2) Choosing the Right Website Personalization Vendor
If you’re serious about adopting an effective website personalization vendor, and you’re confident that your existing content strategy is in tip-top shape, the next step in the process is to begin researching and vetting potential vendors. There are a lot of helpful solutions out there, but every organization will have different needs, so your company’s industry, size, and mission should heavily influence your selection process.
Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask as you begin interacting with potential website personalization solutions:
1) How Does This Website Personalization Solution Fit in with Our Current MarTech Stack?
The different tools and technologies your sales and marketing teams use should complement and enhance one another, and the same is true of a website personalization solution. Before deciding on a platform, you should speak with vendors about how their solution fits in with your existing MarTech stack. Specifically, the tool should play nicely with your marketing automation, CRM, and CMS systems, as well as any third-party APIs you’re using. If the proposed solution doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your existing technologies, you should move on — or at least ask if they’re working on building out new integrations.
2) What Are the Capabilities of This Website Personalization Solution?
As I mentioned earlier, not all website personalization solutions are created equal, and some are better suited for specific use cases. So, depending on what you and your key stakeholders have identified as your principal needs, you’ll want to look only at those solutions that are able to meet those needs. Whoever you choose should provide flexible, outcome-based solutions and be willing to work with you to align your content marketing strategy with their platform. Most importantly, the solution should allow you to turn anonymous visitors into known users so that you can continue to market to those individuals on separate marketing channels, such as social media and paid digital advertising.
3) What Are the Limitations of This Website Personalization Solution?
Does the solution work sitewide? Can you tailor it to work in different ways on different pages? Does it work with your CMS? How much work does it require on your end? These are pivotal questions that you should be asking, and the answers will inform your decision. The best website personalization tools are dynamic and can be formatted to any site or page to provide the best content or product recommendations at the perfect time to influence buyer intent. Furthermore, the tool you choose should be simple to use and operate on rules-based logic that make sense given how you’re housing and categorizing your content.
4) What Are the Costs Involved in This Website Personalization Solution?
Website personalization solutions vary greatly by cost, so you’ll want to understand your budget limitations and make that figure clear to the vendor before getting too far in the weeds. There’s no sense wasting your time speaking with a company out of your price range. Once you’ve established a mutual understanding, you’ll need to look closely at several line items in the quoted price — including ongoing management and strategy, onboarding and training, data connections, and platform access. You’ll also want to consider contract length and potential fees for choosing to opt-out prior to completing the engagement.
5) What Is the Time to Value with This Website Personalization Solution?
The most commonly used misnomer in marketing and sales technology applications is “out-of-the-box.” I hear this phrase constantly, and the truth of the matter almost never matches the promise. And when dealing with website personalization, it’s often more misused than with other software tools. Regardless of what a vendor tells you, you need to understand for yourself what goes into getting up and running with your website personalization solution, and the best way to do that is by speaking with current and former users of each solution. You should ask them how long it took to develop their strategy, how long it took to start seeing results, and how long it took to start optimizing their content strategy based on the performance of their website personalization solution.