Mary Nice, Convince and Convert, “Adapting the Creative Process for Personalization” (blogger: Raissa Evans, Founder/Chief Strategist, Running Reload)
Imagine you are trucking along in your creative world, and the boss comes to you and says they now need 30 times the amount of personalized content with the same budget, using the same resources. Eeks! This is the reality of achieving personalization! Too often, what works in personalization ends up being a philosophical debate. Was it the creative, the SEO, the copywriting?
Types of personalization: Demographic, Behavioral and Contextual. Addressing demographics first, Mary uses Straight Out of Compton to illustrate using ethnic affinity as a personalization approach. Contextual targeting, when it goes right, can increase purchase intent, perceived as a complement to consumers’ experience on-site. In defining and developing the strategy, it’s critical to assemble a cross-functional team who can address media, creative, data, website and consumer insights. In order to be really successful in personalization, you have to understand your segments more deeply than ever. What are the key differentiators in their motivation? Implement decision trees. How are you going to change the message for those new to your site versus return visitors?
Traditional creative briefs just don’t cut it. There are three main additions that need to be added, at minimum. Much more detailed audience information, such as motivation, barriers and decision triggers. Break down each platform for what works, including insights from past campaigns. And finally, volume and cadence. We finally have the capability to tell a story in multiple messages by controlling what messages an audience sees, in what order and when.
Creative and strategic testing stops the philosophical debate. Strip out all of the other elements and focus on just the creative. If it’s not working, change it. Create a culture where it’s OK to fail. Motivate the team to figure out what does work. Once you’ve learned, double down on what’s working and optimize as you go. Have a hypothesis, and then use the right metrics, figure out what is working across the journey and prove the impact. More than ever, team cooperation and good communication are key to a cross-functional team.
And don’t skip over documenting what worked and what didn’t. “Don’t stumble over something behind you.” (LOVE THIS!)