Personalization is gardening. It’s energizing to image the garden in all its perfection. But after you plant it, you have to take care of it. Probably nearly every day. You’re not done until you decide you don’t want it any more.
Companies unsuccessful with personalization think buying technology is enough. Or adding product recommendations to one of their pages completes the process.
I see successful companies following 4 key steps in realizing their personalization opportunities.
Step 1: Establish Your Personalization Strategy
• What is personalization for? Identify the goals, metrics, vision, resources, policies, and principles
• Communicate: Personalization initiatives can touch virtually every part of your company – get everyone on the same page
Step 2: Prioritize Top 3 Initiatives
• Choose your top initiatives based on impact to customers and business, and achievability
• This is your learning and proving ground. Make it important, and a mix of big/hard and small/easier.
Step 3: Set Your Short Term Objectives, Approach and Plan
• Choose tactics: category page recommendations, personalized landing pages, targeted marketing, personalized email content…
• Prepare a technology plan that will support your objectives. Use services which are swift to implement, so you can begin learning. Perfect comes later, when you understand what ‘s important to your business.
• Chart your project plans
Step 4: Test Early and Often
• Test everything about your tactics, design, messaging, images, practices, policies, processes. Pick winners, adjust contenders, and test again. And again. You’ll need a skilled optimization test team to pull this off.
• Apply learnings from successful initiatives to re-start at Step 2, and perhaps revise elements of your strategy