Making it Personal

Suc­cess­ful consumer tar­get­ing is about get­ting per­sonal and matchmaking—identifying the right con­tent for the right user while gen­er­at­ing the high­est returns. It’s impor­tant to make sure you’re learn­ing as much as possible about your visitors’ preferences and purchasing decisions, use that knowl­edge effec­tively, and give users the best pos­si­ble expe­ri­ence. This requires con­sid­er­ing three essen­tial topics:

Glean meaningful insights from data

For any tar­get­ing solu­tion to be effec­tive, you need rich data—it’s the raw mate­r­ial for pow­er­ing cre­ative expe­ri­ences and mak­ing smart deci­sions. In addi­tion to user infor­ma­tion col­lected through online inter­ac­tions, data from cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) soft­ware and other enter­prise sys­tems can enrich user pro­files and enable bet­ter pre­dic­tive deci­sions about a cus­tomer. Ide­ally, any tar­get­ing sys­tem you adopt will incor­po­rate data from sev­eral key sys­tems to enable more tai­lored and rel­e­vant tar­get­ing, with­out com­pli­cated and time-consuming data integrations.

Implement robust rules-based and auto­mated behav­ioral tar­get­ing tools.

To make the best deci­sions and dis­play the right con­tent to the right user at the right time, many dif­fer­ent attrib­utes must be con­sid­ered: What ZIP code is the user from? When did they last visit the site? How many times have they vis­ited? Have they pur­chased something from the company pre­vi­ously? What did they pur­chase? Did they aban­don their online shop­ping cart and come back to the site later, or make the pur­chase in a store? The more attrib­utes that can be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion together (not in iso­la­tion), the more accu­rate tar­get­ing is likely to be.

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Mar­keters need a sys­tem that will allow them to express their intent through rules, as well as make auto­mated pre­dic­tive deci­sions to achieve desired out­comes. Auto­mated sys­tems also enable your efforts to scale beyond what is pos­si­ble with a man­ual sys­tem. When mar­keters want to write their own rules, look for a solu­tion that makes the process easy with a flex­i­ble and com­pre­hen­sive tar­get­ing query language.

Act on real-time results.

The abil­ity to mea­sure the results of the test or tar­get­ing cam­paign in real-time is cru­cial. This first allows you to ensure every­thing is run­ning cor­rectly when you first launch the cam­paign, and later enables your team to fully under­stand what hap­pened and how each unique seg­ment inter­acted with the changes made. Data should show up in minutes—not hours or days—so you can quickly make deci­sions. Look for sim­ple views to under­stand how the cam­paign affected engage­ment, con­ver­sion, and rev­enue. Be care­ful of sim­pli­fied engagement—someone inter­act­ing with any part of the page should not be con­sid­ered suc­cess.  Instead, track clicks, page views, and time on the site. Finally, make sure you can eas­ily view how dif­fer­ent defined seg­ments per­formed. This way you can ensure you are select­ing the best result per user group, rather than just one win­ner for your whole dig­i­tal experience.

Successful targeting is just a few simple steps away with the right strategies and tools in place. At its core, targeting comes down to just “making it personal.”

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