Two surefire ways of enabling personalization with a headless CMS

Did you know that 80% of all consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences? Such numbers also indicate that if you don’t personalize, you’re lost. But isn’t personalization limited to Big Tech? With these two personalization solutions, it’s not.

Personalization by Big Tech  

In this ever-changing digital world, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to capture and retain their customer’s attention. That’s why wealthy organizations utilize personalization to drive business value. According to Netflix, personalization allows each member to have a different view of the Netflix service, one that adapts to their interests over time. For this, the video-on-demand tycoon uses numerous machine learning and recommendation algorithms to drive personalization and search experiences. And Netflix isn’t the only industry giant that is known for a high degree of implemented personalization. YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify all generate recommendations based on their customer’s individual profiles.

Why is personalization so important?

A recent survey by Accenture shows that 48% of consumers have once left a company’s website and made a purchase elsewhere, simply because their digital experience was poorly curated. As consumers, we have always been attracted by brands that make us feel heard and seen. But in this fast-growing forest of digital content, customer expectations have elevated. We want to see videos that we like. Read articles that capture our interest. And get relevant recommendations to ingest even more. Personalization is an important business value, and when you do it right, you can see amazing results. But wait – isn’t personalization reserved for Big Tech only?

Spoiler alert: It’s not.

How can you implement personalization? 

The good thing about technology is that it always finds its way to the masses. Personalization has been exclusively available to Big Tech for years, but a wide array of personalization solutions is now within our reach. This includes recommending relevant content, enabling targeted content, and sending smart notifications. With these practices, you can deliver a unique digital experience – just like Netflix does.

Today, there are countless ways to start personalizing digital content. Yet there are two approaches that we believe work best. A headless CMS combined with a personalization engine or a data-driven CMS. Both are based on data sciences and use techniques such as machine learning and data mining to offer unique experiences to every user. The former approach is what we call a modular solution, where the latter offers built-in features for personalization.  

A headless CMS with additional personalization engine

A lot of businesses use a headless CMS to create and publish digital content. This allows them to publish content on numerous front ends, while structuring and centralizing the content at simply one back end. Think of a headless CMS as a lean foundation. Most headless CMSs offer the possibility to add modular components to complement missing features. You can add, for example, a tool that allows for AB-testing, SEO validation, or recommendations. There’s also the opportunity of adding a personalization engine to your headless CMS.

A headless CMS with additional personalization engine

With a personalization engine, you can tailor content to specific customers and therefore create personalized experiences. While a headless CMS allows you to select the most advanced solution out there, most personalization engines are built as stand-alone products. This can make them hard to integrate with your headless CMS, resulting in a longer time-to-marketing. Also, when you use such a best-of-breed personalization engine on top of your headless CMS, both licensing and development costs will rise.  

A data-driven CMS

In answer to the integration difficulties of stand-alone personalization engines, we see a new solution emerge: the data-driven CMS. This new kid on the block is basically a headless CMS with a built-in personalization engine. A data-driven CMS combines the power of both content and data, to maximize the impact of published content. Real-time personalization becomes possible as a data-driven CMS captures event data from the front end and sends it back to the content management system. This fuels personalization features such as targeted recommendations and smart notifications.

Personalization with a data-driven CMS

Data-driven content management has one big benefit over a modular solution. It gives access to personalization features without the need for multiple systems. Setting up this solution doesn’t require much technical knowledge. This keeps development costs low and ensures a faster time-to-market. Even though you might not have access to that broad scope of personalization features, a data-driven CMS is advanced enough for most businesses. The smaller selection of the latest and most essential features is also what keeps licensing costs affordable.

Channel your inner Netflix

The era in which only Big Tech companies such as Netflix can personalize digital experiences is over. If you want to start personalizing content for your audiences: you can. Whether it’s by adding a modular personalization engine to your back end, or by opting for a data-driven CMS. Both solutions have their own benefits and disadvantages. Check out all differences below and choose your pick. It’s time to channel your inner Netflix.

Headless CMS + Personalization EngineData-Driven CMS
Time to marketMid-termFast
StrategicBusiness caseBusiness Case
Total Costs of OwnershipMediumLow
Technical challenges
Syncing systemSync of systemsNot needed
Advanced featuresExtensiveLimited 

Want to learn more?

For more about personalization with a data-driven CMS, make sure to visit our personalization page. We’re here to tell you all about this cutting-edge solution.

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