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How page-based metadata can accelerate personalization at scale

  • Posted on December 8, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
How Metadata accelerates Personalization at scale

When I say “metadata,” what do you think of?

Maybe your mind goes to the alt-text of an image, or the information stored in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform. Your vision might even start swimming with file paths. But one of metadata’s most important roles is often forgotten – personalization.

Page-based metadata can help you set up personalization at scale, enabling you to adapt the user experience to the context of every visitor. Properly managed, page-based metadata can simplify highly complex personalization scenarios down to a few points of authoring, saving cost and time.

For example, content creators and web designers can use metadata to organize, segment, and highlight certain pieces of information, allowing them to fully leverage tools like Adobe Experience Fragments for contextualized content delivery.

Think of it like giving directions to a tourist from the other side of the world. You might need to tell them to “go so many miles up the road and turn left”. But if they’re used to measuring in kilometers, you may inadvertently send them on a wild goose chase – an experience likely to ruin their holiday.

Page-based metadata could ensure that your directions are never misunderstood. Such data makes clear where variables can arise in content, providing signposts to the right information for the right viewer. Used correctly, you could speak to anyone in the world and make yourself understood within their context.

Want to speak your customers’ language? Here, we’ll look at the three areas you need to consider when adopting page-based metadata in your organization: metadata fundamentals, how metadata can be used to personalize content and how to manage page-based metadata.

Metadata fundamentals

Types of metadata
Before you can manage your metadata, you need to understand the different types of metadata and how each type can help your authors to personalize content.

  • Technical – details such as file size or resolution do not generally require input from the content author. In a page context, technical data includes where the user has logged into the page from.
  • Structural – this is the file path related to the asset. It can be derived from the metadata itself, or from the author. This file path gives context to the intelligent Experience Fragment, which then adapts its content accordingly.
  • Descriptive – descriptive metadata assists the page author and any reviewers. It details what stage the page is at within the review process and who needs to provide approvals.

Metadata maturity
If you’re planning to use page-based metadata for personalization, it’s important to reflect on your organization’s current metadata maturity. This will give you a good measure of how much work needs to be done to introduce page-based metadata into your ways of working.

Which one best describes your organization?

  • Default – you use default options for your metadata.
  • Basic DAMs – you use metadata to manage your licensing rights. Your system automatically stops using an image after the license has run out and sends out notifications when licenses expire.
  • Asset tagging – you capture additional data for the curation of assets. You might use machine and AI learning for this tagging process, but you should have a human element to check for errors. Asset tagging allows content authors to quickly find the assets they need.
  • Pages – you use page and asset metadata to accelerate your content authoring and you use intelligent Experience Fragments to adapt pages to different contexts.

Once you’ve identified where your organization is starting from, you can put together your roadmap for page-based metadata.

How metadata can enable personalization

Metadata controlling content
Now we’ve looked at the metadata fundamentals, here’s how page-based metadata can be used for personalization.

Personalization happens on two levels: the audience segment a customer belongs to, and on more objective criteria, like where the user is calling from and the product they have purchased.

For metadata purposes, the objective criteria matter most. The criteria e.g., customer location is entered as a metadata variable and the intelligent Experience Fragments adapt to that context, changing page features such as text, numbers, and values.

For example, a refrigerator will have different maintenance instructions for different countries. If a person is logging in from the US, they will be looking for the optimum fridge temperature in Fahrenheit, but someone from the UK will want their instructions in Celsius. By using metadata and Experience Fragments, the page can be adapted to show the correct values for each location.

Metadata and Experience Fragments ensure your content is always understood.

Dynamic rendering of documents
However, audience segmentation (the other level of personalization) is most important for dynamic rendering of documents. Different audience segments will want to see different documents, depending on what’s relevant to them.

If the owner in our refrigerator example gets an on-screen message to visit a website, the information they receive will be very simple and will only tell them what’s wrong.

A third-party service provider, on the other hand, would log in to see a different document that provides more technical information on how to fix the problem.
Metadata sets the stage for this variation.

Metadata controlling styles
In addition to controlling content, metadata can also control page style. Perhaps its simplest if I show you an example of this in practice:

In this webinar, Avanade worked with three brands, Waterline, Fireline and Iceline to configure Experience Fragments for each brand. Then, we used metadata to direct each fragment to the right place on a webpage to change the page appearance for each brand. Watch now to learn how you can accelerate transformation in your organization today.

Rethinking metadata in your business
Could page-based metadata play a more significant role in your business?

Avanade can help your organization rethink the importance of page-based metadata, and with the help of Adobe Experience Fragments, you can start using page-based metadata for personalization at scale. Contact us today to get started.

Does your business use metadata for personalization? Let us know about your experiences on our socials.

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