Personalizing Content Marketing: The Whys and Hows of Creating a More Personal Content Sans the Creepiness

content marketing

Creating content might seem like an easy thing to do to a lot of people. After all, all you need to do is write articles and blogs, and post on social media, right?


While it does involve all of the said things, those are not the end-all and be-all of digital marketing. There’s a lot to consider to come up with great content. And one of them is content personalization.

What is Personalization?

Before we go any further, it is important that we discuss what personalization is so that we have a better understanding of what we’re supposed to do.

Content personalization is a spectrum of some sort that helps brands deliver relevant content that is based on their interests and past interactions all collected from visitor data.

Too technical? Simply put, it is a tactic employed by companies to deliver highly-relevant content to their target market.

For instance, a website like that specializes in providing relief from pain and promotes a healthy lifestyle should create content that reaches out to their target market, zooms in on their niche, yet does not alienate nor threaten potential clients.

The 5 Different Stages of Content Personalization

Let’s quickly define what the five stages of content personalization are and how effective each one truly is.

The first three stages can be categorized under campaign management while the last two are under interaction management.

Stage 1: Static-Based Campaign

“One to All”

This stage offers customers practically no online content variation. Content is created on a mass level and distributed accordingly to everyone. The labor-intensive process involved in this stage offers very little ROI feedback.

Stage 2: Rules-Based Campaign

“One to Many”

At this stage, the customer begins to experience the brand on different platforms and channels such as websites, emails, and social media among others. The experience, however, is not integrated or consistent as some would like.

Stage 3: Model-Based Campaign


“One to Some”

In the third phase of the campaign management category, each channel and media have varied content depending on the channels, personas, and brands. You get to see some integration take place at this stage.

Stage 4: Integrated Interactions

“One to Few”

The interactions and connections become more integrated and intensified with online and offline messaging. The company takes a more proactive approach to communication by being more interactive and taking advantage of response messaging and model optimization.

Stage 5: Integrated Orchestrations

“One to One”

The customer now fully experiences highly personalized content across the board. The communications and connections are defined by interactions, interests, and orchestrated decisions delivered right when it is needed.

The last two stages — the interaction management stages — seem to make the most effective touchpoints. However, these two are also the same stages where members of the audience show concern with the high level of familiarity.

SmarterHQ reported that 72% of consumers choose to only interact with personalized marketing correspondences but the same survey also reports that 86% of them are wary about data privacy.

Consumer Apprehensions

Because of the sense of overfamiliarity, a lot of consumers feel creeped out by some brands. Here are some consumer sentiments about the matter:

  • They become wary when they get asked for their phone numbers even if it seems unnecessary to the interaction.
  • They get uncomfortable when they get targeted using information that they did not (or at least believe they didn’t) disclose.
  • They think that brands have been doing this for a long time, but we are only starting to become aware of it now.
  • They find it troubling when brands start targeting their children using their personal information.

What this tells us is that customers are okay with personalization as long as transparency is there and boundaries are observed. They like the personalized approach but not in a creepy and scary way.

How should brands personalize their content marketing?

Now that we know how people respond to personalized marketing and what their apprehensions are, we need to find a healthy balance that lets us get our desired results without overstepping boundaries.

Do it in a more acceptable manner.

There is a way that will allow you to pursue personalized marketing without being too intrusive. Ask yourself does your company really need all the details you’re used to asking? And even if you did, make sure you disclose to your customers how you intend to use their personal data. Give them the assurance that the data you collect will be directed towards delivering value to them.

Be transparent.

Be clear with your definition of data. It involves more than just their email address and phone numbers. Only seek essential information that will help you deliver the best services and products to your consumers. Never forget to disclose all intents and purposes and secure consent from them.

Personalized marketing can work well for your brand and your target market if done right. Perhaps this is a good time to evaluate the way you’re doing things and see how you can make adjustments to make your consumers feel safe and protected.


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