The digital experience enhances so many aspects of everyday life today. Let’s take inventory of just a few of the daily tasks we use our devices for: shopping, banking, fitness, scheduling, security, entertainment, education, travel and so much more. Government has also realized the opportunity of digital services. Now, agencies are using them to improve communication and relationships with citizens. But how do they make the most of the digital experience to really engage users? One answer is personalization.
Personalization is the ability of the user to customize, suggest or save relevant content while utilizing apps or websites. Agencies can now tailor their content to help drive citizen engagement from any location. From helping to create products online to generating conversation and gathering feedback, organizations rely on personalization to connect and understand citizens.
To explore how you can foster better engagement through personalization, GovLoop hosted the online training “Delivering Personalized Content is Not As Hard As You Think.” The training brought together Alexandra Figueroa, the Chief of Web and New Media Branch at the U.S. Census Bureau working on the Digital Transformation program, and Greg Reeder, the Director for Department of Defense Innovation at Adobe, to discuss the importance of personalization and how to achieve it. Together they helped to break down the importance of digital platforms and how personalization informs their engineering and design as well as user experience.
Figueroa and Reeder agreed that users have come to expect the ability to personalize information, as well as the continued growth and development of such capabilities. Reeder also explained Adobe’s law of experiences, which states that “consumers expectations of the experience will double every year”. With this increasing demand, it is essential for agencies to embed personalization into their digital experiences.
To determine if your agency is keeping up with the demand of the digital experience, consider if your content contains these four main elements of personalization:
- To make your digital content compelling it needs to be both relevant and engaging, explained Figueroa. For this to occur you must know and understand your audience’s wants and needs. Not sure how to reach this understanding? Both experts focused on using data analytics to help bring about the needed understanding of their users.
- Figueroa said that we are currently in “the age of the customer”. Creating content that feels individual helps establish a relationship with customers and citizens. Figueroa explained how her agency is making strides to personal content by allowing users to customize search results into anything from a chart, to a graph to one simple number.
- Make your agency’s personalization options more advantageous and current. Reeder focused on the fact that changes and advancements in technology are inevitable. Ask yourself, although your options are useful today, will they be useful tomorrow? Thinking innovatively can make personalized content beneficial, new and stimulating. It can also help prepare your agency for the next wave of technical changes.
- “Digital experiences are everywhere, they matter more to us and they matter more for government,” Reeder said. True personalization means not only creating dynamic content on your webpage, but making sure that service is available on any device, at any time, for any user.
Looking for more direction on how you can maximize personalization? Watch the entire online training here.