Personalized marketing is the top of every marketer’s mind – but most of us are still struggling to implement.

Marketers are pouring resources into creating targeted messaging to create specific user journeys that will break through the noise online. Your prospects are now inundated with options, and the website that speaks to their exact pain points will reap the rewards of higher conversion rates and larger purchases. So why isn’t your website personalization strategy delivering on those promises?

The problem is that many marketers are still far off from those highly targeted and specific user journeys. Yes, we’re creating more persona-based content and sending out diverse, precise messages to prospects. But the one-to-many feeling of true personalization for every single visitor? We’re not there yet.

Why? First of all, it’s expensive and frankly, inefficient. Creating the content that speaks to audience members’ diverse needs is a tall order in and of itself, but when you throw in manually building out specific user journeys to put that content in context of the buyers’ journeys, it’s downright impossible. Marketers need to double or triple their headcount to create the content alone.

Secondly, there is the issue with the data itself. True personalization requires a lot of data analysis and many marketers are not planning to invest in the army of data scientists that analyzing all of that data requires. Instead, many marketers are electing to cut corners on analyzing the data, hoping  that the answers from their marketing automation and website analytics tools will be so obvious. In truth, we’re pursuing this personalization effort blindly without focusing on the specific data that points to what website visitors really need when they explore on the website. We’re relying on assumptions from our different data tools, while overlooking key areas where our website visitors are telling us what they need.

Don’t Fear AI for Website Personalization

Solving these two major issues requires technology that many business leaders are still hesitant to implement: artificial intelligence. More specifically, using artificial intelligence to automate the analysis and tuning of your site search, and then using site search to drive content on your site is how to solve these issues.

This is a strategy that many major companies, such as GoPro, Logitech, and others, are using on their site, and no, not just companies based in Silicon Valley that are always leading the way. Every organization can take advantage of artificial intelligence to power their search – and start to see personalized marketing efforts actually deliver on their promise to increase conversion rates.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Automate the tuning of your search engine. It’s possible using AI. AI-powered search will apply machine learning to your search usage data and determine the content that makes users successful. No manual tuning required.
  2. Automatically guide your website visitors through your content. Now that you know you are providing the most relevant content for every search query, it’s time to expand your search experience. Don’t just serve up a list of relevant results; provide them with their next step with content recommendations and search-driven content and landing pages.
  3. Provide you with data to create more customer-centric content strategies. You can’t recommend content if it doesn’t exist. Once you have optimized the search experience, it’s time to start paying attention to the queries with results with low click-through rates and queries that return 0 results to start building your content strategy. Find out more about how to do this from Coveo’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Floisand’s webinar at the Sitecore Global Virtual Summit, “Creating a Data-Driven Content Strategy with Search Usage Analytics.”

Now, your personalized marketing efforts will scale as your business grows. You don’t need an army of marketers to ensure you improve your conversion rate. You just need AI embedded in your website search to deliver the personalized customer experiences your website visitors expect. 

About Rachel Schultz

Rachel Schultz is the Content Marketing Manager at Coveo. She blends her background in journalism seamlessly with her B2B marketing expertise and obsession with data to create compelling content for the Coveo community. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading (strictly non-fiction), hanging out with her puppy or taking in all NYC has to offer with her husband.

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