Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How does Alinean decide which customer profile data points to use in order to personalize the Interactive White Paper?

We call the profile questions pivot points – the dimensions around which the content will be customized, and to decide which of these to use there will typically be some compromise and tradeoff between:
  • Profiling depth
  • Buyer priorities for personalization
  • Available content
First, there is a tradeoff between how much profile data to collect, requiring the user to answer more questions and spend more time prior to getting a custom report, versus having enough profile information in order to do intelligent content personalization.  Typically for an Interactive White Paper , as a rule of thumb, you don’t want more than 4 or 5 profile questions. However, you do want to have enough profile information and pivot points to enable the content to be intelligently customized and relevant.

Second, buyers expect that an interactive white paper will be customized to match their relevancy needs. From our research of what buyers want, the relevant dimensions to pivot on, in priority order are:
  • Role in buying decision (persona)
  • Stage in buying cycle (discovery, consideration, selection)
  • Pain points / opportunity / analysis
  • Industry
  • Size
  • Geographic Location.
Third, you need to have, or be able to develop, the personalized content to match the personalization upon which you are pivoting. Sometimes that content might not exist, for example, you might want to personalize the white paper based on industry / size and location, but not have enough case studies to match all of those dimensions. So there needs to be a tradeoff between what buyers want with regards to personalized content, and what can be made cost-effectively available as part of the interactive white paper content.

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