Many brands aspire to deliver a personalized experience to their users and customers based on how they want to interact. But without fully considering and mapping out the customer journey, personalization can fail miserably — causing a more frustrating and negative experience than if the content hadn’t been personalized at all.
Sapient’s Kevin Nichols delivered this warning in “Content Strategy for the Customer Journey: Personalization Done Right” at Confab 2013. “Without an omnichannel approach, you can’t deliver fully realized personalized experiences,” Kevin said. “The customer is at the center, and the strategy considers the customer’s entire journey from the point where they’re first introduced to the brand.”
Even if you are just personalizing for one channel, you still want to look at the end-to-end journey, Kevin said. Personalization will only be as effective as the content that supports it — and building that content requires time, money and resources. Kevin suggests that brands:
- Focus on developing content for different user states, from anonymous all the way through loyal customer
- Identify cross-sell opportunities, including a way of supporting customers if they jump across channels
- Look at how your users enter the site and where they go, and conceptualized lifestyle or educational content that can engage them along the way
- Create content for specific, realistic scenarios, which will make customers feel like the brand really cares about them