Press Pause: Getting Ready for Content Personalization

capture2If content personalization was easy, everyone would already be doing it. In reality, most organizations do more talking about personalization than actually scaling the competency. Several reasons contribute to this:

numberThe sheer magnitude of taking on personalization is so daunting that it stops organizations in their tracks.

number-1The failure to adopt an enterprise-wide content strategy prevents the organizational alignment necessary for success.

number-2Organizations underestimate the volume of content required to maintain their personalization strategy.

number-3People confuse technology with strategy and haven’t done the pre-personalization work needed to optimize its technology investments.

In our work, we advise people to “Press Pause” at three key junctures to make sure they are asking the right questions and considering the best options. These “Press Pause” moments and what needs to be considered include:


All Talk; No Action: Companies just getting started down the personalization path


  • Know your customer before you create any content
  • Define where you are and where you’re going before starting
  • Understand that this is a team sport and collaboration across functions is mission critical


Lot of Bricks; No Building: Companies that need to knit multiple personalization pilots or
initiatives into a cohesive strategy


  • Find everything that is already being done
  • Get all the owners together to evolve or define enterprise strategy
  • Determine building blocks from across initiatives
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Assure executive leadership to guide and manage publishing strategy
  • Anticipate ownership issues—take a user-centric approach to drive cross-silo collaboration
  • Socialize across business units to assure success


Cart Before the Horse: Companies that have invested in technology but still need to optimize


  • Use content strategy to drive technology investments
  • Optimize technical investments with the right architecture to support personalization
  • Adopt centralized ownership to align technology and prevent out-of-context one-off purchases


The goal is to adopt a strategy that is right for the organization and that can be divided into digestible bites that provide a doable step strategy. It’s easy to be overwhelmed without stopping and setting achievable goals. Critically examining your organization and defining the most logical starting point for adopting content personalization is key. This scrutiny will help determine if personalization is even right for your company.

The Big Content Alliance (BCA), which was formed by ComBlu and AvenueCX, recently introduced a Press Pause webinar series. We formed BCA to bring a SWAT team approach to enterprise content strategy. Our goal is to help clients consider their organizational and operational readiness to scale enterprise content strategy. In many cases, it is imperative to “Press Pause” so that organizations can take the time they need to ensure they can set up their content operations and solutions for continual success.

The first webinar was hosted by Gather Content. It has a detailed list of questions to consider at each “Press Pause” moment as well as insights and considerations for each set of questions. Let us know which “Press Pause” moment your organization most closely identifies with.

Kathy Baughman

Kathy’s forte is enterprise content strategy, content marketing and thought leadership. Over the past 35 years, she has worked with both emerging brands and large enterprises in developing content and thought leadership strategies. Kathy has the ability to analyze a client’s current approach and offer unique, fresh perspective that leads to innovation and growth. She has written several research reports, white papers and eBooks including Content Supply ChainThe CMO’s Guide to PersonalizationThe Alchemy of Content andTaming the Content Vortex. Kathy is a key contributor to Forbes Publish or Perish Report.

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