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Personalization in Higher Education: Start Small and Think Big
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Personalization in Higher Education: Start Small and Think Big


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Personalized digital experiences can drive more contextual and relevant experiences for all users in higher education—experiences that are both good for the user and the bottom line—yet the vast …

Personalized digital experiences can drive more contextual and relevant experiences for all users in higher education—experiences that are both good for the user and the bottom line—yet the vast majority of today's University websites still provide the same static experience to every visitor. Presented at Eduweb 2014 in Baltimore, this presentation uncovers the opportunity for personalization in higher education and tips on how to find small wins while also thinking big.

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  • 1. a Personalization in Higher Education: Start Small. Think Big. Eduweb 2014 – Baltimore Jeff Cram @jeffcram ISITE Design, Co-founder
  • 2. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 3. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 4. a Source: @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 5. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 6. a Source: @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 7. a “Things people go to the site looking for” peo·ple /ˈpēpəl/ noun Human beings in general or considered collectively.
  • 8. a “Things people go to the site looking for” These people?
  • 9. a “Things people go to the site looking for” Or these people?
  • 10. a “Things people go to the site looking for” Or maybe these people?
  • 11. a “Things people go to the site looking for” How about this person?
  • 12. a Source:
  • 13. a Things on a University website Parents Prospective Students Current Students Media Alumni Things these “people” are looking for @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 14. a The case for personalization @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 15. a “The more digital we get, the more human we must be” Gatum Ramdurai, Google Creative Lab @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 16. a Personalization is trending (outside of EDU) Source: Adobe Digital Roadblock Report @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 17. a “Amazon is so confident of its ability to personalize the site for each user that the company hardly ever creates classic customer-segment personas, such as ‘soccer moms’ or ‘gearheads.’ Such marketing standbys are too imprecise for Team Bezos.” - Forbes, April 2012
  • 18. a The personalization myth @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 19. a
  • 20. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 21. a The web is made of people @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 22. a Personalization’s Perfect Storm Content Strategy Technology Management Analytics & Testing Customer Insight Connected expertise (Unicorns: Apply within) @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 23. a Start Small
  • 24. a Thinking about Day 2 @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 25. a Personalization starts with a hypothesis If we can deliver this [content] to this [segment] at this [touchpoint], then we can improve the experience by measuring this [metric]. @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 26. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 27. a The button test ??????
  • 28. a The button test
  • 29. a The winner 282% form conversion increase 57% site-wide lead increase @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 30. a Cumulative lift @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 31. a The homepage battlegroundWe’re moving the digital goal post The homepage battleground
  • 32. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 33. a Call-to-action targeting @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 34. a Types of Personalization @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 35. a What to Personalize? Theme What is it? Key Dimensions Geo targeting / location Display specific content (text, images, downloads, apps, etc.) based on the user’s geographic location. Geo-location, Referring domain, User preferences, Company, Campaign Campaign .& landing experiences Content is customized based on exposure to or engagement with a campaign, often on a landing page. Campaign, Inbound channel, Recency, Lifecycle Recommended content Similar content is shown to the user based on content already viewed during that visit or a previous visit. User preferences, Lifecycle, Referring domain, Campaign, Company, Industry Lifecycle Content and calls to action are served up based on where a user is in the journey or buying cycle. Lifecycle, User preferences, Recency Account/industry Display industry-specific content, company-specific content, or competitor-specific content after identifying the company and/or industry of the user. Industry, Company, Referring domain Call to action Messaging, tag lines, and calls to action on the site are customized and change based on user behavior, preferences, and response rate. Geo-location, Industry, Company, Campaign, Inbound channel, Engagement score, Referring domain, Lifecycle, User preferences, Recency @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 36. a International students require different experiences “International students are often in an online wilderness as they search for universities to apply to…they run into confusing websites…and contact us pages that may not effectively connect them with admissions counselors.” @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 37. a Personalization in the Wild Source: Non Linear case study presented at Digital Pulse 2013 @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 38. a Segmentation and geo-targeting SolarWorld Americas increased conversion by 200% with audience segmentation and geo-targeted landing pages @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 39. a Better Experiences for Stealth Applicants @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 40. a Engagement Scoring @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 41. a Personalized portals Source: @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 42. a Connected to the student journey Source: @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 43. a Measuring success: Our window to the world @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 44. a “All data in aggregate is crap.” - Avinash Kaushik, Google
  • 45. a Analytics segmentation @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 46. a Group exercise If we can deliver this [content] to this [segment] at this [touchpoint], then we can improve the experience by measuring this [metric].
  • 47. a Think big
  • 48. a If we connect and extend our pre-launch customer- insight thinking to post- launch management, then we can significantly improve the performance of our digital programs and value to our users. The hypothesis
  • 49. a Pre-launch: We love users!
  • 50. a Post-launch: Argh, the technology! @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 51. a Digital Pulse - October 17, 2013 Jeff Cram @jeffcram Co-founder ISITE Design Publisher, CMS Myth
  • 52. a Technology pain Customer gain Website launch Bending the launch curves @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 53. a Mapping the Student Journey Source:
  • 54. a Starting with people
  • 55. a Documenting the journey All of the steps the customer takes All of the touchpoints the customer interacts with receives statement in mail throws statement on desk & ignores sees charge that looks wrong logs in to website tries to get details about charge calls customer service talks to CSR tweets in frustration paper statement envelope mobile phone IVR Twitter @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 56. a Prioritizing experiences Business Benefit Customer Benefit User Impact Overall Scale 1=low, 2=medium, 3=high @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 57. a Assessing feasibility Idea Effort Status Clarity Risk @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 58. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 59. a Aligning with Student Lifecycle Management initiatives “Supporting learners during every stage of the student lifecycle is a “must have” competence, required of any successful higher education institution in today’s demanding environment. Providing a valuable experience at every stage of the student lifecycle allows institutions to advance their mission and achieve strategic goals in the areas of growth, intelligence, quality, and efficiency.” @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 60. a Student Lifecycle Management “Known as “Student Lifecycle Management” (SLM), this initiative now involves 10 different committees of faculty and professional staff working to instill a new approach focused on building relationships with students that start years before they come to Drexel and continue through and after graduation.” @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 61. a “A tool used for experience design is now an important input to strategy.” ~ Christine Chastain, R/GA @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 62. a @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14
  • 63. a Thank you Jeff Cram ISITE Design 617-401-2295 ISITE Design CMS Myth Delight 2014 Conference @jeffcram | @ISITE_Design | #eduweb14