For several years now, it’s one of the most common things I hear when speaking with clients about their websites and digital marketing programs: They have the data available and are able to define segmented audiences extremely well, but they are forced to compromise their targeted messaging on the flagship corporate website. They clearly wished they could have a more intimate conversation with their existing customers and prospects. God knows they had a trove of usage metrics available, but technology had not caught up with the need to speak uniquely to each of those visitors.
Successful marketing is about delivering the right content, or message, to the right audience, at the right time, through the right channel — and with the right product or tool. For years, I have spent a lot of time on behalf of our clients, trying to imagine a way to discreetly deliver targeted content and messages with surgical precision to the end-user, creating that perfect resonance and custom experience.
Michael Spinosa authored a Blog recently on the subject of “rich content delivery platforms,” which enables organizations to customize dynamic messages and offerings to specific user groups. Interesting, it’s member organizations he is speaking about in this post, but the technology is certainly available to anyone with the inherent challenges that comes with delivering content to multiple audiences, all with varied needs and interests.
All nonprofits are notorious for catering to many disparate audiences, even the public charities. I happen to think that professional associations have led the way with much of this work, adopting practices to remain relevant to all members, no matter their interest, concern, or question. Associations are what my consulting partners always termed “non-traditional publishers,” and like all publishing operations, they are direct marketers — data-crazy, metric-hounds. They’ve learned and applied a valuable lesson: By tracking and capturing each individual’s use of the website information and email promotions, it becomes easy to manage a customized experience for all users. In the case of associations, the delivery of communications and offers can be tailored around prospects or the defined needs of each existing member.
How can it apply to for-profit organizations? It easily converts to any company that has the user data and would like to create a more engaging dialog with their customers. Like everything, there is a front-end investment, but compare that to the archaic practice of continuing to deliver the same messages and offers across a broad swath with a scatter gun approach. The possibility for upgrading and improving results that are quantifiable becomes a compelling argument. Content marketing is all the rage in corporations, and customized content delivery systems are not just our future; they’re here now, and here to stay.