The Website Relaunch Survival Guide: Building a Personalisation Strategy
by Matt Wetmore, Director of Web Operations, Acquia, on 28 June, 2021
We’ve been using our website relaunch series to give our audience a behind-the-scenes look at how we’re using our own tools and technology to build a new and improved experience across Acquia.com. Recently, our team covered how we streamlined the creative design process through low-code tools. Now, we’re getting personal.
After migrating thousands of pieces of content to the new Acquia site on Drupal 9 and creating tons of new educational and informative content designed for our different target customer personas, the next step was how to ensure that the right person would discover the right content at the right time in their journey. Enter: Acquia Personalization.
Before leveraging our Acquia Personalization tool on the site, content editors selected certain content nodes to appear across different places on the site, such as on our homepage, industry pages or in the Related Resource sections at the end of blog articles. While Drupal makes it simple to customize these assets to fit the experience, it relies on the judgment of the content editors themselves to choose what pieces are most relevant and also manually swap them out as they become outdated. This can become more challenging as organizations scale their content libraries and their teams.
Acquia Personalization takes the guesswork and extra effort out of this process with an API-first approach that integrates with Drupal and other technologies such as a CRM or analytics tool. Through these integrations, Personalization can gather data from site visitors. Supported by a foundation of customer intelligence and data within Acquia Marketing Cloud’s customer data platform, users can build unified customer profiles that capture the interests, preferences and behaviors of people visiting our site at different times and places in their journey.
This data is then used to automatically recommend the appropriate content based on user behavior. While we had employed other versions of Acquia’s Personalization engine on our previous website, the new component-based infrastructure we built on the relaunched site gave us a fresh chance to build out a stronger segmentation strategy and quickly develop more personalization opportunities by combining Personalization with our other low-code/no code capabilities.
MAPPING A SEGMENTATION STRATEGY IN ACQUIA PERSONALIZATION
A big part of our work for the new Acquia.com was creating unique and meaningful customer journeys for each of our target users, whether they be CMOs, CIOs, developers or other stakeholders. Once we had gathered enough knowledge to develop robust customer personas, we turned to Acquia Personalization to create customized segments and map content to each segment.
For example, we created product-specific segments that would show relevant content to users who had previously viewed pages for a certain product within the last 30 days. Acquia Personalization also gave us the freedom to design more in-depth personalizations that used multiple rules, such as a campaign for mobile-only users within a specific geographic region. Another personalization opportunity our team currently is exploring is looking to proactively recommend upcoming webinars and virtual events to visitors by time zone.
Building out personalized fields was a fast and flexible process that went beyond just default “insert-name-here” personalization efforts. By combining Drupal’s taxonomy system with the Personalization tool, we can map content to a wide range of interest areas based on chosen content tags.
Once a piece of content is created in Drupal, that content can be applied across any designated personalization slot by simply dragging and dropping. Within the visual user interface, our web team could also easily designate rules for what content would display to a particular segment, so we can improve targeting and run tests across many sections of the website from custom homepage banners, A/B tested headlines and content blocks.
THE COMBINED POWER OF SITE STUDIO AND PERSONALIZATION
As we built out this updated segmentation strategy and worked to identify where certain content should be placed and updated across the site, our component-based approach and use of low-code tools like Acquia Site Studio provided our digital team with an overarching, easily repeatable process for adding personalized content. With Site Studio’s component library we could easily build pages and site features from a library of reusable components that can then be configured at will. Once these content blocks are placed on the site, they can then be personalized in Acquia Personalization’s Experience Builder by simply pointing and clicking on the spot to create a new “personalization slot.”
The drag-and-drop site-building features of Site Studio paired with the visual experience builder in Personalization made it fast and simple to design fully personalized web experiences quickly and make adjustments as needed. The intuitive UI across both tools allowed for marketers and content editors to jump into building new experiences without technical expertise. The ability to change personalizations in real time as more customer data is added to customer profiles ensures that each user’s experience feels authentic and in line with their current needs and interests. The precision and ease-of-use of the personalization process allows us to be confident in our targeting efforts and tailor valuable messages to the people we want to reach.
For more on how to use Acquia Personalization to execute your own website personalization strategy, check out our e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Acquia Personalization: Point. Click. Personalize.