Creating Marketing Opportunity from Digital Chaos - Personalizing Anonymous Web Experiences

David Hegarty

How to personalize anonymous web experiences by uniting your existing CMS and DMP tools

There’s chaos in the world of web experiences for both consumers and marketers. Today’s web experience is like being in New York City in the middle of Times Square, surrounded by a colorful and chaotic barrage of messages, images, and information from every angle. What consumers want are web experiences that are relevant and personal. But in reality, they’re confronted by complex, anonymous, fragmented experiences, with tons of content from a multitude of brands.

Marketers know they have to deliver one-to-one experiences to consumers, or risk losing them to competitors that can. But, in reality, many are only set up to deliver the web experiences of traditional marketing (i.e., one-to-few or one-to-many). There’s simply too much complexity, information, and technology to target the right consumers and deliver personalized experiences, especially for those that manage complex multisite web environments.

Yet, in this chaos, there is great opportunity. Marketers that engage consumers at a one-to-one level with relevant experiences can drive engagement, and gain their loyalty and advocacy. However, in an overwhelming environment of so many channels, information, and data, if marketers don’t properly leverage these with the right tools, they will miss out on opportunities to reach their consumers. 

Though today’s marketing challenge is complex, solving for chaos to deliver relevant experiences means executing a simple equation: Insight + Creative + Channel = Experience. To get there, marketers need to use data to create insight about their audience (e.g., who they are, where they are, and what they want). This insight is then infused into creative (e.g., email campaigns, websites, ads, video, etc.). Then, this insight-driven creative is delivered on the right channel (e.g., web, email, social, direct mail, etc.) to create a relevant experience for the consumer.

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The good news for marketers that use dotCMS is that they have an opportunity to create these experiences by using technology they likely already have. 

The Combined DMP and CMS Solution for 1-to-1 Marketing

dotCMS and Building Blocks, a leading global digital agency, have partnered together to create opportunity in the chaos of today’s marketing world by helping marketers leverage their existing technical investments to maximize customer reach.

The approach uses the capabilities of a content management system (CMS), like dotCMS, and the capabilities of a data management platform (DMP). In short, the DMP tool captures data on all anonymous website visitors. This data is instantly modeled and matched to segments in the dotCMS persona management tool, and in real-time, which enables delivery of relevant web experiences to the visitor. 

Here’s how it works for a marketer that’s running a web experience and has a DMP in place: When an anonymous consumer opens their browser and visits the marketer’s website, the DMP is already capturing anonymous analytics data about that visitor. The DMP gleans data from the visitor’s session cookie that they bring to the experience (e.g., location, search history, operating system, weather in location, competing site visits, etc.), models the data, and aligns it to a demographic profile.

The DMP matches that visitor’s demographic information to a predefined segment (set up manually beforehand in dotCMS). In real-time, the DMP will inject that personalized information into the persona management tool of dotCMS. Based on predefined rules, dotCMS will instantly determine which content to show the visitor based on the segment they are a member of. Once that happens, the personalization engine renders the appropriate content for that visitor on the web channel.

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The DMP only identifies that a visitor is a member of a certain pre-defined segment and communicates this to the CMS. The CMS has the business rules that stipulate what action to take when a visitor qualifies as a member. In this example, a human marketer determines and inputs into dotCMS what data points make up a segment. The benefit of dotCMS is that it already has the capabilities to build personas and allows for easy configuration by a technical marketer or IT practitioner. If a marketer has existing analytics, they could use these to build rules based on the actions of site visitors of different segments in response to the content and messages they were shown.

The DMP and dotCMS technology enables data to drive content, bringing added value to a marketing organization. By using insight gained from site visitors and associating that insight with the right content, the solution facilitates relevant consumer experiences in real time. Marketers can deliver personalized web experiences to anonymous users to encourage them to take action. Whether it's a purchase or signing up to receive an email, real-time personalization creates an opportunity to move customers from unknown to known and move them along in the brand relationship.

Further Stages in 1-to-1 Maturity: Omni-Channel, AI, and Media Spend

While moving customers from anonymous to known is a great first step, marketers have to produce relevant experiences to convert and retain customers as well. In further steps of maturity, the DMP can help drive content to known customers by enabling dotCMS to facilitate personalized experiences.

Execute Omni-Channel

Because of dotCMS’s separation of content from its presentation and its persona-based system, pairing it with a DMP tool can enable omni-channel content delivery. Once a visitor has left the website, it’s possible to inject information into the customer database or package and send relevant content to an email delivery system to continue the brand story.

Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI)

A natural progression is adding an AI interface to move from anonymous web engagement on a one-to-one basis to a sophisticated personal interaction that matches data to existing a customer database. AI could look into the CRM database in real time and perform more complex analysis. For example, AI could look at the details of a mobile phone the anonymous site visitor is using, find it in the CRM database, and engage with them as a known customer. AI could also take demographic information from the DMP and make distinctions on what should be rendered from the CMS.

Optimize Media Spend

The dotCMS and DMP approach could make retargeting and paid media more efficient by capping and suppressing paid media using insight. dotCMS would only render up paid media ads to relevant consumers through the DMP, versus running ad clicks. Tying a DMP to the CMS for known and authenticated users can help cap and suppress media spend by only engaging relevant audiences.

The Next Conversation

In a digital world of overwhelming tools and information, marketers need a partner to help navigate this chaos. dotCMS and Building Blocks can help you reach the right consumers, with the right message, on the right device, so that the individual feels that you really know them. It’s time to start a conversation on the exciting ways that dotCMS can address chaos to create new opportunities to reach your marketing goals.

David Hegarty
Managing Director | Building Blocks
December 04, 2017

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