Content personalisation at scale!

Mark de Vos

by Mark de Vos

Personalising website content can be a challenging process for both content managers and developers. We often receive requests to not only localise content, but make it appear or remain hidden depending on certain criteria. This may include the user’s country or language settings, but also their preferred industries, area of interests and more. Unsurprisingly, this may lead to a complex view of what content should be shown when. Let's talk about multi-variable content personalisation.

Smart container

Adobe target is a powerful tool to facilitate personalisation and increase conversions. It’s ideal to have a single platform where you can build a strong, sustainable optimisation program around relevant and personalised experiences. No doubt about it, Adobe target delivers on all these fronts. That said, while working with several clients we have encountered scenarios where Target didn’t seem to be the optimal solution.

Remember, Target is about personalising in an efficient way, so marketers can manage all their extra content quickly and, ideally, using automation.

Imagine, we want to show the latest blog posts depending on a certain category set in the users’ preferences. Let’s take ‘area of interest’ as an example. The latest blog posts would differ if the selected area of interest is AEM or Tealium.

Adobe Target can theoretically handle this, but it would be a tedious authoring job to fulfil. You could update the blog posts in your target section and segment on a continuous basis, but this is a lengthy operational task reliant on manual work which could lead to errors – i.e. displaying the wrong blog posts.

There is no automated way for Adobe Target to read the latest blog posts, as those are constantly updated and as such can be considered dynamic content.

Let’s imagine the Luxus website as having area of interest categories users can set as onsite preferences. You can choose between:

  • AEM solutions
  • Tealium solutions

Without the preferences set, the website would simply display blog posts chronologically, regardless of any area of interest. Here for example, where we see 2 AEM blog posts and 1 Tealium solution blog post, the tealium blog post being "An Introduction to Tealium IQ Part three":

Latest blogs - Based on no category-1

Latest blogs - Based on no category

If we were to set your preference to Tealium solutions it would then appear with 3 Tealium posts, as clearly shown in the below image with the three parts on Tealium IQ:

Latest blogs - Based on Tealium category-1

Latest blogs - Based on Tealium category

If we were to set your preferences to AEM solutions it would appear purely with posts that contain the tag AEM:


Latest blogs - Based on AEM category-1

Latest blogs - Based on AEM category

Introducing the smart container

The smart container helps the author handle these kinds of situations. It enables us to have the latest blog posts carousel or listing to be configured by area of interest, country, customer type, industry, and more.

It simply makes use of experience fragments that allow us to change the display via variances, with the added feature of configuring the experience fragment for a specific category. This way the component can load dynamic content based on selected criteria. Helpfully, its also very intuitive for the author to set up. Multi-variable content personalisation made easy!

The concept of the smart container is based on content velocity versus tools. Adobe Target can achieve the same thing the smart container can, but requires a lot of authoring, while setting up experience fragments can be done quickly in a familiar environment. The need to educate authors/marketers on Target is reduced (though we would never discourage it!).

Are you encountering complex content challenges and need some help? If so, our AEM and Target consultants can help you find the optimal solution. Contact us!