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What Acquia.com is doing with Acquia Lift

I have been using Acquia Lift on acquia.com since the beginning days of the product, and over the years I’ve fallen in and out of love with personalization. Part of the reason for fluctuating feelings on personalization is because, simply put, personalization is hard. It’s less about the tools you are using to do personalization and mostly to do with resources, strategy and maintenance of your campaigns. It is easy to get excited about personalization but actually implementing it successfully it isn’t always that simple.

Crawl, walk, run

Starting small is very important and this is where I’ve failed in the past. The biggest lesson I’ve learned working with Acquia Lift is to pick one type of campaign and make it successful before you go too deep on other options.

The starting point for us this past year was industries (formally verticals). We took our top 3 best performing industries and decided to personalize one section of our homepage. We didn’t do this on multiple pages or try and cover every industry we support but focus on the key ones that are driving traffic to our site and on the top page of our site. Another lesson we kept in mind was that this type of test isn’t something that you run for only a short period of time then stop: personalization is the long haul. If people are clicking through these assets we’re serving up through our personalization efforts, then we will want to keep this running indefinitely.

After we had run the industry campaign running for a while, we took our next step which was to create a campaign that hooks into our Marketo connector. Since the Marketo connector can grab data from Marketo our marketing automation platform to show different content to known users, we decided to use this on our newsletter signup block in our footer. If you have already signed up for our newsletter and the system recognizes, you then you will see the next upcoming webinar in that spot instead. This allowed us to get more content featured across our site and be a bit smarter about our known visitors.

Next, we decided to create a campaign by buyers stage in our life cycle. What this means is we looked at our buyers profile and came up with three lifecycle stages; education, solution and vendor selection. We then went through and tagged all of our resources by these stages and once that was done we used these stages on our product pages. At the bottom of each of our product pages we have a resource section which grabs the most recent resources tagged by product and displays them. While this gives good visibility into new content is does not necessarily display the content you need to help you take the next step with our business. With Acquia Lift we were able to recreate these resources views with very complex options to display content which aligned to the buyer stage as well. We made some decisions based on behavioral patterns; for example, if a visitor were to view education content three or more times we made the assumption that that visitor was in the education phase and we would then display additional education content, filtered by that product. We applied this methodology to the other stages as well. This does three important things for us; it keeps the page fresh, brings older -- but still great -- content to the forefront for the visitor and it gives the user the most relevant content for them at that time.
Default resource listing:
default lift listing

Customized tagging listing:
tagged lift listing

This campaign for us has been by far the most complicated but we expect that it will have the biggest pay off. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without having created those previous campaigns first to really get a grasp on what was needed to make personalization successful on acquia.com. Personalization is a process and needs to be thought about and taken slowly. Reviewing your data is also a ton of time so don’t overlook the campaigns once you start them. Enjoy this process and do it right.

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