Personalization Everywhere! Create a Personalization Strategy

Question: If personalization is so awesome, why isn’t everyone doing it?

Answer: No one has a personalization strategy! No one knows how to pull together all their tools, teams, data, and content to orchestrate perfect 1:1 personalization.

Personalization is more than “Hi {first name}!”. Personalization is sending the message to an audience of one, as you would in-person.

At Hull, we’ve developed a five-part framework to guide you through your personalization strategy. It breaks a complex task down into five different questions.

  1. WHO
  2. WHAT
  3. WHERE
  4. WHEN
  5. WHY

Let’s start with the first -

WHO are you trying to reach?

Your goal is to create one set of segments to target your ideal customers, powered by data.

Start by defining your ideal customer profile. This isn’t a one-off task, but an ongoing process in defining data-driven profiles.

Next, understand their customer journey - how do they buy and use what you sell? Create a customer journey map, and then map it to real life, real time events.

The core of this is in capturing data around each user, customer and account. With this data you need to build a customer profile can you qualify them for sales, create segments, and personalize messages.

Now you’re armed with who you want to target, and the data to target them during their customer journey, you can create a segmentation strategy.

WHAT message do you want to send to each segment?

Now you know WHO you’re writing to, it becomes much easier to craft a highly personalized message to them.

This is the golden rule of personalization: segmentation first, content second.

Remember your customer journey map? Together with your segmentation plan, you can create a content map - a grid of each customer lifecycle stage by each segment.

Each empty box asks you the question what would you say to this group of people at this stage of their customer journey to guide them to the next stage. Yes, this means creating and sending more versions of messages - but you’re no longer sending generic, send-to-all spam.

Once you’ve created messaging plans for each segment and lifecycle stage, you can start to write each message. Here, you can use {dynamic content} to add value and further personalize your message (remember the golden rule). Dynamic content let’s you scale your personalization strategy.

Try to avoid being “creepy”. You can easily overstep the mark where personalization is too creepy. Follow our best practices in our dynamic content guide.

WHERE, WHEN & WHY you send your messages?

Now you’ve got your data for targeting and content map for messaging, where can you deploy your personalized messaging. You want to be able to orchestrate personal messages across multiple channels to help nurture each lead and customer along the customer journey.

Email’s a common place to start because it’s a closed loop of customer data (see our guide on the “customer stack”), and the templating is but it’s by no means the only place to implement personalization.

Ads personalization is becoming evermore powerful with advanced, near-realtime ad audiences (WHO) and dynamic content replacement (WHAT).

Web personalization, include dynamic replacement of text within the page, is another channel. The technology behind this is hard though - ideally, you want to avoid the “flicker” of changing text and images being displayed.

Live chat as a variation of web personalization where there’s a little more room for latency and data integration, and the bonus of being personally interactive. This needs close coordination with your sales, success, and support team to make this a seamless handover.

Finally, if you think of passing profiles and segments into your CRM in the same way as any other tool (email, ads, live chat etc.) then you can think of sales as “human personalisation”. Sending only qualified leads (WHO) with all the clues, cues, and conversation starters (WHAT) to help them engage and close a deal.

Except there’s a sixth part of the personalization framework: HOW

Customer data doesn’t sort and sync itself, but it’s essential to your personalization strategy.

How do you orchestrate the customer data behind your personalization strategy?

Check out our separate customer data management guide and learn how to:

  • Simple four-part model for your customer
  • Cleanse your data to make it IMMEDIATELY useful in every tool
  • Integrate all your tools together with best practices
  • Orchestrate your content and campaigns to deliver the perfect customer journey
  • Organise your teams to manage your customer data effectively

Check out the slidedeck teaching Hull’s five-part personalization framework

Fast track your personalization strategy with our workshop template

For select Hull customers, we run onsite workshops to define an orchestration and personalization strategy with their customer data and customer operations teams.

We charge $5000 for this workshop, and call for attendance from senior figures from every customer facing team using this template - grab it here.

Personalization template download

Ed fry
Ed Fry

Growth at Hull, working on all things content, acquisition & conversion. Keynote conference speaker. Previously employee #1 at (acq. HubSpot).

If you've questions or ideas you want to talk through, please reach out & let's geek out together on Twitter or LinkedIn. 👇