Vendors, especially vendors of recommendation systems, are selling personalization. Vendors can’t actually deliver personalization.
In order to personalize the customer experience, your company needs strategy, organization, metrics, policy, practices, and skills. It needs a willing end user, one who doesn’t mind that you are collecting information about him, however anonymously and transiently.
A really great vendor that understands your industry and sector can coach and guide you as you develop your metrics, practices and skills. Such a vendor can share successful strategies for using a recommendation system. But vendors of recommendation systems can’t be responsible for where personalization fits in your business strategy, how you organize to deliver a personalized customer experience, or how policy will guide your actions.
However, vendors of recommendation systems offer a great deal in the area of technology, and make it possible for your business to deploy a personalized customer experience. Recommendation solution vendors today can provide:
• Visitor identification
• Visitor behavior tracking and analysis
• Predictive modelling
• Automated, dynamic content selection based on algorithms and rules
• Dynamic content delivery
• Targeted discovery or personalized search
• Testing, analysis and optimization
Technology not typically provided in a recommendation solution, which you’ll probably need to adopt in order to support your personalization initiatives include:
• Customer profile management, both named and anonymous, that includes demographic, geographic, and historic information
• Content management systems that automate the creation and management of cross-touchpoint renditions of content