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Sitecore Sessions

How to choose target audiences for personalization

Let the PIE model be your guide

By Lars Birkholm Petersen, Co-Founder, Altola, Inc. and Sitecore Honorary MVP

Video transcript

Hi and welcome to another Sitecore Session. My name is Lars Petersen, VP of Business Optimization at Sitecore. Today, I’m going to talk to you about who you should be personalizing for. We often find that if you’re not taking the right approach using the right model, chances are that you are over-analyzing who to personalize for, or even make it too simple playing it by heart. So when you start focusing on who to personalize for, we often find using a model like the PIE model is very effective.

The PIE model

The PIE model is very used in conversation rate optimization and effectively has three different factors to look at.

  • Potential. The first factor is potential. Potential is, "How much potential does this audience segment have for your business?" Of course, the more potential, the more business value you will get.
  • Importance. The importance is in terms of size. So here, you can start looking at your data from your different digital channels and determine, What are the behaviors? What are some of the inbound channels that are bringing a lot of visits to your website? Look for those big segments of different audiences you can start personalizing for. If you don’t have access to analytics or you can’t find anything in analytics, another good thing is follow the money. If you spend a lot on PPC or display advertising or send out big e-mail campaigns, those would be great first steps for personalization because you have huge size, typical, and it will be easy to essentially get started with personalization.
  • Ease. Then the third factor is ease. The way we use ease is focusing on how easy is it to identify the intent of a visitor, and how can we use that ease of identifying the intent to map them in to a certain audience segment and to start personalizing the experience based on that? The easier it is to identify the intent, the quicker we can get started personalizing for them and mapping them into the right segment.

How to use PIE

A good first step is look at the PIE model. Take a piece of paper, write down the segments. That is potential, is important in terms of volume, and where you can easily identify the intent of the visitor. Now, look at those segments you have written down, and start group them based on importance and based on potential. Using a chart like this where you have volume, the importance, the traffic size, the business value, the potential, you can start plotting in all of those different segments.

Now, you don’t want to start here where it doesn’t have any business value, because that really doesn’t bring you anything or excites your executives. What you can do then is focus on those audience segments that you have identified that have most potential and most importance. Now, select the top three of those audience segments, and then we recommend that you put them into a table similar to this one. Now, for each one of those segments that have high potential, high importance, and of course you have also looked at from an ease point of view, you can go to the next step which is give them a score.

Scoring audience segments

For each one, you give them a score from one to five. Start with the potential. Here, you focus on how much business value does this bring to the business? High value, high score. That means a five. If it doesn’t bring a lot of business potential to your business, then it’s a low score. Go with one.

Importance. Here you will be looking at the data you have from your different digital channels, and of course qualify how big are these audience segments. The bigger, the more score.

The last bit here is ease. How easy is it to identify this visitor and their intent and then by that they met a specific audience segment?

Now, you select that audience segment that have the highest total. In this case, it will be known prospects. Then we go to the next steps where we can put it more details about known prospects.

Optimizing business case for known prospects

Here, we want to identify what’s the business case for optimizing the experience for known prospects? What could it bring in in terms of lift in value? Here you can use, in terms of importance, the data you have from different digital channels. Put in the exact numbers. What to expect. What are the different channels? How much traffic are they bringing in for this specific audience? Then, ease, justify why is it easy to identify the intent of those visitors belonging to those different audience segments.

That’s how you get started in identifying who you should be personalizing for. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out or watch any of the other Sitecore Sessions online. Thank you so much for watching.


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