Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

Segmentation and Targeting: Your Tools for Personalizing the Online Customer Experience

In order to deliver the kind of personalized and engaging online experiences that customers expect today, look to segmentation and targeting.  Segmentation is the practice of dividing your site visitors into distinct groups based on shared characteristics or behavior – for example, a segment may consist of site visitors who have visited pages related to certain product type, or they may consist of visitors within the same age group or geographic area.  The idea is that those within a segment are more likely to have common needs, problems or interests that can be served by your business. Targeting is the process by which the most relevant content, whether an article promotion or other piece of content, is delivered to your visitors based on their segment membership.

Segmentation and targeting are used to drive greater engagement on your web presence by delivering content to your site visitors that is tailored to their interests, behavior or other attributes.  You may have a number of different goals for your segmentation and targeting efforts:

  • Up-sell or cross-sell to your customers
  • Conduct A/B testing on your offers and creative
  • Offer discounts, promotions or other incentives for the time and duration that you specify
  • Make is easier to find relevant information about products and services
  • Create premium content model
There are two different approaches you can take toward segmentation and targeting for you online customer experience initiatives.

The first is more of a manual process, in which marketers manage the process of determining which segments to create and which content to target to those segments. The benefit of this approach is that it gives marketers a high level of control over the whole process which works well when you have a thorough understanding of your segments and which content is most likely to serve their needs.  Tools for marketer managed segmentation and targeting are often built right in to your WEM platform, as they are with Oracle WebCenter Sites. The downside is that the more segments and content that you have, the more time consuming and complicated in can be to manage manually.

The second approach relies on predictive intelligence to automate the segmentation and targeting process.  This allows optimization of the process to occur in real time. This approach helps reduce the burden of manual segmentation and targeting and can result in new insights into segments that you may never have thought of on your own.  It also provides you with the capability to quickly test new offers and promotions on your site.  Predictive segmentation and targeting can be achieved by using Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle Real-Time Decisions together.

*****

Get a taste for how Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle Real-Time Decisions combine to deliver powerful capabilities for predictive segmentation and targeting by watching this on demand webcast introducing Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g or by reading IDC’s take on the latest release of Oracle’s web experience management solution.  Be sure to return to the Oracle WebCenter blog on Thursday for a closer look at how to optimize the online customer experience using these two products together.
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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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