Back in 2015 I had an idea, it wasn’t a revolutionary idea, but something that put me on a path to something more unique.
I’d like to say things were different back in 2015 but the highlights focus around an election, so really not that much in it, but at least we weren’t bombarded with Brexit news back then.
Along came the project that is now known as We Are Personal. An engine that could be added to any existing website and adapt, not just the messaging, but the entire design and user journey of the website based on the user. Now it’s not that this hadn’t already been tried. Personalisation has long been a buzzword but having worked in digital marketing at agency level for ten years I’m yet to see a system that does it well enough to actually generate return for the average business. To me, the main issue is the process of segmenting the data, thus the audience, not the tool or technology itself. So I made some key decisions back in 2015 of how the system must work:
- It must be able to adapt the entire site through one snippet of code. I’d seen other tools that required tagging of every element of the site you wish to change, which I knew most businesses wouldn’t be able to do.
- It must be quick – this needs to work in real-time, the infrastructure is essential to make sure it works quickly, ideally in less than 2 seconds.
- It must be reliable – building in a ‘kill switch’ early on to avoid any chance the system would slow down the client’s site, as slow load times can be just as annoying as poor customer experience.
- It can’t have a flicker, ever. For anyone who isn’t aware what a flicker is, it’s the process where the website will show the ‘original’ content but once the ‘personalised’ variation catches up with the site load it ‘flickers’ to hide the original and show the variation. I hate this, I passionately hate this! I’ve tested and used a number of tools that offer website testing functionality, some are very expensive, and they regularly show a flicker, one of the bigger players had a flicker on their own website!
This just annoys the hell out of me so I refused to release our software until we never got a flicker, ever.
Through our initial research and time spent on the infrastructure of We Are Personal we are now able to offer a product, WAP Dynamic, that can adapt any website and use artificial intelligence to continuously test the user experience to maximise the conversion rates, something unique within an industry that spent £10 billion in the UK alone in 2016 on media spend. Was that our plan back in 2015? No, but through adopting an agile approach to development, talking to a lot of people along the way for research and insights, working on accelerator programmes like the Barclays/Creative England Flight programme and continuously testing and amending our idea, we now have a strong product, that has been thoroughly tested and is ready to offer digital advertisers a better solution to increasing their advertising results through improving customer experience, without the need for expensive technical changes, time-consuming page template creation or the setup of regular testing, WAP Dynamic takes care of all of that for you.
If you’re interested in seeing it in action then please visit www.wearepersonal.com for a free demo.