Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Four Dimensions of Personalization

I did a webcast radio show for the AMA a few years back, and I remember that one of the hot topics was content personalization. At the time, I tried to broaden the topic to include other areas of personalization as well, but I am not sure many people understood what I was trying to articulate.

Recently I have started to see examples of what I would call "The Four Dimensions of Personalization". Most people tend to focus only on content (the "What") personalization, and we often forget that the other dimensions may have as much, and sometimes more of an effect on whether you get a response.

Who, When, How, and What - Personalization
  1. Who is sending the communication? is it a salesperson, the CEO, the VP of Marketing? often this will determine whether I view, read or spend anytime looking at your message. Agent personalized campaigns have resulted in up to a 30% increase in opens, and up to a 300% increase in click-throughs, as often the prospect recognizes the name, as someone they have either talked to, or heard a voicemail from the sales rep.
  2. When am I receiving the communication? Did I just visit the website, have I just attended a webinar or trade show? Or has it been weeks since I even thought of your company or offering? A MIT study on lead management ( indicated that follow-up calls within the hour dramatically increase conversion to qualified leads - why wouldn't it also help with marketing communications?
  3. How am I receiving the communication? Am I the type of person that answers my own phone? Do I look at all my Direct Mail personally or have my assistant throw out anything she doesn't recognize? Debbie Hemley made a great comment on the resurgence of direct mail in her post here - it might be worth considering.
  4. And of course What am I receiving? Is this message targeted at my current need or pain? Have I just searched on "marketing and sales alignment" on Google and now am receiving information on Lead Scoring?
  • “Campaigns that target based on Website user click-stream data outperform untargeted broadcast campaigns by nearly 4 to 1.” - Forrester Research (Jupiter)

Make sure you think of all four of the aspects of personalization when planning your next campaign - as content (the "What") is only one of them.

Many of the topics on this blog are discussed in more detail in my book Digital Body Language
In my day job, I am with Eloqua, the marketing automation software used by the worlds best marketers
Come talk with me or one of my colleagues at a live event, or join in on a webinar


Debbie Hemley said...

Great point...sometimes we get so caught up in the "content is king" frame of mind...we forget about all the other players!

Thanks for the mention of direct mail post.

Debbie Hemley

Paul Teshima said...

Debbie - I am a big believer that Direct Mail can be very effective when used correctly, and also when used in conjunction with other forms of digital marketing.

These days with high quality digital printing that almost rivals traditional offset printing, you can also personalize content to ensure it is relevant.

Thanks for checking out our blog.

Spiro said...

You brought up very good points, and that all the four dimensions convey the outmost importance in not only content, but the experience of the content, as well as the "how the viewer experiences it"