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Engaging Users & The Need for Personalized Content

Posted Apr 19, 2016

It’s no secret that to engage a user, publishers must offer content that is appealing. In most cases, this requires some level of content personalization. News outlets and social platforms are perhaps the largest examples of customizing experiences for each user. Content is shown in the order that it is likely to engage a given user.

Of course, the applications of personalizing content aren’t limited to news & feed based environments. In an interview with eMarketer, Chis Thorne, the CMO of The Honest Company, noted:

“we focus on developing one-on-one relationships with our customers vs. simply selling them a product”

To do this, The Honest Company leverages “dynamic and personalized storytelling.” Granted, such an effort requires leveraging user data in a meaningful way. While one might dismiss The Honest Company’s efforts as an outlier, this is far from the truth. In fact, in a recent survey of senior level marketers, campaign targeting and content personalization were regarded as the top two most effective uses of user data.


With content personalization and strategic targeting top of mind for savvy marketers, the question remains: why are more publishers not better customizing their in-app messaging? Clues lie in the following survey results published by eMarketer:


Simply, lack of content personalization is most frequently caused by:

  • lack of staff devoted to the cause
  • lack of tech to facilitate personalization
  • lack of accurate data
  • lack of budget

Fortunately, recent developments are alleviating tech and data concerns for many mobile app publishers. As additional in-app messaging and customization tools emerge – some of which for free – budgetary strains are also alleviated. Thus, in one year, expect these barriers to entry fade as the focus shifts away from a question of “should” to a debate of “how”.

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