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How to deliver personalized content in three simple steps

Businesswoman using mobile phone amidst crowd
Alistair Wearmouth
By Alistair Wearmouth
November 03, 2021
Here, we take a look at some of the powerful in-built personalization tools that enable Brightspot CMS users to create digital experiences tailored to an end user's individual interests.
6 Min Read

Personalized experiences aren’t just nice-to-haves anymore, they are expected. That can be an intimidating challenge for a publishing team that’s struggling to keep up with the demands of one singular audience, which is why we built powerful functionality into Brightspot to ease that workflow pain.

With Brightspot, personalization can mean manual curation of content for each audience, or it can involve putting those personalized pages into a dynamic mode where queries deliver content appropriately to each audience segment.

No industry is without a need for personalization. A few examples include:

  • A brand modifying its corporate storytelling message for frequent shoppers vs. a first-time customer.
  • A media publisher customizing a news experience so that a reader who has bookmarked the Sports section to read about baseball always sees more baseball content.
  • A company modifying its intranet experience so that employees in the New York creative department see different upcoming event information than employees in the San Francisco technology department.
  • A university adjusting its messaging to current students vs. potential applicants.

As pressure grows for editors and publishers to deliver personalized experiences, Brightspot empowers editorial teams in creating unique and engaging experiences for their audiences.

Using Brightspot, delivering personalized experiences is a simple, three-step process.


Personalization step 1: Understand your users

Knowing who you want to deliver personalized experiences to is the first critical step. This starts with understanding your user base—and those user attributes can be sourced from any system of record, whether it’s an integration with SAML, Active Directory or another CRM such as Red Point.

Personalization step 2: Define Your audience segments

Once you know who is using your digital properties, you can decide which of those audiences you want to deliver targeted experiences to. Brightspot offers several out-of-the-box methods of audience segmentation.

Image of Brightspot CMS customer logo

You can, for example, have a different homepage for mobile users, or have different experiences for viewers tailored around a specific topic. Brightspot has a robust set of pre-built audience targets, so there's no up-front IT work involved. Set up your targets in settings and then create segments directly on the content assets.

Additional highlights of our out-of-the-box audience segments include:

  • CRM-based: A publisher can create any number of segments against data points from a CRM.
  • Device-based: A publisher can target a personalized experience to users based on whether they are using a desktop machine, a tablet, a mobile device, a game console or an OTT video device.
  • Content-attribute-based: A publisher can target a personalized experience to users based on a tag. This includes an expiration to control decay, so someone who was briefly interested in a topic for a day isn’t locked into it permanently.
  • Cookie-based: A publisher can target a personalized experience to users based on a cookie action; this could include, for example, different messaging for users who have clicked on a particular page.

Personalization step 3: Customize the experience

Once your users and audience segments are defined, an editorial team can start customizing the messaging that is delivered to those audiences. This is where personalization can get overwhelming: If a publisher has three main audience segments, for instance, do they have to publish key landing pages three times? Not in Brightspot.

Our approach treats the original asset as the default from which the original content can be modified. This can be as simple as changing a headline on an article for users on a mobile device or as complex as serving up a completely different landing page layout for a user based on a cookie target. If you’re still worried about the amount of editorial effort needed to support personalization, keep in mind that Brightspot also offers the ability to program experiences for those audiences dynamically based on queries.

What’s more, Brightspot allows editors to publish multiple variations of a piece of content from the same place in the CMS. Editors can create a content object and manage the different variations all in one location. The editor can then publish different content or alter the layouts for different audiences.

To learn more about why personalization is changing the digital landscape and how Brightspot’s powerful personalization features can empower your content creators to easily and efficiently capture audiences and grow loyalty, watch the webinar below.

image of Brightspot employee Meredith Rodkey
About the Author
Meredith Rodkey is the SVP of Platform Product Management at Brightspot. She has focused on product management for nearly 15 years, working closely with major Brightspot customers like the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Johnson & Johnson, U.S. News & World Report, and Healthgrades.
In her previous life, Meredith worked as a homepage editor and writer for, curating a daily experience for millions of users.

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