The Ultimate One-to-One Tool
By Irene Cherkassky and Jeffrey Lattner
Marketing know-how and technical savvy combine, bringing the Web closer to a one-to-one experience.
In just a few short years, Web personalization has transformed from a novelty into a discipline. Although many marketers still are new to the intricacies of personalization, the promise of achieving a truly one-to-one dialogue with customers is driving both strategic and technical e-commerce innovation.
Back to Basics
Optimizing personalization on the Web is more than seeking out the latest technical bells and whistles. In fact, effective personalization is grounded in the basics of good marketing techniques. "Personalization has moved [away] from being something that was talked about as a technology or something that a technology provider would sell just like a feature—whether that's content management systems or a stand-alone personalization layer," describes Karen McGrane, executive director, user experience for Seattle-based Avenue A/Razorfish. "Marketers today are using some of the techniques that they might use in other mediums to tailor their sites for different audiences to serve up different messages at different times, and they're doing that in a more focused, more subtle way."
Phil Sandler, senior vice president, director of interactive, Wunderman New York, for example, advises marketers to use technical resources to work toward a holistic view of their on-site campaigns. "We conduct full segmentation of who we think our best prospects are," he describes, "then go out into the market with certain assumptions about who our best responders are going to be, based on our [in-house] modeling."
That information then is married with response data—including who visited the site, what the Web logs are revealing and what the tagged paths on the site are showing about the behavior from one portion of the site to the next. Those combined disparate sources of information are viewed together to get a full perspective on what worked and what didn't. The information then is set as a benchmark for future personalization efforts.