Six steps to success: Using CMS to ‘get personal’
Content Management Systems have always been valuable tools but with many making the move into personalisation, they now promise more engagement and better user experiences for customers – which means higher conversion rates for your business.
But how do you give your website that ‘personal touch’ and why should you care anyway? We’ll cover the basics of CMS and personalisation then give you six steps to successfully creating rich and relevant customer experiences – without the creep factor.
What’s a Content Management System again?
Content Management Systems (CMS) are platforms that make it simple and streamlined to build and maintain websites without the need for specialised technical knowledge. In other words, you don’t need to write all the code from scratch – or even know how to code at all.
Next generation CMS platforms are adding opportunities for greater personalisation, moving away from purely templated solutions towards platforms that mould to fit the needs of your organisation, your site and ultimately your customers.
Personalisation in the ‘real world’ is so commonplace, you barely acknowledge it happening. The barista at your favourite café greets you by name and knows your coffee order. Your hairdresser understands your preferences and which new style or colour you’d consider trying. Your doctor knows your health history and makes informative deductions based on past and current symptoms.
These very familiar scenarios revolve around the concept of personalisation – and customers are coming to expect the same level of attentiveness in the digital world.
Why should you care?
There’s a few good reasons why you should – and not just because it’s pretty exciting stuff to see in action.
You learn who your customers are.
If you don’t know your customers, how can you give them what they want? Personalisation data gives insights into preferences and intent, so you can offer tailor experiences.
You build brand loyalty.
Creating a personal experience for your customers is not just about selling products; it’s a really effective means of generating brand loyalty by demonstrating you’re invested in a customers’ specific journey.
You reinforce customer relationships.
Personalisation is also a great way of reinforcing relationships with customers seeking services or support. No doubt we’ve all experienced the classic phone call to a service centre, seeking assistance for an issue and ending up getting passed from one agent to another and having to re-explain our problem. Personalisation can give your customer support officers data that they can use to engage effectively and offer assistance in ways that leave customers feeling positive about their experience.
Six steps to success
Translating personalisation from the offline world to your website can be challenging, but if you follow these six steps to successfully implementing personalisation via your CMS, you’ll be offering rich, relevant experiences to your customers in no time.
1. Plan ahead
Take your time to plan ahead to avoid creating roadblocks down the track. Think about who you want to personalise for and why you want to do it. Consider the elements you’ll personalise: calls to action; content sections; imagery and links can all be changed to suit the projected path of the customer as they navigate your site.
2. Get to know your audience
Avoid mediocrity and tailor your messages by identifying your audience segments. Who visits your site regularly and where are they coming from? Use relevant demographics such as geographic location, gender identity, age, ethnicity, income, education level or behaviours such as past purchases or activity.
3. Create a roadmap
How do you want each audience segment to travel through your website? What kind of engagement are you seeking? Match your strategic and business objectives to the type of engagement level you want visitors to reach. This gives you a means of measuring and understanding if your personalisation strategies are winning or if they need further refining.
4. Pick an audience segment with volume
There’s no point spending time and effort on creating personalised web content for a fraction of your audience. Pick the largest segment/s, especially in the beginning, in order to get maximum return on investment.
5. Start small
Don’t make it complicated – start out with a few basic rules on different pages. For example, a global company selling laptops could display different deals in different currencies on the home page depending on the location of the customer viewing the site.
6. Constantly refine.
Test, learn, adjust, re-test. Treat it as a continual cycle of learning and refinement. Don’t become complacent.
Only monitor what’s useful (don’t be creepy)
Remember the golden rule: More isn’t always better.
It’s a balancing act between creating a personal, precisely curated message, offer or experience and customers feeling your site is becoming overly invasive. There are ways to show your audience segment that you’ve heard their needs and can offer what they’re looking for without crossing the creep line.
Listen intently, only collect data that’s useful then use appropriate tactics to offer personalised experiences that match their needs.
Don’t know where to start?
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Enlighten Designs creates beautiful, user-friendly digital solutions. As an award-winning creative technical agency, our mission is to deliver digitally transformative experiences for customers ranging from small businesses to enterprise clients. Founded in 1998, Enlighten Designs is based on our passion to bring exceptionally designed, innovative and custom technology solutions from the shores of New Zealand to the world.