6 Personalization Trends to Watch For

Jan 14, 2015

While personalization emerged as an untapped opportunity in recent years, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in adoption of personalization technologies. As media publishers, retailers, and marketers look to create powerful digital experiences, these are the six trends that will dominate the quest to capitalize on personalization.

1. Dynamic Optimization

As Conversion rate optimization matures, marketers are discovering the limitations of both A/B testing and its more sophisticated multivariate cousin. Both methodologies test page variations, identifying a single “winner.” Marketing technologies are evolving to incorporate dynamic optimization that can identify several winning variations automatically. Each dynamically optimized variation matches a distinct customer persona, enabling marketers to achieve unprecedented uplifts in conversions.

2. Focus on Mobile

While we witness mobile traffic overtake desktop traffic, mobile conversions are still lagging far behind. To target both smartphone and tablet users, marketers are going beyond simply delivering the same desktop content to a smaller screen. This means leveraging location-based services to target customers when and where they are most likely to buy. This also means redesigning desktop ‘clickstream’ (the path a user clicks through to reach a desired goal) into mobile ‘tapstream,’ making it easier for mobile customers to browse, read, and buy from any device.

3. Off-Site Content Optimization

While most marketers tend to associate personalization with email and tailored content, the opportunity (and challenge) reaches far beyond native properties. The new generation of personalization solutions will reach into off-site ad campaigns and traffic sources, matching display or PPC creatives to on-site content segmentation.

4. Mainstream Adoption of Hyper-Personalization

As automated personalization and 1-to-1 messaging become more accessible, marketers are learning to leverage existing data to focus on engagement opportunities that could not have been otherwise identified.  Anonymous visitors and logged-in users will discover increasingly relevant experiences on many more websites.

Already, no two people are seeing the exact same content on a given site. Personalization engines can aggregate device type, time, geo-location, and browsing history to serve up the best performing content to thousands of audience segments. As a result, improved access to data, predictive analytics, and actionable insights will ultimately deliver unprecedented uplifts in engagement, conversions, and revenue.

5. Tying Online and Offline Data Together

New and traditional media campaigns are already converging. As the trend deepens, what was once managed separately will become two complimentary channels that cross-pollinate a single marketing strategy. Whether you’re an online retailer or a magazine publisher, you still need to target customers wherever and whenever it works – across online and offline media properties.

6. Technology Consolidation

As the challenge of personalization becomes more complex, requiring more data and moving parts to work together, marketers will gravitate to solutions that can integrate targeting requirements into a single platform. This means digital retailers and media publishers will seek to maximize their marketing technology budget on one system that can deliver a comprehensive solution.

Conclusion

While the technologies and consumer demands driving these trends have been around for a while, we expect this year will be a tipping point for personalization – especially in online retail and digital publishing verticals. Although some organizations can afford to develop these capabilities internally, most enterprises will opt to buy personalization and conversion optimization solutions rather than building the technology from scratch. To move quickly, marketers will need to focus on control, ease of use, and comprehensiveness when selecting a personalization solution that can meet and exceed their goals.

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