For decades, we marketers have been trying to predict which content to serve up to our target audiences — and with good reason! Giving your prospects and customers exactly what they need when they need it gives you a serious advantage over your competitors, instills consumer trust, and helps build customer relationships prior to any direct sales engagement. Unfortunately, delivering highly relevant and personalized content can be really hard to do consistently. (If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing a blog on the topic.) Thankfully, it’s getting easier… but more on that in a minute.
Before the digital age, getting good content in front of the right audience was more of a guessing game that was usually influenced by market research and the occasional snail mail survey to give us a few clues about what our prospects might be interested in. Then, as the internet became a staple in our lives, we were able to manually collect some meaningful user behavior data. But analyzing it required serious man hours and expertise — and even then, we couldn’t ever be sure it was 100% accurate. Adding to that challenge, we couldn’t be certain these insights were helping us deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time.
Now it seems we’re entering a new digital era — one that is defined by the user experience and their interests. Suddenly, developing and distributing relevant content is more important than ever. Thankfully, this transitional period presents a great opportunity to deliver more personalized content to more interested consumers and also create some breathing room between you and your competitors.
The idea of creating more personal websites tailored for distinct user groups isn’t a new concept, but it’s only recently become a reality for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Most of us refer to this [not-so] new phenomenon as website personalization, but no matter what you call it, it’s revolutionizing the way we understand and use the internet. Today, even single-employee startups with a super basic website are just a CMS plug-in away from delivering sophisticated website personalization to all their site visitors.