Another year just passed by. This was the first one in SpringTab’s journey with popularizing content mass personalization. We couldn’t be more excited! 2014 meant lots of ups and downs, acquiring the first customers, putting in long hours of development, and formulating a team that made this all possible. We could go on talking about ourselves (who doesn’t?) for hours, but we won’t, because there is a lot more to this post than that! At the end of the year, we are in the office, facing the beautiful Budapest sight, and making plans: where to focus in 2015? In the last couple of days we crammed so much information on trends and predictions, and formed a view on what is going to happen in 2015. Here’s what we expect in our own market, content personalization, and in the $125 billion big data and analytics market.
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No. 1. Big data will prove itself
As Ben Huh from Cheezburger put in our recent interview at LeWeb, “big data is yet to prove itself when it comes to personalization (..) and we are seeing very promising signs. (…) In the future, it will lead to leaps in conversion”.
Digging deeper into this, as reported in InformationWeek, 2014 saw the proliferation of applications, tools and components that leverage big data. 2015 will be the year of harvesting, as businesses will have the platforms integrated into their data systems and resources to concentrate on delivering real business results.
In terms of platforms, “as data becomes more accessible and analytic tools become easier to use and readily available, data science won’t be limited to those in the technology sector. In 2015, anyone with the right tools can draw powerful insights from data.” – said Lukas Biewald, a data-mining and crowdsourcing expert from CrowdFlower.
This is what SpringTab stands for: using our analytics tool, our clients are able to interpret a wide range of data, analyze user behavior and formulate the personalize their content to match the needs of their users. It is very intuitive and does not need a data scientist.
No. 2. Buying and selling data will become mainstream
According to a recent IDC report, “70% of large organizations already purchase external data and 100% will do so by 2019. In parallel more organizations will begin to monetize their data by selling them or providing value-added content.”
We, at SpringTab believe that this trend has a tremendous impact, and raises the quality issue. In 2015 the question won’t be whether companies buy data, but if the quality of the acquired data is good enough to serve its purpose. For instance, in case of an e-commerce company, if it generates enough sales leads or provides a wide range of information about the customer. There are three types of “layers” or graphs about users. The first is the social layer, which is readily available leveraging social networks. There is also user behavior, which can be extracted using an analytics tool on the website; this type includes heat maps and mouse tracking. Finally, sites (especially e-commerce portals) can use shopping behavior of their users: as Soraya Darabi put it during our LeWeb interview, “if you’re an e-commerce company and you’re not analytics-focused in 2015, you’re in trouble”. At SpringTab, we think that the highest ROI can be achieved integrating the three layers, to maximize impact according to Dave McClure’s AARRR model. For 2015 we predict that the three layers will unite and, with the domination of the social layer.
No. 3. Personalized content will be easier to produce
In 2015, many brands, who have not realized the power of personalization, will try personalized content and they will realize the positive impact it will have on “increased customer loyalty, improved revenue, and better understanding customers” – as Gagan Mehra, an industry expert says.
SpringTab identifies three levels of adaptive content. The first being very simple adaptations, such as rearranging the order of pictures or articles, so that it gives an increased user experience. A second level would be personalized landing pages or sites that differ for different individuals, for instance, when a microsite for the latest sedan seems completely different for a 50-year old accountant than a stockbroker aged 28. Finally, the whole website content can be adaptive. If you think of the Wall Street Journal for example, in that case, personalization can range from personalizing whole articles to showing the exchange rate depending on the user’s country.
No. 4. Social media will be leveraged for content personalization and leads
We believe that social media is a great tool both to collect sales lead and to use them to build user profiles, as they provide a great deal of information. It can also feed other marketing campaigns or email newsletters. As an example, a brand could create a raffle on Facebook to engage with its users, it could send them a voucher for just signing up.
In 2015, we could imagine a more personalized Facebook page and landing page for brands. Since users click only on what they are interested in, we would welcome Facebook Ads-like targeting on landing pages and social media profiles.
No. 5. Alternative monetization formulas will be more common
As users surf on different websites and create their digital footprint, advertising becomes more efficient. This is what SpringTab does and we see a huge opportunity in this area. However, we also think that monetization is key. In 2015, brands will discover and adapt new ways of monetizing their advertising campaigns.
We expect three innovations next year. First, as mentioned before, data ownership will be a key monetization strategy. Second, analytics will reach such a level that software can associate a dollar value to customer interaction automatically. Finally, selling upon personalization will emerge as a growing monetization technique.
Finally, many thanks for bearing with us in 2014 and we wish happy holidays to all our partners, clients and curious readers. We are looking forward to a promising 2015, SpringTab’s team is more energetic and excited than ever before