Data Collection is Everywhere Around Us
No matter what type of industry you are working in, you have surely stumbled with one of these stories talking about how data has helped find the cure for a certain disease, or increase the operational efficiency of a factory, or simply boosted the bottom line of a wavering business.
In this light, many companies have joined the wagon of data collection in search for the benefits that can knock the ball out of the park! For example, your personal data and website browsing habits are collected whenever you visit websites, especially social media platforms, either through Google Analytics or any 3rd party data capture system.
Moreover, being offline doesn’t mean that you are in “off mode” with regards to data collection, as Internet-connected sensors nowadays are everywhere around us collecting data about our physical movements, food consumption in our refrigerators, ink levels in our printers, or even our heart rates using what is often referred to as Internet of Things (IoT).
Data Collection for the Good of the Society
While some people view data collection activities by the business world to be highly intrusive, nobody can ignore or deny the huge benefits that were realized because of it.
For example, the smart suggestions you see on Netflix for you to watch specific movies (from 1500 titles) is simply based on data collection in addition to other supporting technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Similarly, Facebook uses your personal information to suggest posts by other people and company ads that you might be interested in based on what other people similar to you like and behave. In other words, without data collection, companies would be living in a dark room when it comes to making decisions, identifying their most profitable customers and main habits, and catching new trends or emerging preferences.
Personalizing Your Content for Better Results
As a marketer or business owner, you already know that not all visitors of your website are there for the same reason. Moreover, there is a big number of websites out there containing similar content or offering similar services, which threatens to make your website not very appealing for many potential visitors.
Therefore, the solution may be to think about tailoring your content for a specific set of website visitors who represent the larger customer base or even the most profitable ones. Here comes the idea of content personalization which starts by extracting the maximum amount of information about your website visitors and their behavior, such as:
- Location (city, country)
- Device (smartphone, tablet, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac…etc)
- Date and time of visits
- Frequency of visits
- Referring links
- Purchase history
- Session behavior (navigation clicks, page views, scrolls, mouse movement)
Filtering Your Data to Perform the Test
Once you have a reasonable amount of information, your next step should be to group your website visitors into a limited number of segments that can be compared and tested against each other. For example, if you are selling watches, you may discover that the major traffic of your website can be segmented into young people (prefer stylish and colorful designs), women (prefer slim and cute designs), and old businesspeople (prefer traditional and serious designs).
Of course, the nuances for each of these three segments are much more than that, but you can still test multiple web designs using the A/B testing method to discover which of your designs performs more effectively. With A/B testing, you create multiple versions of your website while taking the aforementioned segments into considerations, then you show the different designs to equal portion/percentage of your website visitors. Finally, you measure the level of engagement with each design and check the statistics of all relevant factors to determine the most efficient one.
Let us talk now about a real company called SmartPulse, which specializes in energy planning and cost management. SmartPulse has developed a cloud-based platform that combines IoT infrastructure with Artificial Intelligence algorithms, so its clients enjoy real-time data processing together with fast action capability that are much needed in the age of the 4th industrial revolution.
However, SmartPulse has a number of different solutions and would like to identify the most needed ones in order to give them better and wider exposure on the website and all other advertising platforms. Examples of the products commercialized by SmartPulse are:
- NB-IoT: This narrowband IoT sensor is suitable for small amounts of data, which is not time-critical such as transmitting temperatures, energy measurement, or air quality, where NB-IoT stands out as an ideal solution.
- Nest Cam: It’s a wireless Full HD video-streaming camera with advanced night-vision capabilities. Suitable for indoor and outdoor surveillance with alerts directly transmitted to the owner’s mobile to see what’s happening in real-time 24/7.
- Digital Twin: This is a virtual representation of an object or system that spans its lifecycle, is updated from real-time data, and uses simulation, machine learning and reasoning to help decision-making. And by building digital twins for critical parts of your factory or projects, you can understand their performance in real time, visualize all conditions and malfunctions, regardless of your location or that of the asset you are inspecting.
At the first glance, these are all smart and IoT-based technologies that could be of interest to any responsible client of SmartPulse. However, the clash of priorities on the table of managers and budget limits claimed by CFOs usually dictate certain choices for most companies, which means that not every great solution will make a great sale!
Therefore, SmartPulse’s next step was to develop three different website designs, each promoting one of the three aspects represented by the above products: control, safety, or maintenance. Once ready, SmartPulse made a big announcement about its “new website” inviting interested companies to try it, without disclosing the experiment in progress.
After 3 months, the A/B testing brought its fruits to SmartPulse indicating a higher interest rate, longer browsing time, and more phone calls coming from the “maintenance” version of the website. SmartPulse also validated its numbers by holding surveys with its most valuable client base. So finally, the decision was to make the “maintenance” theme the dominant one for the current period for all visitors in order to reap the best results.
To be more realistic, personalizing the website is only the start. Other consequences of the collected results should also reflect on social media ads, internal resource allocation, hiring decisions, acquisition decisions, and training programs for company staff.
And now, are you ready for the personalization journey of your content?