Emerging Media

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How Dynamic Personalization is Changing the Web


shutterstock_125153480The days of generic websites are numbered.   The growth of social media has changed the way we use the web. It’s all about the user – their interests, content and engagement are crucial to a site’s success.

Not just for massive sites like Amazon and Neflix, websites that offer personalized content will soon be the expectation and the norm.

What Dynamic Personalization Is and Why We Should Care

Dynamic personalization is the process of generating content on a webpage that is targeted toward the individual visiting the site. Instead of everyone seeing the same information – and seeing it every time they visit – content and calls-to-action are changed to meet their interests and needs.

Done right, this customization can provide better service, improve brand preference and loyalty, and encourage the site visitor to move through your site by making content relevant to their needs more accessible.

Hubspot, a marketing software suite offering dynamic web personalization, reports that calls-to-action targeted to the user had a 42 percent higher viewed-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors.

How Dynamic Personalization Works

Some sites give visitors the option to self-identify their interests. For example, a hospital web site might ask whether the visitor is a patient, a caregiver, a medical professional or job seeker. Depending on their answer, the home page content could change to show information on parking, services, continuing education resources, or job opportunities.

Taking it a step further, the user could create an account and store information, not only on their interests, but also their medical history, doctors, and interesting articles from the site. Subsequent visits to the site could suggest content based on the interests they have indicated.

Other forms of personalization can use browsing history within the site and the search terms used to get to the site. Again using hospitals as an example, this could mean someone who searches the internet for a particular health need, such as heart care, could find heart information featured prominently on the homepage of the site.

Web developers look at the common personas of those using their websites and create taxonomies that deliver just the right content to just the right person.

Where Dynamic Personalization Gets Risky

Of course, remembering that you like particular shows on Netflix when you sign back into an account poses little risk. For organizations like hospitals, much greater sensitivity is required. Interests and concerns garnered through browsing history might prove embarrassing if served up repeatedly through later sessions, particularly when computers are shared. Calls-to-action and content delivered requires additional discretion and subtlety.


People like content that interests them and find other material to be clutter that gets in the way of their finding what they need. Dynamic personalization provides a means to provide the right content in a less cluttered format than is required to give everything to everybody. But it has to be done carefully to avoid making wrong assumptions about the user and violate feelings of privacy when privacy is required.

Please share your thoughts…


2 thoughts on “How Dynamic Personalization is Changing the Web

  1. Carolyn, great post! Dynamic personalization seems to be a very effective marketing technique, since people tend to love content that is customized specifically for them. As a consumer, it would deepen my relationship with a brand that remembers my interests purchase history, and other relevant information. However Marketing Charts mentions that only 34% of companies are personalizing their web content in real time and 40% are planning to do so. It makes you wonder, why companies have not jumped on to the bandwagon yet. After all, it is only beneficial to stand out in a sea full of competition, and dynamic personalization will do just that!

  2. Really enjoyed this blog post, Carolyn! It seems that dynamic personalization addresses the increasingly short window of attention that consumers will give sites before they move on to potential competitors. An immediate “grab” with information tailored to consumer interests is more of a marketing necessity now than a luxury. Great information!

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