We know that delivering personalized web experiences is important. In one of my studies, I discovered that 77.5 percent of ‘digital natives’ want a truly personalized experience, both on your website and within messages.
But we also know that most marketers don’t personalize their web experience, changing the look, feel, and messaging for different segments of visitors. Why? Because it is too costly, too difficult, and the underlying data is a mess.
Today, Lytics has announced Lytics Personalization — a web personalization solution that attempts to remove all of these roadblocks via an easy-to-use interface. But it isn’t the interface itself that makes this solution interesting — everyone claims to have intuitive design tools in this area. It is the underlying technology that you can’t see, working behind the scenes, that elevates this above the norm.
“Lytics Personalization is all about making it easier for companies to use their customer data to personalize their digital marketing with one tool,” Jeff Hardison, vice president at Lytics, told me. “In the past, a company needed to purchase and integrate both a web personalization campaign tool and a customer data platform.”
I saw the tool in action, and it is — undoubtedly — very easy to use. In just a few moments, a non-technical marketer can craft a message that greets website visitors, customizing the content, graphics, colors, and everything else you’d expect to have full control over. Those messages are targeted at a segment.
For example, a new visitor may receive a message asking them to sign up for a newsletter, while a returning visitor with an apparent affinity for the brand, demonstrated across different channels, may see suggested content to help them dig deeper into the web experience. And to assist in building the highest conversion and engagement rates, Lytics Personalization allows for A/B split tests — pitting one version of the content against another to see which one wins.
The simplicity of the solution is by design. Personalization is often talked about, but few marketers want to commit to the effort needed to do it. Keeping things simple is one way to convert the masses.
“On one hand, a vendor must be technically proficient enough to solve the customer data challenge (from integrating purchasing data with marketing data to reconciling identities and content preferences), which requires rare machine learning and data science professionals to tackle,” Hardison said. “And, on the other hand, the same tech vendor must have empathy for the less technical marketer who doesn’t enjoy struggling through a complex, early adopter tool.”
That isn’t easy for vendors to do, but Lytics is approaching web personalization after years as a customer data platform, rather than approaching the problem from the web design side of the coin. This gives them a distinct advantage in helping marketers produce the right customer segments, and that’s where the machine learning comes into play.
“Non-technical staff may opt for pre-built audience segments (for example, ‘People Who Are Likely to Buy,’ ‘People Who Are Likely to Churn,’ etc.), while do-it-yourself technical marketers will use our Segment Builder to design their own,” Hardison said. “Custom building audience segments affords the most flexibility — a marketer can build segments around how a person interacted with a brand across communication channels (email, web, app, customer support, etc.), regardless of whether they are known, what kind of content (blog posts, images, etc.) they like, and even through predictive insights powered by machine learning.”
Lytics Personalization’s machine learning algorithms looks at more than 125 behavioral attributes, helping build these customer segments automatically. But for those who want to take a deeper dive and integrate Lytics Personalization into their content management systems, Lytics offers both an SDK and an API. It should — these days — go without saying, but with consumers using mobile devices more than ever it is worth noting that Lytics Personalization works smoothly in both desktop and mobile-web browsers.
So, what is the future of personalization?
“The future of personalization will reveal more companies personalizing their marketing than vendors simply talking about it,” Hardison said.
Amen to that.
Lytics Personalization is certainly a step in the right direction. Marketers don’t necessarily want to be pushed into technical roles or become ad-hoc data scientists, so easy-to-use tools that assist with sophisticated segmentation through machine learning will likely beat out systems that require a deeper understanding of how to leverage customer data for personalized marketing. And for those who want to knit the tool into existing platforms, the SDK and API options sate that desire.