Breaking the Content Barrier

  |  June 16, 2010   |  Comments

Why do marketers make it so incredibly difficult for prospective customers to find relevant content? Consider these areas for dynamic targeting.

How well do you know your customers? Are they browsers or detail diggers? Are they seasoned executives who are comfortable making decisions based on industry trends - or do they tend to be new managers looking to make a mark in their organization? Do they come to your site once they're deep into their evaluation - or just looking for potential solutions? Where they fall in this broad spectrum will drive the type of information they deem relevant - and the behaviors they will make as they move through the buying cycle.

The good news is their behaviors make it very easy for markers to figure this out. Every keyword search, product review, and click leaves a digital footprint that helps make up their digital profile. Collecting and organizing these details can enable marketers to build a rich profile of users - profiles used to deliver more contextual content and a more relevant experience than they can deliver for a totally anonymous site visitor.

But why do marketers make it so incredibly difficult for prospective customers to find relevant content? For many websites, it's information overload. The higher the price tag, the greater complexity of the product or service - the longer the description. It's as if there is some correlation between price and characters on the page. For other sites, uniformity rules - with an iron fist. Take, for example, product templates - a Holy Grail for companies trying to find a consistent way of managing products online. Product templates are great for structuring information and enabling a large number of products to be presented consistently - but force-fitting one template or presentation type across a wide array of products and solution benefits only your internal organization - not your prospective customer.

For complex products and services with multiple buyers and decision points, relevancy should be a primary guiding principle. Leveraging their behavioral profile to deliver target, on-point content, is not just an opportunity to improve their experience - but an opportunity to differentiate from the competition.

Consider the following areas for dynamic targeting:

  • Offers: Custom offers based on behaviors such as search terms, click streams, and entry pages provide an opportunity to personalize the experience. Highlighting a specific feature set, price point, or industry pain point increases specificity and increases the relevancy and value of the offer.

  • Visual presentation: Changing the creative treatment - from imagery to colors and tone - is a low-effort way to fine-tune an experience based on what you know about your user. A/B testing can provide insight into how each of your user segments responds to presentation themes - and can be used to create a steady mix of unique presentation strategies.

  • Core content: Consider driving users to different content components based on where they are in the cycle. If you can determine a user is at a preliminary stage, don't bombard them with tactical details, but focus the content on direction, value, and brand positioning. For repeat visitors who indicate they are deep into comparison mode, deliver comparison grids to help differentiate from the competition.

  • Navigation: A dynamically-driven navigation offers an additional opportunity to drive the user to specific content details or information. Creating filters by capability, tabs for case studies, and promoting related products are all options within a dynamic navigation framework.

Your visitors leave many clues as to what they're looking for. Taking a proactive stance in delivering behaviorally-driven content may mean the difference between a new client and a drop in your conversion rate.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrea Fishman

Andrea Fishman, VP of strategy and a partner at BGT Partners, leads BGT's Chicago office and has extensive experience in marketing and management consulting. She and her team drive value to BGT's clients through the development of behavioral marketing programs, web analytics, measurement programs, industry benchmarking, competitive assessments, and the design of integrated marketing programs.

Andrea has been with BGT since 2003 and is credited with strengthening partnerships with such clients as ADT, Sony, ADP, and Avaya. Prior to joining BGT, she served as global vice president at divine, inc. She's also held strategic positions within marchFIRST, The Lewin Group, and the office of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

A graduate of Brandeis University, Fishman was awarded the Wasserman Scholarship for academic achievement and was named a 2010 Stevie Awards Finalist as Best Executive in a Service Business. She is a frequent judge for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards and is involved with the Special Olympics and Chicago Cares, a community service organization.

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