Is Personalised Content Getting Smarter?

November 6th, 2017

Technology can be transformative, making lives easier and less stressful. However, if there’s one topic that seems to always raise the blood pressure of marketers it is tech-driven personalisation of content.

Content marketers not only have to think about ROI on the content they produce for their own platforms, but also invariably optimise it for social media too. Personalising it for individuals seems like an additional task that they really could do without.

However there are figures that suggest that companies that do optimise the content for their visitors are much more likely to have successful outcomes whether that’s brand awareness or direct sales. For example in 2015, technology market researcher Gartner published a statistic that suggested that by 2018, companies that have “fully invested in all types of personalisation” will outsell companies that have not by 20 percent. That’s a fairly significant margin.

Many online retailers have already achieved huge success with personalisation.  Amazon has offered suggested additional purchases based on personal behaviour for many years now. There’s also a significant amount of personalisation in both online display ad words and in social platforms.

So why not content too? The good news is that the increasing sophistication of Artificial Intelligence has helped spawn a new breed of startups which in theory should make personalising content a lot easier and significantly more automated.

How personal?

Much of the way that the content is personalised depends on the data that is generated by a person. The task for brands is to interpret this data and then come up appropriate solutions.

Brands can learn much about a person from not just the content they choose to read or view, but also other factors, such as the time of the day they visit, the length of time they spend reading the content, the device they use and their previous interactions with the site.

All this data can be harnessed to ensure that the content that is delivered matches the expectation of the visitor and ensures that they engage with the brand in a way that is meaningful for both parties.

At the moment a lot of the personalisation of content is at a fairly basic level. So, for example, brands will use the data they have on a visitor and make the call about where they are on journey. Then serve them pop ups or boxes highlighting additional content, offers, subscriptions etc.

Pioneering startups

Content personalisation is however likely to become a lot more sophisticated thanks to a new breed of startups who are harnessing Artificial Intelligence to take the concept further.

Liftigniter recently announced that it has raised over $6 million to help websites of all stripes to personalise the content they serve readers.

Image result for Liftigniter personalisation api

“Our customers’ websites are living and breathing things, and the connections between every piece of content is changing,” co-founder Adam Spector told TechCrunch. “The articles you write today could be super relevant to an article that’s five years old. The relevance may change over time. The world is constantly in flux, the idea of having a hard-coded, static list of connections doesn’t make sense.”

Liftigniter uses AI to look at a variety of signals to determine a person’s journey and the intent they might have in visiting a site. It then delivers the most appropriate web page.

The there’s Dynamic Yield, an Israeli startup which has raised a very significant war chest of around $50 million to enable brands to streamline and automate the personalisation journey.

It is not just web pages that are personalised in this way either. Clinch is a startup that has developed personalised video ads. The technology could however be used to deliver personalised video content too.

If you want to know more about personalisation of content then the Digital Breakfast this Wednesday (8th) is focusing on the topic with views from a range of speakers from both technology companies and agencies.

More information here.

Ashley Norris, Consultant Editor, The CMA

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