trends

A New Generation of Tailored Data Services Comes to Forefront

Stephen Yagielowicz

Interactivity and personalization are among the keys to parting prospects from their cash and driving online profits today. The evidence for this is seen in the popularity of live cam and dating sites, where personality sets the stage for an individualistic appeal that pre-recorded content marketers may find hard to compete with — a challenge as well as an opportunity that is increasing in complexity as customized content delivery arrives.

Let’s take a closer look:

Personalization technology enables the dynamic insertion, customization or suggestion of content in any format that is relevant to the individual user, based on the user’s implicit behavior and preferences, and explicitly given details. -James Doman, Quora.com

At the beginning, it’s important to consider that customization and personalization are two different (but closely related) things. For example, customization would include user selectable sidebar or homepage content such as localized information, social media feeds and more; while personalization is more akin to a “Welcome Back, Stephen” message as well as inbox and status links, such as is available to XBIZ.net members.

Customized sites are available to all users, including anonymous ones, but the more a site is personalized, the less anonymous its visitors are, requiring a delicate balance when identifying porn viewers in uncomfortably intrusive ways.

According to James Doman on Quora.com, “personalization technology enables the dynamic insertion, customization or suggestion of content in any format that is relevant to the individual user, based on the user’s implicit behavior and preferences, and explicitly given details” — a definition that sums things up nicely.

“Content personalization (or customization — take your pick) is a strategy that relies on visitor data to deliver relevant content based on audience interests and motivations,”

Mark Sherbin told the Content Marketing Institute. “It ranges from a highly targeted call to action to a revolving landing page based on geographic or industry-specific segments. It’s a user experience shortcut that connects your audience with the information it needs more quickly, enhancing the chance of converting the lead.”

Content personalization tools require rule sets based on predefined audience segments — or niches, in adult web-speak. As for how these techniques will best fit your operation, Sherbin advises marketers to keep things simple when choosing audience segments.

Personal or not, that’s the bottom line if you want to compete in 2013 and beyond.

While tools such as geo-IP discrimination, related content tagging and behavioral targeting are used on adult sites, a new generation of personalized content is debuting.

One example of this developing trend can be found in custom mainstream newsreader applications that deliver user selected, niche targeted news reports — such as the newly released Winston from Reactor Labs (www.getwinston.com), which gathers information from a variety of online news sources, as well as from Facebook and Twitter accounts, to provide consumers with completely customizable content.

Winston reads the user’s specified news channel in a simulated male voice (with an appropriately rendered English accent), and displays any related images accompanied by an optional background music track.

Why not a female voice, bolstered with sexy flirtations and reading select news bits (ala Naked News), erotic stories and more, to extend this process into the adult realm — or better yet, a highly customizable avatar that delivers any content it receives via RSS?

Marketing such a proposition is a new startup called Guide (www.gui.de), which uses avatar technology licensed from Sony to present news stories tailored to the user’s own interests and gathered from his or her preferred sources.

Guide is intended to be brief and engaging; with a high level of multimedia content, including photos, videos and pull quotes; rather than laboriously text-heavy presentations — it is a hit and run approach to attention deficited viewers that works well for porn, too.

Compatible with any site publishing an RSS feed, Guide will be available as a plugin for WordPress that will automatically convert posts into Guide segments, complete with lip-syncing avatars.

An iPad-friendly iOS app, Guide will eventually come to browsers and televisions, employing a business model that reportedly includes upselling users on celebrity avatars and voice upgrades — a move echoing the longstanding offers by GPS and other voice-device marketers — and one that could easily be leveraged by porn star promoters eyeing adult applications.

It is a tantalizing prospect, but there are many other aspects to this equation.

One source for further guidance is CrownPeak.com, which offers a downloadable e-book on “Website Personalization: Improving Conversions through Targeted Content. Econsultancy and Adobe offer an infographic illustrating personalization’s ROI (www.econsultancy.com/us/reports/infographic-theroi-of-personalisation), providing an inside glimpse at the economics behind the tailored presentations, encouraging adoption. Canterris’ Web Content Personalization (www.canterris.com/content_optimization) is a toolset that provides audience segmentation, content optimization conversion tracking, plus personalized content creation, management and more. Likewise, Gravity.com offers a range of content personalization and analytics tools that promise happier users, higher engagement and enhanced discovery; through sponsored content, paid editorial links and other easily measurable marketing techniques.

Enterprise level content management system (CMS) OpenText (www.opentext.com) offers a range of personalization features, while Get Smart (www.getsmartcontent.com) provides truly responsive designs which create web experiences tailored to your visitor’s interests so that you can watch engagement levels soar.

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