Four things to consider as you get started with personalization

Blog | Digital Experience
Written By: Sana KamalmazPublished On: Jun 13 2022
Three people interested in three different things

In a previous post I shared an introduction to Sitecore CDP and touched upon its capabilities around orchestration and personalization. In this post, I’ll share a few things to consider when embarking on a personalization journey.

1. Start with a good understanding

Personalization is a strategy that aims to create unique experiences by tailoring content to individuals’ (or groups of individuals’) needs or interests. The goal is to connect better with the audience through empathic and relevant communication.



  • is a strategy rather than a tactic, and it should be thought through, planned, maintained, and improved (not a build it and leave it type of effort)
  • is about creating a natural conversation with the audience and should be customer-centric rather than company-centric
  • should not be attempted just to get on the bandwagon; otherwise it won’t drive business value
  • should be used on a usable experience and should not be used as a fix for a broken one (e.g. where users are struggling to find information of interest on a site)


2. Be prepared to have a strategy in place


When getting started on your personalization strategy, there are some questions that you’d want to consider. This is not an exhaustive list but rather some thought starters:


  • “What’s the objective?” which should funnel down to “What key metrics am I looking to influence?” It is essential that this is articulated clearly to keep personalization efforts focused. It’s also necessary because it informs how success will be measured.
  • “How will the audience be segmented? Location, technology, traffic sources, behavior, explicit data, time, or a combination of these?” And “Are these segments actionable, in the sense that a) there is a clear message that is relevant to each segment and b) these segments can be targeted and reached?”
  • “What is needed in terms of data management and consolidation?” This is required for building a clear and comprehensive understanding of the audience by aggregating data collected through different sources and bringing it together into one place so it can be acted upon.
  • “What experiences render themselves best for personalization?” possibilities include hero banners, call-to-action buttons, promotional modules, recommendations, overlays and popups, notifications and widgets, messaging, landing page copy and imagery, search results, etc.
  • “How to ensure personalizing the entire journey?” to ensure the efforts work as a strategic lever and not come across as a one-off tactic.

3. Always be mindful of user experience (UX) best practices

It’s easy to get tempted to switch things up quite a bit to ‘match the audience’s needs’ and that’s why it is good to check and make sure you don’t accidentally serve experiences that are subpar. Keep an eye on UX good practices and


  • Don’t confuse users with drastic changes to experiences they got used to in a way that makes it challenging to find their way around
  • Think before restricting access/hiding content based on personalization. Do that only sparingly if needed. A more effective approach to personalize an experience is to add or reshuffle content rather than removing access to it/hiding it. This is important because users have different needs at different times, and past behaviours don’t always predict future ones.
  • Provide a way out of the personalized experience as appropriate. Even with the best planning, personalization might lead to serving an experience that is not exactly what the user wants. Offering an easy way out when applicable offers the user control and freedom, two essential principles for usability

4. Start small and grow from there

Personalization is a journey. Experimenting with personalization on a small scale allows you to pivot early if needed, use the learning, and build the confidence needed for accelerating your personalization initiatives.

About the AuthorSana Kamalmaz
Sana KamalmazDirector, Digital Strategy