Data-driven personalization is commonplace in the modern world.  It’s yet to be entirely embraced by marketers, however, likely due to a basic lack of understanding around how it works.  Fortunately, you’re already familiar with it, even if you may not even know it.

If you’ve ever been on a site like Amazon where perfectly-matched products were recommended and presented to you without so much as a click of the keys, then you’ve already experienced this level of personalization.  And, what an amazing thing it is! With today’s modern technology, a website can actually recognize you, a return visitor, and discern your interests and alter the site experience specifically for you. It’s almost like magic!  So, what is it that drives this sort of highly adaptive “smart” content?

Smart Content

Smart content, also referred to as “dynamic” or “adaptive” content, is the all-encompassing term used to refer to any aspects of a website, advertisement or email copy that’s changed based on the interests or past behaviors of the particular user.  It’s the driving force that determines and creates a customized experience for the user in that moment. Smart content is that which we see when we open a website and it automatically gives us recommendations based on previous patterns, or when we go to fill in personalization fields in emails and it automatically fills, or when images and ads are shifted based on who’s logged in and looking at them.  It’s absolutely everywhere.

The reason smart content has become so relevant is simply that it’s proven to be effective.  And, as marketers, we already know this, as we see it all the time in the success of targeted marketing efforts.  We know that content that is directly relevant to our audience and users will resonate and yield much higher returns.  It’s all about giving the user what they want by making the experience direct and personal – that’s how they not only buy into your product or service, but also your brand and message.  

The relevancy of smart content simply comes from gathered information.  That data then feeds into the technology and procedure that assigns the right content to the right person in the appropriate moment.  To hone this technology and information, the process looks like this:

  • A centralized marketing database stores user downloads and interaction history with your site.  It is the brain behind all created smart content.
  • Information from the database then goes into a smart content generator which creates content within set parameters (i.e. what content is shown and what content is hidden).  
  • In order for a site to be “smart,” it must flow through a site that’s easily editable and ideally controlled by your marketing team who can refine the message and output.  
  • Finally, to fully extend the reach of your smart content, you should also have an integrated email system.  

The whole point of smart content is that its use is absolutely intentional.  It’s designed to create a better user experience that will ultimately lead to more conversions and contributions to your bottom line.  So, the real question is, why aren’t you integrating smart content with your marketing efforts?

A marketing strategy designed with smart content in mind is one that will improve potential customers’ experience with all of your marketing efforts, from emails to the copy and products on your website.  It’s an opportunity to leverage valuable insights from users to create an invaluable, personalized experience. And, that’s what will keep users coming back for more.