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Personalization: Content Strategy at its Finest - Content Strategy New England Meetup October 2018


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The same rules that apply to formulating a robust content strategy framework apply to personalization. Strong personalization not only requires a robust content strategy, it is an aspect of content strategy. Kevin Nichols examines some considerations a content strategist must think about for personalized content.

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Personalization: Content Strategy at its Finest - Content Strategy New England Meetup October 2018

  1. 1. PERSONALIZATION Content Strategy at its finest? Content Strategy New England Meetup, September 2018 Kevin P Nichols Executive Director, Experience
  2. 2. 2 • A consultancy providing enterprise content strategy and digital experience solutions. • Specializing in personalization, omnichannel and performance-driven content solutions. • Co-founder of the Big Content Alliance Who are we? AvenueCX 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. 3 Kevin P Nichols, Executive Director, Experience Content Champion. Author. Syfy Network and Bergman Movie Buff. • Expert in enterprise content strategy, omnichannel strategy & personalization for global companies. • Author, Enterprise Content Strategy: A Project Guide and UX for Dummies. • Former global head of content strategy at Sapient, headed up production at MIT OpenCourseWare (key architect of its content strategy and operations). Some former clients include: Verizon, HP, KPMG, Target, Intel. About myself… Helping you shape your content experience 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Personalization should function as content strategy realized in its purest form.
  5. 5. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved. 5 • Inspiration — Understanding your customers/users • Organization — Developing operational models to support ongoing content development and measurement • Systems — Leveraging systems that facilitate content production, content delivery, and metrics capture • Content — Creating content that speaks to your audience Our content strategy framework at AvenueCX. Four key areas
  6. 6. Inspiration: Getting personal — but not too personal — by understanding your customers.
  7. 7. 7 Understand who they are and what they need and they will reward you… But don’t f!@# it up! 41% of US consumers said they ditched a company because of “poor personalization” and lack of trust. — Accenture Strategy, Pulse Check, 2018 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. 8 Only accurate knowledge of your customer can deliver accurate content. B2B Customer journey for ‘decision maker’ persona 1. Search for product 2. Explore product 3. Evaluate product 4. Buy Product 5. Use Product Discovery Awareness Research Purchase Loyalty Anonymous Anonymous Known Visitor Known Prospect Customer Website (desktop) Mobile search Website (desktop) Mobile Website (desktop) Mobile app Customer portal Website (desktop) Mobile app Customer portal Customer rep Customer portal Online communities Email Customer rep Featured products Thought leadership Product overviews Insights Whitepapers Product details Specifications Performance benchmarks Testing documentation Requirements checklists Vender comparisons Schematics Analyst report Original research Use case Architectural docs ROI/TCO calculator Customer profile Sales enablement content Product notifications Sales enablement content Newsletters Knowledge base UGC Task Lifecycle Channel Content User’s state 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Content: Getting it right, relevance is everything.
  10. 10. 10 Personalization done well? 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. 11 Hell hath no furry like a Chloe scorned! Only 21% of consumers in the U.S. and less in Germany and the UK, both at 11%, and 10% in France find recommendations to be very relevant. — Periscope, 2018 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. 12 Evolve the customer experience through hard data and real knowledge of her. Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time. — Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved. Data inputs for personalization Gender Age Location (Country, State, City, Exact) Channel (Mobile, Desktop, Store) Weather Events Anniversary Preferences Previous purchases Customer-centric considerations Authentic Engaging Empathetic Understanding Helpful Inspirational Exciting Moving
  13. 13. Organization: Your content operations will either stand your content up for success, or not.
  14. 14. 14 Gap, Inc., with a score of 40, sent emails featuring women’s clothing to one of Sailthru’s researchers, even though he created an online profile indicating he was a man that he was most interested in items for men or babies. A Gap spokeswoman declined to comment. —Suzanne Kapner, The Wallstreet Journal, 2017 Uh-oh. Something went wrong in the command center! 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. 15 Clean, efficient, and optimized operations matter. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. 16 Leverage the customer journey to inform your publishing processes. Marketers feel they still have more work to do, when asked to grade their current personalization efforts, nearly half of respondents 46% gave themselves a “C” while 19% lower than a “C”. — Evergage, 2018 Trends in Personalization Report, 2018 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved. Inspired by Hawkeye Graphic
  17. 17. 17 • Extensible messaging frameworks • Content calendar (performance- based) • Optimized publishing processes • And yes…enough content now and ability to create it in the future to support the experience… Necessary tools for the content strategist. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Systems: It’s a performance-driven content strategy framework.
  19. 19. 19 You need to be capturing true business successes and relating them to the decisions you make in the digital channel. Personalization should then be driven by predictions as to what content will result in the best business outcomes. — Alex Genov, Head of Customer Research at Zappos True geniuses prepare, and performance anxiety does not get in the way. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. 20 Use a performance-based content planning strategy. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved. 20 Inputs Meeting Outputs Business needs • New products • New company • Marketing campaigns Content calendar Industry insights and competitive trends Analytics and metrics reports • Web analytics • Internal/operational • Sales data New ideas generated from content teams or other teams User inputs as changes in user behavior, research or consumer data Quarterly or monthly content meeting with governance and content strategy Participants: • Executive sponsor • Governance members • Content strategist Prioritized content areas of focus, such as new content creation or archival of content; ideally with strategic intent; goals and high-level objectives Content owners, sponsor and stakeholders identified Planning teams alerted of new focus area
  21. 21. Let’s recap…
  22. 22. 22 • Understand your audience, define your strategy around it • Create content that matters • Ensure your operations supports the required content, and make sure you can deliver the necessary content • Create a performance-based model to support evolution Personalization done right, is content strategy at its finest. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. 23 The loser is always a part of the problem; the winner is always a part of the answer. The loser always has an excuse; the winner always has a program. The loser says it may be possible, but it's difficult; the winner says it may be difficult, but it's possible. – Althea Gibson, first African-American woman to win Wimbledon (1957) It’s not easy, but that is never an excuse for a brand that rises to the top. 9/25/2018 | @KPNichols | © 2018 AvenueCX, LLC. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. THANK YOU! Kevin P Nichols Email LinkedIn Twitter YouTube @KPNichols
  25. 25. • “Consumers Value Personalization Up Your Game to not Miss the Opportunity.” Periscope by McKinsey. (2018). • “Making it Personal: Why brands must move from communication to conversation for greater personalization.” by Accenture Strategy, Pulse Check (2018). • “Trends in Personalization Report.” Evergage (2018). • “2nd Annual Personalization Development Study.” monetate (2017). • For an excellent presentation and webinar on personalization content strategy and operational readiness to support it, see the Big Content Alliance ( “Press Pause: Getting content ready for personalization.” • Also see AvenueCX’s work with ComBlu at the Big Content Alliance: Additional Resources I recommend the following resources and reports