d go for Reese’s myself) that they all enjoy. In many cases, your large groups with similar interests will be based on geo. Try to take a wider view and see how you can still organize these groups into larger buckets. Some examples would be:

  • Grouping together by drive range (in market, short drive, fly markets)
  • Grouping together by region (southeast, northwest, midwest)
  • Grouping together by regional features, especially as related to what your destination has to offer (beach state, lake-beaches only, no near beach)

Geo-targeting is not only an excellent starter strategy because you can pretty easily create these wider groups, but also because geo-targeted homepage visits continue to see some of the highest homepage hero CTRs for DMOs. 

Lastly, check if you have any visitor groups for whom your default messaging absolutely doesn’t work. In our candy scenario, that would be like buying only red heart lollipops when your grandmother’s allergic to red food dye – better have a backup option! For websites, this varies based on what your default content is, but some examples are:

  • Promoting goal content to visitors who have recently completed that goal
  • Using language that doesn’t apply to them, such as highlighting “travel deals” to visitors already in the region
  • Repeatedly showing content that they have already engaged with when there’s no new information or new call to action

Once you know the main groups you want to start targeting, it’s easy peasy to serve content related to their interests so they can chow down and better enjoy their website experience. 

Ready to start thinking through your personalization strategy or want to share your favorite candy? Contact us today!

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