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How To Build a Personalization Dream Team

April 17, 2015 4 minute read
Brands that have effectively implemented personalization strategies are seeing anywhere from a 7.8 percent increase to a 21 percent increase in conversions.
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Customers expect a personalized shopping experience, and leading retailers who’ve incorporated personalization are reaping huge benefits. In fact, brands that have effectively implemented personalization strategies are seeing anywhere from a 7.8 percent increase to a 21 percent increase in conversions.

Done right, personalization can pay major dividends, but to implement a personalization strategy that will create the greatest returns, you need to start with a strong foundation: Your team. From C-level executives to technical executioners, you’ll need the right people on your side. Here's how to build your own personalization dream team.

C-Level Executives

You will need two key C-level executives to collaborate with you on the personalization project for your company. The first is the lead marketing executive -- typically the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or Marketing Director -- and the second is the lead technology executive, whether that be the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the Technology Director.

The CMO will develop a company personalization strategy that aligns business objectives with marketing projects. By defining key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success, the CMO defines expected outcomes and collaborates with the CIO to implement the personalization strategy.

Based on the personalization strategy developed by the CMO, the Technology Director creates a personalization framework. This framework assesses possible technologies that will help the project meet business objectives and realize expected outcomes.

Decision Makers

Business Decisions Makers include the marketing folks -- Product Marketing Managers and Digital Marketers -- who are part of most business teams. In addition to bringing these business decision makers on board to your personalization team, you may also want to bring on Audience Marketing Managers.

This group of individuals will develop marketing campaigns which execute on the personalization strategy developed by the CMO. They will define the hypothesis for each campaign, develop tactics within those campaigns and select the appropriate KPIs. Additionally, your business decision makers will collect assets to be used for each campaign's tactics.

The two key roles for Information Technology Decision Makers are Solution Architects and Business Analysts. These contributors will develop a data model based on the personalization strategy and business objectives from the framework created by the CIO. They will also create a technical roadmap for integration points, featuring additional marketing tools, reporting, offline tools, and any other technology requirements of the personalization framework.


Execution Marketers are the folks on the ground level, getting intimate with brand content, customers, and how the personalization strategy is deployed. The team of execution marketers includes content marketers, publishers, asset managers, agency partners, and offline managers.

Together, this group builds campaigns and tactics within the available tool sets. They assign appropriate assets to each campaign tactic and assess the success of tactics and campaigns using the predefined KPIs. This group will review data and make suggestions for additional tactics based on the performance of past campaigns. Best practices will also be documented by this team as they are found through tactical execution so that they can be reviewed and improved through iteration.

Technical executioners include Developers, Technical Managers, Technical Publishers and Business Analysts. These team members will install modules, integrate blocks and personalized fields into the site's information architecture, and develop additional tools and plugins. Additionally, this group is responsible for troubleshooting any incompatibilities with libraries and the existing site. This includes adjustments to any front-end display that does not render properly.

Your Personalization Dream Team

Ideally you’ll have one or two folks from each of these groups on your team. Smaller organizations can get by with one at each level, while larger organizations might want to consider a more robust personalization payroll. While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to hire each of these positions, it’s a nice dream, right?! Bringing this team together around one shared personalization goal is the key. Once you’ve aligned your internal organization, let the personalization begin!

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