The 3 challenges of contextual content adaptation
How can you personalize the digital experience while taking advantage of the content? Digital eXperience Management (DXM) answers this question.
While the “Content is King” formula has long been a mantra to marketers, the search for a truly digital experience optimized for customer conversion calls it into review. In 2019, at a time when omnichannel is making the user journey as personalized as possible, it may be time to say ‘Contextual Content is God.”
This need to personalize the digital user experience, that is, to dynamize the content, has been quickly imposed on marketing managers. As early as 2016, in a study by Demand Metric, 80% of respondents recognized the efficiency gain of so-called “personalized” content. At the same time, 59% also conceded that they did not have the solutions or the resources to provide such content on a large scale…
Good news: it is the vocation of Digital eXperience Management (DXM) solutions to ensure the contextual adaptation of content – a dynamic rendering that meets 3 challenges.
1) Manage technical constraints
For many, the technical adaptation of content is above all making it “responsive” to ensure the quality of its rendition on mobile. In practice however, responsive design is only one part of the technical challenges. There is also the question of adapting to existing formats in different geographic zones or to the available bandwidth. For images for example, while the WebP format has not spread widely in Europe, this is very different in Asia, especially in China. As for video, opting for 3GP format (simplified version of MP4) is useful for audiences in areas with low network capacity.
Aside from streaming protocols, framing and resizing images represents a tedious task for anyone who must adapt assets for multiple campaigns. Getting the most out of an image that can be used in different ad formats (from banner to billboard) means being able to resize it intelligently according to the key elements it contains.
Another technical task is editing the information required for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), from the description of an image to the transcription of a video interview. When this process is done manually for a large number of assets, it is likely to be incomplete, or even completely overlooked. This leads to lower visibility on the pages of search engines, and thus a loss of traffic and performance. Experience has confirmed that renaming images with consistent metadata is already enough to generate very significant gains. As a simple example, compare the image search results for the keywords ‘little blue bicycle’ between image files that are named or not according to these attributes.
For all these topics of dynamic content personalization, a DXM solution, like the Wedia module, provides key levers: industrialization and automation. Depending on the location of the audience and available bandwidth, content is available in the appropriate format – a capability often referred to as “adaptive streaming.” Depending on the display sizes and proportions, visuals can also be tailored to accentuate products or people that are automatically recognized. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have emerged to do this and also make it possible to recognize images, elements of an image, or speech-to-text videos in order to improve the descriptions required by SEO. This technical variation of content, however, is just one facet of contextualization.
2) Adapt to the cultural and legal framework
Why should products be placed within a Parisian setting on the screen of a visitor who is obviously in Italy? If the identity of the product is linked to Paris, the choice is justified, otherwise it can be counterproductive. Changing the background of an image by criterion like geographic location is a common use of a DXM solution. Common yet valuable: this contextualization helps reinforce proximity to the target audience.
In addition to geographic data, other information is needed to ensure a truly relevant dynamic rendering. The goal is to consider cultural context. Not all societies have the same relationship to body, face and of course, nudity. For example, where a model may be used in some countries to promote a piece of jewelry, a focus on the hand will be better received in others. The same product may actually be suitable to many scenarios with different frames, more or less blurred areas, different poses and models.
We also need to add the legal framework to this cultural fact. Depending on the product (food, tobacco, alcohol), legislation differs from one country to another, with different requirements, especially for packshots. Not to mention that the display of visuals must correspond to the rights negotiated with the photographer or the model. The DXM uses a “legal filter” on the “last mile” of the rendition in order to provide alternative visual representations that comply with the local laws, or to simply to block its distribution.
In general, the DXM solution acts as the intermediary between the available assets and the geo-cultural context to deliver the most appropriate content.
3) Integrate the context of the session
Of course, context also refers to data that is more focused on the visitor. Taking into account the weather or the hour at which content is consumed to better personalize the experience may seem trivial but practice confirms the strong impact of these measures. Modifying the color tones of the images displayed to reflect the moment of consumption, or opting for a variant adapted to the weather conditions are small steps that bring the audience closer. As with the geographic location, these parameters provide a dynamic representation of visual elements that are matched with “physical” data.
The context of a visitor’s session is also part of a more global experience. Is it a regular visitor or an occasional one? Anonymous or connected? From an organic search or a social media advertising campaign meant for young audiences? All of these elements can lead to displaying different variations of the same content or different contents.
With which criteria? According to which rules? The answers must go through an analysis of performance. Here too the DXM makes a decisive contribution by scoring content. Depending on multiple variables (audience, channel, context, format, etc.), the DXM analyzes performance to provide the appropriate content at the right time to the right person. A virtuous circle by the DAM and DXM combination to ensure a continuous improvement of the experience.
By adapting content to all technical, geo-cultural and contextual dimension, the DXM is also well-equipped to support intelligent content delivery. A user who looks at an image of a DIY workshop and zooms in on a sander will be offered additional content – access to the image of the power tool, the product sheet, and related content like tutorials on sanding techniques.
The use of AI opens even more creative possibilities to produce content on the fly, such as the generation of 360 degree images based on existing visuals, or the production of images (face, object etc..) from existing examples and a learning algorithm. It is up to each one of us to imagine the best scenarios for making content the main ingredient of an ever more personalized digital experience.