On the subject of spam, the following, received from someone calling themselves "Career Poet" is either a hilarious parody or an example of extreme *missing the point*. Perhaps I will forward it on to Mr. Olugbode, in case he wants to take up a more respectable career. The funniest part is the Age of Huts "sell-through"? Would you like some Scalapino with that Silliman?
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 12:42:47 -0400
From: "Career Poet"
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Subject: e_Audience Personalization for the Literature Industry (Poets & Presses)
e-Audience Personalization as a Competitive Weapon: 6 Ways to Win with a More Personal Touch
For poets & their presses (referred to at times collectively as the 'Literature Industry'), the competition to win an audience (of consumers, hereafter referred to as 'Audience') has never been fiercer. To grow, they are offering more merchandise and serving segments.
So is this approach winning?
50 percent of the time an audience member lands on a poet's or press' web site, they leave in less than 8 seconds. And even when they do stay, they don't necessarily come back for more.
That means building a loyal audience has never been more important. And yet it has never been harder to get.
From what we're hearing from the Literature Industry, many understand the need to start by showing the audience they understand them -- who they are, what they want, and when they want it. They see a value in personalizing the aesthetic experience.
Personalization starts with knowing who the audience is when she enters your site through any of its many doors, and then guiding her down the right path, using a range of approaches that ultimately result in purchase and loyalty. Some in the Literature Industry get overwhelmed at the mere thought of trying to create a personalized experience for each audience member. But personalization doesn't require you to create an individual plan for each audience member. It's about implementing a plan that feels personal. In fact, employing personalization strategies can enable you to serve different segments dynamically on a single platform, reducing your catalog's requirements and keeping you from having to change.
When executed properly, personalization enables you to extend your existing audience segmentation strategy - and even enhance it - by using additional knowledge that you acquire from learning from your audiences' online behaviors. The result is an audience experience, integrated across the Web, e-mail and contact center that feels customized for the individual but is actually automatically driven by audience segments or "personas."
Putting Personalization into Practice
We hear what those in the Literature Industry are saying. Their challenges, questions, and debates lead me to offer 6 key approaches to consider when evolving your online strategies:
1. The Starting Point: Know your segments and create personas.
Personalization begins with defining the rules by which you interact with your audience. Leverage what you know about your audience based on past and current interactions ( e.g., do they confuse Bernstein with the Berenstain Bears?) Use profile management to store key attributes. These attributes combine to create audience segments or "personas" that enable you to drive relevant interactions. With personas, you can enhance your traditional segments with subjective information that personifies that segment ( e.g., fashion-loving twenty-something poets who live on the east coast of North America). Like segments, personas are informed by audiences' demographics, psychographics, purchase patterns, knowledge of which channel they use, as well as the value associated with their importance – because let's be frank, those chaps aren't going to sell themselves!
2. Anonymous personalization - An oxymoron?
Although audience members these days are more willing to answer a few questions if it improves their experience with you or opportunities to publish themselves, you can choose to let your Web site do the work for you. Your Web site lets you learn about your visitor - even if she remains anonymous - by seeing what links she clicks, what articles she reads, what searches she runs, or what questions she asks in the comment boxes. With this information, your Web site content can be dynamically tailored for your visitor in an instant, as soon as it identifies which persona to associate with the visitor.
3. Personalization informed by history and behavioral targeting.
On the flip side, the more you know about the audience, the more relevance you can infuse into your interactions. Once you can identify, your site should have access to her buying history so that you know what products she already owns as well as which ones have interested her historically. When she puts Elsewhere 1-3 in her shopping cart, you will want to make her a cross-sell offer. But rather than offer her Folly she just bought last week, you'll offer her a different, but related text like Deed .
4. Personalization through live interaction.
Monitoring your audience's actions in real time can bring personalization to the truly intimate level. For instance, say she puts a big-ticket item in her cart (say, The Age of Huts (Compleat)). But then she hesitates; rather than checking out, looking at the shipping information page. The new trend here is proactive click to call, a capability that lets you pop up a window and offer live help ("Question about Silliman? Click here to speak with us.") She clicks, goes to the top of the queue, and her phone rings instantly, connecting her to Tom Mandel who completes the sale. You can also extend cross-sell personalization to the call center. If the call center has the right tools, they can increase order size. That is the epitome of effective, cross-channel offer management.
5. Multi-stage, scenario-based personalization.
Artists can no longer expect to communicate with an audience once and "close the sale." A single interaction rarely evolves into a lasting relationship. More sophisticated approaches using multi-stage, scenario-based personalization can help combat this reality. By introducing triggers at critical interaction points that take into account who your customer is and what she wants, you can help lead that customer down the optimal path. With multi-stage personalization, you are monitoring and responding to events as they happen, and reaching out to the customer to start a meaningful and relevant dialogue. The best multi-stage scenarios span across channels ( e.g., a reading, a small reception, then drinks at a bar). Some interactions will trigger an e-mail response, while others may activate a call. Still others may prompt sales. Some of these communications will call for immediate action, while others lay the groundwork for future interactions.
6. Personalization using searchandising and Affinity (or "Automated") Selling.
Searchandising and affinity selling are two new techniques now coming of age and bringing with them the power to truly guide an audience down the desired path. With searchandising, poets and presses can drive how search results are presented, to different audiences - ultimately serving to increase basket size and conversion rates. For example, consider the SPD experience. If you carry 1,000 titles you need to determine what titles you should present, in what order, and with what information. Should you present Notley or Faust? Making that determination starts with recalling the audience's history, profile or segment, and then presenting the titles most in line with that criteria. Taking it a step further, your presentation should match your merchandising strategy. Perhaps you have a particular relationship which favors one title over another, or a particular title on special – attempting to clean out your closet of broken dreams - or knowledge that a particular title sells best within a specific segment. The artist ought to be able to specify, as part of the catalog data, which titles should appear first in a search.
Affinity selling also keeps your audience interactions highly relevant. Think of it as automated personalization. This approach automates recommendations according to both the purchases made and the segment or persona they belong to. It modifies recommendations according to other information you have, rather than assigning segments based solely on their most recent purchases. For example, a UMass poet should always receive recommendations for Slope Editions, even if he bought Hannah Weiner's Open House on one occasion for his girlfriend in Naropa.
Discover more about how leading-edge artists are putting personalization in these various forms into practice and getting bottom-line results in return.
For these artists, personalizing the audience experience takes different forms. But regardless of what form it takes, personalization is one of their best weapons for attracting an audience and building loyalty. I encourage you to spend some time learning how your competition is winning over customers with a more personal touch with Poet Strategies, LLC.