This is part two of a five-part blog series on personalization.
Personalization is a top priority for businesses today, regardless of industry. To make sure that any personalization program within your organization is a glowing success, it must be aligned with the company’s larger vision and strategic goals. Without this alignment, the reason for implementing a personalization program in the first place can get lost, and personalization can do as much harm as good.
The danger lies in optimizing toward a minor objective, such as increasing clicks on your website, because that type of strategy has the potential to cannibalize more important goals, such as increasing customer satisfaction or customer lifetime value. A perfect example of this is “click-baiting.” Sensationalist headlines—“You’ll Never Guess What This Digital Marketer Posted on Her Company Blog!—entice someone to click an article, but the actual content may or may not be relevant to the end user. And even if the article is on target, chances are it’s not nearly as exciting as the headline would suggest. While this practice will most likely increase clicks, it is just as likely to mislead and frustrate the visitor. In contrast, using Affinity Audiences in Google Analytics to determine what additional article topics your audience might be interested in helps you create content that’s better received. Paired with the right metrics (for example, retention or churn), this can ensure that your personalization tactics have a positive effect on the bottom line.
But achieving all of the milestones laid out by your organization is more complex than just providing personalized content. To reach them, you need to look at the entire process that leads up to reaching your business goals. What strategic initiatives need to be in place? What projects will best showcase those initiatives? What tactics will make those projects successful? And how will it all be measured and evaluated to ensure that the right decisions are being made? Let’s break it down:
At the highest level of the organization are a small number of business goals, which are established at the C-level and communicated throughout the organization. Business goals are usually instituted as part of an annual or multi-year plan. In a typical for-profit organization, increasing revenue is the most obvious business goal. More detailed goals may include:
- Reduce costs by 20 percent
- Increase brand awareness by 20 percent
- Increase overall customer satisfaction rating to 95 percent
It is critical that these overarching business goals have a clear way to be measured and that the measurements are linked to the various systems used to drive personalization. As mentioned before, without proper measurement of high-level business goals, optimizations can easily go astray. Business goals should be top of mind when going through the shorter cycles listed below.