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Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

Hudson 03-28-16

Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

[ Edited ]

Hello Optiverse, 

 

I'm Hudson and I'm a strategy consultant here at Optimizely. I spend my time working with customers, partners, and internal folks working to evolve our understanding of what a best-in-class optimization organization is, and evangelizing the best practices that we discover alongside our customers and partners.  

 

I'm spending a lot of time these days trying to get a sense of what the ideal personalization program looks like, and I'd like to pick your brains and start a conversation around the opportunities and challenges that personalization presents. 

 

Questions for you to consider and share with the community:

  • Is your organization interested in personalization? Why or why not?
  • What potential risks or challenges do you see with personalization that are different from testing?
  • Are there any use cases that are particularly exciting to you?
  • How does integrating to other parts of the technology stack play into your strategy?
  • If you could have one question answered about personalization from a technology or strategy perspective, what would it be?

 

What else is on your mind?

 

Get us involved and lets plan a personalization strategy that works!

 

I'll be inviting the participation of my colleagues @anuj and @evan-weiss (Another strategy consultant and a technically oriented solutions engineer, respectively) to join us. 

 

And if you haven't already, check out the personalization strategy articles that I've co-authored, and let me know how they fit in to your perspective. 

 

Cheers,

Hudson

Optimizely

David77 03-30-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

cool

Level 1
robertchan 04-01-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

Is your organization interested in personalization? Why or why not? Yes, we are curious whether personalization would help optimize our site.
What potential risks or challenges do you see with personalization that are different from testing? Differentiating and categorizing data on both a global and local scale.
Are there any use cases that are particularly exciting to you? Using cookies to track users and build off of historical data.
How does integrating to other parts of the technology stack play into your strategy? Connecting our data to a backend would be great.
If you could have one question answered about personalization from a technology or strategy perspective, what would it be? To what extent can a user's information be stored and monitored?

What else is on your mind? Excitement about delving into personalization.
Robert Chan

Hudson 04-04-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

[ Edited ]

@robertchan check my questions & replies in bold

 

Is your organization interested in personalization? Why or why not?

 

Yes, we are curious whether personalization would help optimize our site.

 

 

What potential risks or challenges do you see with personalization that are different from testing?

 

Differentiating and categorizing data on both a global and local scale.

 

@robertchan Can you elaborate what you mean by differentiating and categorizing data? There are many ways, as input, as it pertains to process, and as an output you may measure or segment that we might use in a personalization program or single campaign. 

 

Are there any use cases that are particularly exciting to you?

 

Using cookies to track users and build off of historical data. What kind of historical data are you interested in using? Curious to know!

 

How does integrating to other parts of the technology stack play into your strategy?

Connecting our data to a backend would be great.

This is something we're very excited about being able to facilitate with technology and technical knowledge.

 

If you could have one question answered about personalization from a technology or strategy perspective, what would it be? To what extent can a user's information be stored and monitored?What else is on your mind? Excitement about delving into personalization.@robertchan

 

Robert shoot me a note if you're curious to learn more about Optimizely's personalization product. (hudson@optimizely.com)

 

 

 

 

Optimizely
leepearso 04-04-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

Is your organization interested in personalisation? Why or why not?
Yes as it should improve the customer experience. Plus there are examples of really successful sites amazon, netflix, booking.com ‘s which heavily focus on personalisation - they’re doing it for a reason.

What potential risks or challenges do you see with personalisation that are different from testing? Defining users correctly to get them into experiences that are useful or meaningful to them. Making sure they are in the most appropriate experience / the experience that drives the best conversion.

Are there any use cases that are particularly exciting to you?
The target example where you could learn what products someone might want, probably before they know themselves and market them at the right time - applied to online.

How does integrating to other parts of the technology stack play into your strategy?
Still working out how everything works together and the things you can do already without solving the entire issue of having data coming from multiple sources or the lack of a customer account or single place to keep it all.

If you could have one question answered about personalisation from a technology or strategy perspective, what would it be?
Why would optimizely be the right partner or provider for personalisation.
robertchan 04-04-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

@Hudson to elaborate, we're interested in data as output in terms of gaining insight for one into whether users will engage with certain campaigns we launch, and user engagement with certain website experiences (e.g. with specified ad delivery based on types of ads served).

Robert Chan

Hudson 04-08-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

[ Edited ]

@leepearso

My answers in bold. 

 

Q: Is your organization interested in personalisation? Why or why not?
A: Yes as it should improve the customer experience. Plus there are examples of really successful sites amazon, netflix, booking.com ‘s which heavily focus on personalisation - they’re doing it for a reason.


Q: What potential risks or challenges do you see with personalisation that are different from testing?

A: Defining users correctly to get them into experiences that are useful or meaningful to them. Making sure they are in the most appropriate experience / the experience that drives the best conversion.

 

We can't agree more. The twin problems of 'right audience' and 'right experience' are the crux of the challenge strategically. (of course, being able to take action and deploy/optimize experiences effectively based on technical signals is tremendous, but the Personalization platform like anything else will be valuable as the input is)

 

Audience definition is tricky business. I tend to think its a robust blend of left- and -right brain thinking. Here are a couple slides I've been using to discuss. 

actionable and big audiences.jpg

The first thing to consider is 'what makes an audience valuable' - it needs to affect a meaningfully large % of your site traffic (reach) and be actionable. 

qualitative audience research.jpg

Another critical step is qualitative research. Many orgs have formalized personas defined, or at least solid 'tribal knowledge' of the kind of distinctions that would make for effective segmentation strategy. Uncovering these in formalized discovery, along with an understanding of how technically feasible they may be, is essential to forming solid audiences. A key suggestion here is to experiment, not just in the creative execution of how you address these audiences, but in the strictness and nature in which they are defined. (ie., limit this to 'viewed product page views where price is between 50 and 75? or maybe just 50-100? Is it all products or products where category = women's? or category = women's shoes?)

quantitative audience research.jpg

Of course, quantitative analysis (behavioral and contextual segmentation in your analytics) is essential as well. These are some sample questions you'd want to 'ask of your data' before developing and iterating. 

 

The second part of your question is in getting the experience just right. That's where, unsurprisingly, AB testing will come in. Smart strategy, roadmapping, prioritization, and testing, at the level of individual campaigns targeting unique intersections of specific audiences/experiences. 

 

 

Consider this workflow...

test+13n flow ONE.jpg

test+p13n flow TWO.jpg

testin+p13n flw THREE.jpg

test+p13nflow FOUR.jpg

test+p13n flow FIVE.jpg

Etc, etc, etc.

 

Are there any use cases that are particularly exciting to you?
The target example where you could learn what products someone might want, probably before they know themselves and market them at the right time - applied to online.

 

Recommendations and machine learning are definitely important to the market, and we're hoping to share some exciting stuff in this area - sooner than later let's say. 

How does integrating to other parts of the technology stack play into your strategy?
Still working out how everything works together and the things you can do already without solving the entire issue of having data coming from multiple sources or the lack of a customer account or single place to keep it all.

 

I recommend you read our content on Dynamic Customer Profiles, which has some good explanation of known vs. unkown data sets and how to integrate the whole stack, and then the Personalization Strategy Essentials article, which breaks down a process that's pretty independent of whether you use only Optimizely's default targeting conditions with behavioral targeting vs. using integrations. 

If you could have one question answered about personalisation from a technology or strategy perspective, what would it be?
Why would optimizely be the right partner or provider for personalisation.

 

That's a good question, and I think we have a good answer but that answer depends on a lot of factors that may be unique to your organization. Feel free to drop me a line and I can get you in touch with some one to have that conversation. (hudson@optimizely.com)

Optimizely
Hudson 04-08-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

@robertchan I see. I think these questions may be very similar to those posed by @leepearso

 

Take a look at my response that talked about audience discovery methods. The slides on 'incorporating testing with personalization' may help, but I'd also add that before iteration, testing is essential to simply prove that a campaign is working or not. Hypothesis-driven testing will still be core for any successful personalization effort. 

Optimizely
robertchan 04-08-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

Great point, thanks for the insight!
Robert Chan

leepearso 04-12-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

Thanks Hudson, i'll take a look at the articles mentioned.

Mobila 04-20-16
 

Re: Personalization Strategy: Developing best practices for the industry and at your company

From my point of view, it is obvious that personalization is growing in popularity and users are certainly appreciating the tailored content.

Personalized content allows users to see information that is relevant to them, but at the same time, ensures that marketers are disseminating the right information, to the right audience, through the right medium.

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