Evergage Blog

Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization
Katie Sweet

About Katie Sweet

Katie is content marketing manager at Evergage, focused on crafting relevant content and maintaining the Evergage blog. When Katie isn’t meeting challenging deadlines, chasing blog contributors, and driving content at Evergage, she is constantly reading, homebrewing, traveling, and trying adventurous foods.

96% of Marketers Agree that Personalization Advances Customer Relationships [Infographic]

There is a lot of data out there telling us that consumers expect personalized experiences. For example, Infosys found that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. According to Forrester, 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. With all this information about how consumers feel about personalization, how do marketers feel about it? That’s what we set out to uncover in our annual personalization survey. This week we launched our findings in our report, “2017 Trends in Personalization,” produced in conjunction with Researchscape International, which examines marketers’ attitudes, usage, results and future plans relating to personalization. The report is based on a survey of 206 B2B and B2C marketers from organizations of different sizes and industries. Check out some of the key findings in [...]

Why E-Commerce Merchandisers Should Care About Personalization

These days, consumers expect personalized digital experiences. Forrester found that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. And according to Infosys, 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decisions. When many think about e-commerce personalization, they think about product recommendations. If you’re a merchandiser, you and your team have probably already invested in product recommendations for your e-commerce site. But how personal are those recommendations? Are they unique to each person’s individual preferences? Do you feel you have control over them? And have you considered what other aspects of your site you can personalize beyond product recommendations? Your search bar, search results, site navigation, homepage experience, and more can all be personalized with machine-learning algorithms. With that in mind, how much of your site can you [...]

How One Retailer Leverages Shopper Intent Across Its Site

Many retailers are familiar with this challenge: You have a diverse assortment of products on your site that cater to different audiences. You want to promote a specific category of products across the site, but you worry that if a visitor who doesn’t care about that category sees these promotions, she may decide that your site doesn’t interest her and move on to another site. Beyond traditional product recommendations, how can a retailer pick the right information to display on its site to appeal to as many visitors as possible? This was the situation for Shoeline.com, a leading online shoe retailer. The Situation When Shoeline first began its journey with personalization, it primarily focused on capturing email addresses and offering incentives to visitors based on referral source. These campaigns were driven by rules and delivered through simple, yet effective, pop-up [...]

What Adobe Doesn’t Want You To Know About Real-Time Personalization

According to Kristin Lemkau, CMO of JPMorgan Chase, “Achieving personalization at scale is the biggest and most important challenge for us to get right.” Her point is one that I think many marketers will agree with: these days, if marketers aren’t leveraging personalization, it’s not because they haven’t identified the business need for it. Instead, many marketers are struggling to execute a one-to-one strategy effectively, and at scale. That’s because, realistically, a one-to-one marketing strategy is not easy to achieve. There are a lot of moving parts. From understanding each person, responding with something relevant across their full experience with your company across multiple touchpoints, analyzing metrics and results, and iterating and operating efficiently, there are many opportunities for something to go wrong. Facing these personalization challenges, marketers can only be as powerful as their technology. Adobe is one of [...]

4 Ways to Use Personalization on Your Media or Entertainment Site

As a marketer in the media, publishing or entertainment industry, you know how important your website is for your business. You likely have a sizable budget to drive traffic to your website in the hopes that you can either gain page views to earn ad revenue, or convert visitors into paying customers, or both. Many of your marketing tactics are focused on driving those page views and conversions. Personalization allows you to transform a one-size-fits-all content site into a responsive digital property that caters to each and every individual based on his or her behavior, attributes, interests and preferences. It helps you to capture attention in a cluttered media environment and develop stronger relationships with your visitors. Here are some ideas for using personalization to advance some of your major goals on your site. Provide Easy Access to Relevant Content [...]

Tips for Planning and Executing Your Personalization Strategy

Getting started with personalization can often be overwhelming for many marketers. Smaller organizations may feel that they lack the resources they need to be effective. Larger organizations may feel that they don’t have the right process in place to operationalize personalization within their companies. It’s important for companies of all sizes to understand that there is no one single way to get started with personalization. Some companies prefer to jump right in, achieve a few quick wins, and then begin developing a longer-term strategy. Others prefer to put in more work upfront to make personalization a core piece of the customer experience from the beginning. Your approach completely depends on the needs and resources of your organization. There are, however, guidelines and best practices that will help your team be more effective and efficient no matter what approach you choose. [...]

Machine-Learning Personalization Across the E-Commerce Site [Infographic]

When thinking about e-commerce personalization, product recommendations are often the first thing to come to mind. One-to-one product recommendations are incredibly important to any retail site, but they are only one small piece of a personalized experience. Anything from featured brands and categories, site navigation, search results, and more can be personalized using a combination of machine-learning algorithms and rule-based personalization.   To implement personalization across the site, rather than in just a few predetermined slots on the homepage and PDPs, marketers must make personalization a fundamental component of their e-commerce strategies. Use this infographic to give you some ideas to get started.   Machine Learning for E-Commerce Examples Let’s take a look at a few examples. Brand recommendations Not all recommendations are for products. Any place on your website that promotes specific brands can be personalized for individual preferences [...]

Personalization Stats and Trends

Last spring, in conjunction with Researchscape International, we released our annual report examining marketers’ perceptions, usage levels and future plans around personalization in 2016. Now we’re running a new survey this year to understand how personalization practices and attitudes have evolved over the last year. We’d like to invite you to participate in the survey and benefit from the findings! The survey will take about 5 minutes to complete, and when you include your valid business email address, you will receive early access to our final report. All respondents will also be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Fitbit fitness watch. You don’t need to be doing personalization currently, by the way — the only qualification is that you are a marketer or involved in your company’s digital marketing or e-commerce efforts. Here’s a quick recap of what we learned [...]

The Marketer’s Guide to Machine-Learning vs. Rule-Based Personalization

Whether you’re just getting started with personalization or you’re an experienced pro, you’re probably familiar with the two key ways to implement personalization across your digital channels: rules and machine-learning algorithms. One approach is not inherently better than the other. Rather, they each have their strengths, weaknesses and ideal use cases. A strong personalization program makes the best use of each of these approaches. Let’s describe them each in a little more detail. A Real World Analogy To illustrate, we can draw a parallel to the real world. Let’s say you have a receptionist and there’s some important information you want him to convey to employees when they enter the office. Specifically, you have a few messages for him to share with some individuals today: “When the CFO comes in, tell her she needs to dial in to this meeting as [...]

How One Tech Company Personalized Its Site Navigation to Improve Conversions

It’s a common challenge for B2B companies — you target multiple different audiences, how can you ensure your website resonates with each one? How can you catch the attention of each visitor and show each one that your company and products meet their specific needs? If you focus on just one group, you risk being completely irrelevant to the needs of the rest of your visitors. If you try to serve all of them equally, your specific message for each audience could get lost.   This is the same situation that Dyn, a cloud-based internet performance management company, found itself in. The Situation Dyn has two major product categories targeted to two different audiences: enterprise and small business/consumer. Enterprise audiences are encouraged to fill out a form on the website to speak with a salesperson, while small business/consumer audiences are able [...]

4 Must-Have Components of Cross-Channel Personalization

Cross-channel marketing is the holy grail for most marketers. According to a Forrester report, 66% of marketers indicate that cross-channel marketing activities should be integrated. Yet only 5% of businesses believe they’re truly organized to deliver great, cross-channel experiences.   Why is this? We often see that budgets, skill sets and access to technology are spread across IT, marketing and other business groups. It’s tough to create comprehensive campaigns across channels, let alone measure their effectiveness, when the skill sets and technology to do so reside in different places across the company. There is even misalignment within marketing itself, both organizationally and technologically. Marketers in different disciplines (content marketing, digital marketing, product marketing, marketing operations, etc.) are using a variety of customer analytics tools and other systems. Each of these systems has pieces of customer information, but none has the [...]

2 Key Ways to Use Machine Learning in Your Marketing

Machine learning has been described as the science of getting computers to act without being specifically programmed to act. While for some, that definition can bring to mind nightmarish images of machines taking over the world, it is actually a great way to automate marketing activities to make them less time consuming and to provide better experiences for your customers. But how do you get started with machine learning? In this blog post, I’ll share the two ways you should be thinking about it this year: machine learning for your customers, and machine learning for you (the marketer). Let’s dive right in. Machine learning for your customers First, marketers can use machine learning to power online customer experiences. When many think of website personalization, rule-based comes to mind first. Rule-based personalization refers to the ability to manually set up business [...]

The Data Types You Should Be Using to Create Segments for Personalization

Segments play a huge role in any company’s personalization efforts. If you’re unfamiliar with segments, they are groupings of people based on a set of defined criteria. They can be used to target different groups of people with different experiences. For example, you can ensure that only visitors from certain countries see messages about your international shipping, or that only visitors from the insurance industry see your insurance-specific content on your homepage. Even when personalizing your digital experience at the one-to-one level, segments for personalization are still valuable. For instance, you may leverage a machine-learning algorithm to recommend different products to each individual on your site, but still use segments to target one algorithm to first-time visitors and another to return visitors. Essentially, understanding segments is critical to your personalization strategy, no matter what personalization approach you use. Typically, segments [...]