Websites often practice what is known as geographical personalization. In this situation, a website groups visitors based on their location and subsequently displays content tailored to their location-based behavior or interests. Geographical personalization is, therefore, a form of market segmentation and has been linked to improved profitability. At the same time, however, personalization is a source of distress for marketers, many of whom struggle with personalization (63%) or scaling their personalization efforts (74%).
Problems Associated with Personalization
Geographical personalization can significantly affect international companies looking to set up shop in a new country. How so? Some websites practice geo-blocking, which allows them to sell the same product at different prices based on the location. Put simply, such companies have different prices for each country in which they operate. This practice, which is aimed at maximizing profits, complicates the process of price monitoring, meaning international companies are likely to discover different prices for the same product.
At the same time, personalization, coupled with geo-restriction, may prevent ad verification. Ad verification allows businesses or advertisers to confirm if advertisements are displayed according to their terms and conditions. It also entails ascertaining whether the ads are seen by the right people and are displayed on relevant and suitable websites.
Additionally, technology-driven personalization is a struggle for marketers who cannot adapt to emerging technologies, such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), to conform with customer acquisition and retention. According to one such study, businesses should endeavor to direct the data collection in such a way that it aligns with their business goals. They should also develop personalization skills, reevaluate their data strategy, and atomize their content.
Combined, these problems can be disruptive to international businesses.
Solutions to Personalization Issues
But one of the recommendations stands out, particularly in light of the fact that personalization is technology-driven. It states that businesses should first create a technology-based foundation that allows them to use personalization tools. They should also establish ways to collect and organize customer data in such a way that supports their personalization solution. And this takes time. But an excellent way to start is by using proxy servers.
Proxy servers are computers that, as intermediaries, route traffic through themselves. In doing so, they assign outgoing requests a new IP address, effectively masking the originating computer’s IP address.
There are various types of proxy servers, including:
- Rotating proxies
- Static proxies
- Residential proxies
- Datacenter proxies
- HTTP/HTTPS proxies
- SOCKS proxies
- Dedicated proxies
- Shared proxies
- Forward proxies
- Reverse proxies
- Transparent proxies
Benefits of Proxy Servers
By assigning a new IP address, proxies make it possible to access content that was previously only available to residents of a given country. Simply put, you can use proxy servers to access websites that implement geographical personalization to identify the various approaches the sites’ owners have employed.
Additionally, proxies can allow you to verify ads as well as undertake price monitoring. This is because they remove the veil previously put in place by geographical boundaries.
2. Facilitating Web Scraping
At the same time, proxies also aid in data collection, and as one of the recommendations notes, a data foundation is important if personalization tools are to succeed. By anonymizing the browsing, proxy servers, especially rotating proxies, facilitate seamless web scraping. They limit the number of requests that appear to originate from the same IP address, thereby preventing IP blocking.
For instance, you can use a US proxy to collect data about US-based customers even when located in a far-flung country like Australia or a nation in Europe, Asia, or Africa. This is because the US proxy will assign you a US-based IP address, tricking servers into thinking the requests are being sent from a computer that is domiciled in the country.
The data collected through a combination of proxies and web scrapers can be instrumental in enabling companies to implement better personalization. Data-driven personalization enables companies to uncover as much location-specific information about their target customers as possible. This allows them to deliver the right content at the right time.
Technology allows you to take advantage of international markets. It removes restrictions that exist solely based on geographical boundaries. For instance, websites that implement geo-blocking block visitors who are located in other countries from accessing the content. This practice prevents important processes such as price monitoring and ad verification. Unfortunately, this form of geographical personalization also affects marketers. Marketers have reported that they struggle with personalization. Fortunately, businesses and marketers can get around this problem by embracing technologies such as proxy servers.
Proxies not only enable companies to access geo-blocked content, thereby facilitating cross-border price monitoring and ad verification, but also supports web scraping. In addition, rotating proxies prevent IP blocking by keeping the number of requests that the same IP address can send to a minimum.