Personalization, even in big companies, is in #CrawlState: DrupalConNA Takeaway


Agency Oasis is at DrupalConNA in Los Angeles (14 miles and 45 minutes from our Santa Monica Office FYI) this week with a team of people scattered across the track themes, meeting at breaks, sharing information and being redeployed.  As a an Acquia partner we benefit from early knowledge on road maps and community work.  This year that information is all being confirmed and expanded upon with the widest set of tracks and sessions we can recall.

A buzzword that we hear in from new business to retainer work is personalization and how it can be used and how it should be measured.  This is a question we are asked regardless to platform.  Our Adobe, Sitecore and Drupal clients all have the same questions around personalization and a share excitement to get it going, while not knowing which way to turn.

In today’s agenda at DrupalConNA I attended a session where Interscope Records, Time Inc and Pfizer sat on a panel and discussed how personalization is being used.  I won’t spell it all out here, but the main observations that Agency Oasis has shared with it’s clients and prospects seems to be right in line with these three businesses who are capable of aggregating a tremendous amount of data.

  • It’s a cultural shift with process and thinking at an organizational level, it requires more effort with human resources than machines
  • Start somewhere, anywhere.  We are all smart people, let’s make a reasonable hypothesis and use the tools to prove it or not.
  • Geo, web referral URL, email referral URL, social referral URL &  first section visited remain the simplest and easiest triggers to action on as a strategy
  • The current state of personalization does not reflect the end state we are all trying to achieve.
  • Crawl, Walk, Run.

Each brand had a compelling story to share about how each of their brands & sub-brands were approaching personalization.  Each company was at a different level of maturity and evolution and yet their stories seemed similar in how they were thinking through things.

So far this conference has been very informational and the sense of community always impresses me.  The Drupal 8 drop should be pretty significant and very powerful for the brands who employ it.  Of course organizations need to choose their CMS carefully – it’s not just about technology capabilities, it is equally or more so about your team and how they work, the culture and governance involved internally.

If you’re at DrupalConNA, drop me a DM @interactivejj – we’ll see you there.