Consumers Covet Customization ... And Will Offer Up Their Data For It (Report)

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ChatGPT and its conversing AI cousins are getting all the attention, but text generation is in no way the only AI capability that publishers should keep an eye on.

Personalization in this dawning age of AI is the focus of Zephr’s latest guide for digital publishers seeking to “increase engagement, drive business success, and deliver better user experiences.”

But even with the ever-evolving directions that AI has taken in just the last few months and the potential hurdles of implementing them quickly, the guide stresses that publishers should be able to deliver personalized content recommendations “with simple tools that aren’t as challenging to onboard.”

The Zephr guide, entitled “Personalization, Relevancy & The Rise of AI,” builds from the premise that customers want customization. 74% feel “frustrated when website content isn’t customized,” and 83% are willing to offer their first-party data “if it means they’re able to receive a more personalized experience.”

With progressive profiling, data is collected in a more gradual manner rather than in one fell (invasive) swoop. So when a user wants to see a free article, rather than having that user fill out an extensive registration form, they might be asked about other preferences in exchange for a trial, then have more data collected as their user-journey continues.

“This helps to build trust with users and ensures that the overall data collected is detailed and relevant without feeling intrusive,” the guide says.

Zephr then breaks down some of the personalization opportunities that AI presents to “analyze large amounts of data and make predictions automatically,” including algorithms that identify patterns in both user behavior and content engagement.

However, with the current expense and difficulty of implementing, Zephr says it “may be worth considering alternatives to AI in the meantime in order to implement personalization more quickly.”

And though there were specific examples of technologies worth seeking, the larger takeaway is that the ability to adapt is of more importance.

“As technology continues to evolve, new and better solutions will become available,” the guide says, “and by using best of breed solutions, publishers can more easily incorporate these new solutions into their existing systems, rather than being locked into a single, outdated solution.”

In the meantime, Zephr offers best practices that include user-communication, privacy prioritization, opt-out options, and keeping it simple.

“While many are considering AI and more advanced personalization strategies in the coming years, publishers who start sooner with simpler personalization tools will likely gain a head start over competition,” the guide concludes.




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